25th May, 2020

Creative workshops start in Coventry - to join in from home

John Carlon 22nd May, 2020

CREATIVE folk in Coventry can join a 12 week series of workshops starting this weekend.

Sitting Rooms of Culture, which is being supported and funded by Coventry City of Culture Trust and Artspace Coventry, will feature a series of online workshops shared on social media covering a range of artistic skills.

After taking part in the workshops, people are invited to create their own art and share it using the hashtag #SittingRoomsofCulture, which will create an online community for all of the work.

The project is being led by local community artists Mary Courtney, Kirsty Brewerton, Heather S Davison and Paul Curtis, who have helped to build the online group to connect local creative people.

Twelve different artists will be hosting the workshops over the course of twelve weeks to help the city get creative during lockdown and beyond, each covering a different skill or practice.

The first workshop is set to take place on Saturday, May 23, featuring Cathy Cassidy, the celebrated author and Coventrian, who will lead the Couch Potato Challenge, helping locals try their hand at creative writing.

Other workshops during the programme will feature musicians, dance teachers, animators, photographers, artists, illustrators and filmmakers, all sharing their expertise and advice with Coventry creatives.

Mary Courtney, who co-founded the group, said: “During these difficult times, we need to be encouraging people to explore their creative side and reconnect with their passions from their sitting rooms.

“The group will help people to develop their skills and provide a space for a growing community of Coventry artists to share their talents and ideas with each other.

“I called Cathy Cassidy to discuss the project and being from Coventry she was keen to help launch a creative writing challenge called the ‘Coventry Couch Potato Challenge’, and from that initial idea, the concept of these workshops really flourished, with lots of incredible local artists getting involved.”

Paul Curtis, who helped with setting up the workshops, added: “We hope to see lots of local people getting involved and interacting with these workshops, and submitting their creations using the #SittingRoomsofCulture.

“This is a great opportunity for people to try something new and to use it as a form of escapism during lockdown, to express themselves through art.”

Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “For many citizens lockdown is a great time to release their creativity. A chance to use some of our new found time to learn new skills and to enjoy being artistic from home.

“This new series of practical and fun online classes led by a professional artist from the industry, will be a great chance to take part in activities, to share work and create or maybe develop new skills. Whether learning to sing, how to create new dance steps, how to develop your crafty side, how to write stories and others, this a chance to try your hand at something new.

“The sessions are designed to be fun, easy to engage with and hopefully will help to create new skills that you can use as part of the events programme in 2021. Go on, give it a go!”

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