As everything moves online, and the options and choices get bigger and more complicated, The Place Bedford wants to support members of our audience who feel they are unable to access digital culture options.
We’ve spoken with some of our most frequent venue attendees, many of whom are in high risk categories, and who don’t feel like they are able to access online cultural offers. They are desperate for us to reopen our doors so they can continue to enjoy their cultural experiences, and feel part of the community.
In order to protect and support them through the next few months, when the temptation to reconnect physically will be very high, we want to send them a regular package through the post that will inspire, entertain, delight and educate our older, more vulnerable and isolated audience members.
We’re calling this our Cultural Care Package, and we will be working with artists, theatre makers, musicians, and creatives of all stripes, to put together these fortnightly packages to send out to our audiences.
Every 2 weeks on a Thursday morning we will send out a DVD or VHS tape to 20 households in the local area who have signed up (or been nominated) to be part of our project. Each package will contain 2-3hrs of curated arts & cultural experiences, chosen by the artists/collectives or groups selected for the project. Artists chosen to share their curation will come from across all the types of work that we would normally programme into our venue: theatre, drama, live art, performance, folk & jazz music, film, musical theatre, poetry & spoken word, dance.
Some people will share some of their own work, others will curate experiences from across the internet. Each package will have at least 3 different genres of live experience, a short explanation of the work by the artist that chose it, and a feedback form that each household can fill in.
We will post the packages out with a return postage envelope, all we ask is that each fortnight, once you’re done with your DVD or VHS tape, you post it back to us so we can reuse it for the next care package.
We also hope to be able to extend this curation service, working with our commissioned artists to host online watch parties and discussions about the work. This will be available to our whole community using digital tools.
How to get involved
To apply to receive our care package please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at the venue: 01234 354321 (Monday- Friday 10am-4pm)
You can nominate yourselves, or others, so consider who in your local community may be in most need. At present we can only offer to send out 20 packages each fortnight for free to each household. Depending on how successful and popular the scheme proves to be we may be able to extend this to more households if we can secure further funding.
In order to apply we need to know the following information:
Preferred format? – VHS or DVD
Have you recently checked that your Tape or DVD player works? Yes/No
Do you have/use an email address? Yes/No
If yes, please share with us:
Are you signed up to The Place Bedford’s mailing list? Yes/No
If no, are you happy for us to add your email address to our list so we can contact you about future projects and let you know when we reopen? Yes/No
Fill in online?
It is also possible to apply for a family member, neighbour or friend that you think would benefit from this service. You can fill out an online form to do this by following this link:
This project has been made possible by financial support from Arts Council England’s Emergency Funding Scheme, supported by money from National Lottery, and financial support from the Harpur Trust.