COLOURS OF COVID
Alchemy’s Innovative Response To Tackling Mental Health & Wellbeing In A Time Of Crisis
WHAT IS COLOURS OF COVID?
Colours of COVID is a new online Health and Arts initiative set up in response to the current pandemic and its impact on mental health. It is a ground-breaking and innovative programme developed for those most at need within the BAME community. Over the next six months, this project will ensure the continuation of much needed support within the communities and marginalised groups we work with.
In a nutshell, Colours of COVID is:
A 12-session programme that creates a platform (virtual moving to physical) for young people from diverse backgrounds to explore creative expression. It is focused on Covid 19 and its impact on mental health. The Project will be a ‘virtual time bank’ for individuals and their time in lockdown.
By the end of the programme, participants will be more informed about Covid-19 and how this impacts mental health, coping strategies and how artistic expression can be vital part of our health and wellbeing.
WHAT ARE YOUR STRONGEST MEMORIES?
Rainbows painted on the neighbour’s window? Clap for the NHS, Trump’s outrageous claims, George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter Movement?
WHAT STANDS OUT TO YOU MOST?
Conspiracies, let down by government, fear, anger, excitement, fun? Time off school, missing friends?
WHAT CAN OUR CREATIVE RESPONSE BE?
Will it be a poem, a song, spoken word? Will it be a film, a sketch, a comedy, a painting, a book, a dance? It could be absolutely anything!!
CREATIVE EXPRESSION IN A TIME OF CRISIS
Since Coronavirus swept the globe the world has changed in so many ways, so quickly. Some of our biggest artists are releasing albums that they created in the comfort of their own bedrooms…concerts are taking place over video calls…writers are using online platforms to release materials in a novel and accessible manner….none of this would be possible if they weren’t supported or had an opportunity to do so.
Our project aims to provide that platform for anyone who needs it, allowing participants to fully explore their creativity. Interactive and fun – this is all about alternative expression, moving away from the endless stream of facts and figures and focusing on feelings. The project will act as a type of virtual ‘time capsule’ – giving people the opportunities to feel free to process themselves in a positive way. Opportunities for us to say how the situation makes us feel through artistic expression – whether that’s a poem, a film, a photography project – anything!
This is a hugely significant historical moment – so we want to be able to capture it for generations to come whilst enabling people to process it in a healthy way in the present. Our fluid and flexible set up and delivery model allows for endless opportunities for creativity and culture.
WHO IS INVOLVED?
This project is funded by and delivered in partnership with The Art Council England, contributing to delivering their Let’s Create Strategy (#LetsCreate). We believe that culture has a unique part to play in the creative industries and want to ensure that people from BAME backgrounds are able to engage where traditionally they have not been able to. The Arts Council England Annual Diversity Report shows that BAME audiences in the arts continue to be underrepresented.
WHO CAN TAKE PART?
Aimed predominantly at BAME communities in Greater Manchester, the programme will be open to anyone who has access to the internet. Although this project initially focuses on young people between the ages of 16-25 it is available to anyone who wishes to take part, as people of all ages need a way to explore and transmit their negative experiences.
HOW LONG IS THE PROJECT?
This project is initially planned to run for 6 months, but will continue to run for as long as it is needed, throughout the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. It may be extended beyond that to help people to cope with the adjustment to ‘new normal’ and with the fallout from the pandemic.