Arts Council England
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Creative commissions launched with BBC Arts

We're investing in 25 new artistic works as part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine initiative. The works will appear on a range of BBC platforms, including TV and radio as well as the BBC Sounds app and BBC Arts website, from May.

A musician plays a stringed instrument on her lap against a dark background

Maya Youssef © Sarah Ginn

We're proud to have worked with BBC Arts to set up this fund, encouraging creative responses to the Covid-19 crisis that engage with the idea of social distancing. The selection process has been managed by The Space.

The commissions cover a range of artforms. They include Sign Night, a performance inspired by the use of sign language by balcony singers in Wuhan and Lombardy which will feature deaf artists projected onto buildings and landmarks across the country, an interactive “rave-theatre” show connecting isolated people across the world, and a performance of Swan Lake with dancers performing from their bathtubs.

Simon Mellor, Deputy Chief Executive at Arts Council England yesterday said:

“During the isolation of lockdown, millions of people are finding solace in the unique power of the arts to make sense of the world around us. We’re delighted to partner with BBC Arts to commission this range of innovative new works, helping to deliver the all the benefits of culture and creativity into living rooms across the country over the coming months.”

Jonty Claypole, Director of BBC Arts yesterday said:

“We’re hugely grateful for everyone who applied to Culture in Quarantine’s new commissions scheme, with Arts Council England. The sheer number and quality of applications was a powerful reminder of the world-leading creativity of the UK. The commissioned art works have a breath of viewpoint, tone and innovation, offering something for everybody. Together, with similar schemes we have in all the nations, these projects providing a powerful snapshot – both for now and posterity – of our country during lockdown.”

Click here for the full press release


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