West Leeds creative hub moves its sessions online

open source arts
Credit: Mai Brightling’

A West Leeds creative hub is moving its physical activities online to bring connection and wellbeing in the midst of Coronavirus pandemic.

Open Source Arts, based off Kirkstall Road, closed 12 days ago – one of the first arts organisations in Leeds to close their doors to help protect the community.

Although its physical doors are closed, they are opening new, virtual doors and opportunities to offer continuity, connection and wellbeing as everyone navigates the pandemic.

As the hub which coordinated the volunteer response to the Kirkstall Floods in 2015, Open Source Arts recognises that it is important that they continue to ‘empower creative, practical action towards healthier, more resilient citizens, neighbourhoods and sustainable futures’, in any given crisis. 

They are also exploring innovative ways for workshop leaders to continue to connect with their class participants through online tools and remote working environments like Zoom and YouTube to ensure some financial income for those who are self-employed.

One of the first activities to ‘go virtual’ at Open Source Arts was the scheduled Clowning Workshop with Lucy Hopkins.

This was closely followed by a 5Rhythms Dance Workshop in celebration of the Spring Equinox. They invited participants to follow a link to a Zoom call, where a facilitator led the session from their home. 

Hannah Burgess, Communications Coordinator at Open Source Arts, said:

“It’s incredibly important to both us and our community that we adapt and offer our regular activities in this new way. Right now, as we physically-distance and navigate the effects of the pandemic, people need to, more than ever, connect, socialise, move and help each other.”

Open Source Arts are also advocating a change of phrase when referring to ‘social distancing’- they are encouraging people to use the phrase ‘physical distancing’ instead, and believe that social connection is needed more now than ever.

They will be updating their website and social media with all of the upcoming online activities that you can get involved in, including yoga, circus, meditation, dance and more in the pipeline!


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