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Realities and Dreams: Culture under Covid

Vishalakshi Roy, Centre for Cultural & Media Policy Studies

Realities and Dreams: Culture under Covid, is a series of podcasts examining the impact of Covid-19 on the UK creative economy.

Part funded though the Keeping Cultures Connected, Keeping Connected through Culture Highlight Call in June 2020, the project is a collaboration between four academics at Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies (CCMPS). The creative and cultural sector and individual practitioners within it, have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. Through the project the researchers engaged in informal discussions with four UK based creative practitioners from different sub sectors to create short podcasts detailing their experiences during the pandemic and lockdown.

The podcasts provide practical and honest insights into the realities of the sector reflect on the impact of the lockdown on creative work, creative output (or the lack of it) and wellbeing of creative practitioners across different subsectors. In addition, the podcasts present a candid, and in some cases emotional expression of the practitioners’ hopes and fears for the sector once the lockdown in over.

The academics conducting the interviews selected practitioners from different commercial and community-based subsectors of the industry to provide a broad and dispersed overview of the impact of the pandemic on different parts of the creative and cultural sector. Each episode below lasts around 20 minute.

Episode 1: Dr. Chris Bilton interviews Marla Kether a freelance musician, DJ and music producer based in London. Listen to Marla here

Episode 2: Dr. Heidi Ashton interviews Joseph Prouse a freelance performer in the West End and at National Theatre. Listen to Joseph here

Episode 3: Dr. Vishalakshi Roy interviews John Laidlaw (MBE), Director of Live and Local (Warwick) and a significant figure in developing the rural arts touring sector in the UK, helping bring rural communities together to enjoy high-quality professional live theatre, music and dance. Listen to John here

Episode 4: Dr. Maria Barrett interviews Jeff Turner, artist and one of the founding artists of Verd de Gris (Hebden Bridge) an organisation specialising in participative work in the areas of community cohesion, health and well-being, and intergenerational practice. Listen to Jeff here