The Arts Society launches new Connected website for art lovers

Published on 7 April 2020 Under Latest News

The Arts Society Connected is a new digital platform that was launched on 7 April.

Free to both The Arts Society’s 90,000 Members as well as the general public, The Arts Society Connected will host a series of fortnightly lectures by the UK’s leading art historians, as well as film screenings, live author Q&As and a community forum for anyone using the platform.

The aim of the platform is to help older Members of the population stay connected, educated, entertained and informed over the next three months. The core aims of the charity are to create a better, healthier and more connected society through the power of the arts to nourish and empower. The platform will create a welcoming community for both existing Members as well as the general public.

The Arts Society has moved quickly in response to the COVID-19 crisis to create this digital platform as a large proportion of Members are aged 70 and above and will be forced to isolate over the coming months. The Arts Society consists of 380 individual Membership groups, who organise regular lectures and educational trips to museums and galleries throughout the year. With the inability of Members to meet in person, The Arts Society Connected will ensure that Members are able to stay connected online even while they remain in isolation.

The Arts Society is working with its directory of Accredited Lecturers to create exclusive video lectures for the new platform. Lectures will be uploaded every other Tuesday at 11am. Members will be encouraged to take part in a community moment, when anyone planning on watching the talk can make a cup of tea at home and join the community forums online for a chat before and after the lecture. The Lecturer will also be available to answer questions in the community forums following their lecture.

The platform launched on 7th April with a lecture on Las Meninas by Velázquez by Arts Society Accredited Lecturer, art historian and linguist, Jacqueline Cockburn.

The first lecturers to be announced include: BBC TV presenter and Antiques Road Show regular Mark Hill, Award winning novelist, BBC broadcaster, art critic and lecturer Sarah Dunant, the UK’s leading Aboriginal art expert and gallerist Rebecca Hossack, Tate museum curator and Turner and nineteenth century art expert Nicola Moorby  and Antiques Road Show regular and Antiques expert Marc Allum. With more lecturers to be announced monthly.

In addition to the regular lectures, The Arts Society Connected will host a monthly film screening in partnership with Exhibition on Screen. The first film screening will be the UK premier of Easter in Art, a 90 minute film that will explore the different ways artists have depicted the Easter story through the ages, and how this informs our understanding of the history of East today.  In addition as part of their digital outreach programme, The Arts Society is also rolling out a package of social media training for Members in order to get them connected in the digital world.

Florian Schweizer, Chief Executive of The Arts Society, saidWe are delighted to be able to connect with our Members through our new digital initiatives. The Arts Society normally offers hundreds of live lectures every month and plays an important part in the lives of our 90,000 Members – for the coming months we are not able to do this. Our new platform, online lectures and online meetings make a vital contribution to engage with people who have been instructed to stay at home for the coming months. We want to recreate and promote a sense of community, belonging and connection during a time of isolation and distancing. We believe the arts have the power to bring people together, and we will not let this virus stop communities from enjoying the arts with each other. We are working with our thousands of volunteers to develop new skills and initiatives, building resilience and a future in which many of our Members will embrace digital as a valuable addition to their cultural experience.

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