As with so many arts organisations and venues, Strand Arts Centre in East Belfast is adapting quickly to engage with audiences during the temporary closure of its Art Deco building.
One of the weekly features at the Strand is the Minors Club, something that many parents and grandparents will be familiar with from their own cinemagoing youth. Film screenings in partnership with Into Film are followed by a different creative workshop each week. Strand Arts Centre is now making these workshops available online – from drum circles and hula hooping to arts and crafts and storytelling. And there are plenty of additional resources and colouring-in sheets on the website too.
Strand Arts Centre Chief Executive Mimi Turtle said:
“Over half of the Strand’s audience base is families, children and young people. It is therefore very important that we continue to do something for them even though our doors are closed, and these fun workshops that help to develop new creative skills are just the ticket. It means we are also able to continue providing employment for our local artistic community at what we know is an exceptionally challenging time for them.”
The title of Strand Arts Centre’s Friday night slot for comedians and musicians, Stranded!, certainly resonates with how many of us are feeling at the moment. Many performers are now filming new shows from the comfort of their own kitchens. And thanks to funding from Arts & Business NI, comedy sketch trio Those Who Can’t will deliver a series of ‘Strand-ed at Home?’ sessions as the Strand’s lockdown artists not in residence.
Those Who Can’t performer Stephen Beggs said:
“We’re used to delivering laughs around the country to our loyal fans in a variety of venues large and small, including the beloved Strand Arts Centre. We tirelessly strive to lift the greasy lid of life and have a good old hoke about to see what’s going on. Sadly at present, like everyone, we are stuck in the house social distancing and we’ll not lie to you – it’s starting to take its toll.”
From Zoom meetings and overzealous home parenting to creating new recipes with cupboard leftovers (how many uses are there for butter beans?), these short, sharp, satirical commentaries provide a mockumentary style response to our new ways of working and living.
To find out more about the online entertainment and resources available, search for Strand Arts Centre on You Tube or go to www.strandartscentre.com
For more information contact: Richard Gaston, Marketing & Communications Manager
Phone (028) 9065 5830
Strand Arts Centre, 1 Strand Studios, 152-154 Holywood Road, Belfast BT4 1NY