Waiting for the days when communities can gather again to celebrate and enjoy live entertainment.18 months ago
The dust has settled in our empty office as our wonderful team are furloughed for now. We watch this crisis unfold across the world, all of us waiting for the days when communities can gather again to celebrate and enjoy live entertainment.
The Fool's office staff are busy learning new skills, from website building to poetry to chicken training. Some of us are dealing with the common challenges of home education and with keeping in touch with loved ones in care homes and with distant families, especially grandchildren.
Meanwhile we are constantly amazed at the resourcefulness of our performers. Some are still at work in their other jobs, in health care and social services. Others have found new employment during the pandemic as factory workers, delivery drivers and at NHS call centres. Some are using their skills to help where needed, such as collectives of costume makers who are sewing scrubs. All are facing an increasingly uncertain future.
With the help of ACE and Outdoor Arts UK some have been able to access some emergency funding and a few have been able to access the government help for self-employed, although how long that will continue is as yet unknown.
We are also seeing an explosion of ideas and creativity.
Many performers have taken to their home streets to spread a little joy and spectacle wherever they can. These actions have sparked a debate on how and when we can consider ‘distance entertainment’ to bring more human engagement and laughter to our streets and parks.
Many more are producing fantastic work online to inspire people to create their own puppets or balloon models, learn skills such as juggling and how to make their own indoor entertainment. Meanwhile some are spending their days working on small commissions for local authorities, producing tailored videos going out to communities to mark the days where festivals would have been.
All in all we have been uplifted by the feeling of solidarity and support amongst our little community, programmers and performers alike.
We miss you all, so if you have an idea you would like to share, would like a link to any of the online work performers have been producing or simply want to say hello, then call one of the numbers on the home page or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Jo or Nicki will get back to you.