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April News
Friday 03 April 2020

Dear Member,

I wonder if we are yet getting used to this new way of life? If you are enjoying the peace, the birdsong, the time, the garden, then take pleasure in these times. If you are finding time hanging a little heavy, then I have some ideas for you.

But first I thought I should re-iterate to you all the cancellation of the April, May and June lectures. Also the postponement of the May 20th outing to Floors Castle. We hope this latter will be arranged for later this year, or perhaps next, as will be the Day of Special Interest at Raehills.

Further, I am sure you will be pleased to know that the committee took the decision to pay the lecturers their full fee for the cancelled lectures – with the exception of Imogen Corrigan, the April lecturer, who preferred to be rebooked for the 21/22 programme. As I’m sure you are aware, most of the Arts Society accredited lecturers are free-lance, meaning that the Covid 19 developments will be very challenging to their sources of income. I know that they are by no means the only ones, and it is exceedingly worrying for all. But we felt we could and should honour our contracts with them.

What can we do to keep you occupied and enjoying the arts?

The Arts Society HQ is planning all sorts of news items, blogs and other connections. Please do keep your eye on their website and browse around to see what they are doing. Lecturers will give ‘mini talks’ on line, there are chances to take part in on-line discussions and much more. It might be a good introduction to getting interactive with a website – and HQ is really trying hard to offer things to members during this time. Give it a go – and you can always ask me or the Webmaster for help if you get stuck.

I mentioned in my last email. A fantastic sight to explore around your favourite paintings, artists and collections in the UK.

You may already have discovered some of the other wonderful things being put online, free, by various arts organizations. Here are just some of them – google the organization and you will get through to the material:

National Theatre: From tonight (2 April) one production will be streamed for a week at a time, starting with ‘One man two guvnors’ – a hilarious tour de force.

Metropolitan Opera New York: Streaming a different opera recording (sight and sound) every 24 hours.

Royal Opera House/Ballet: Streaming various programmes etc. via youtube – check on the main website.

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra: sign up for a month’s free streaming of performances.

The British Museum: has a good and wide-ranging digital presence ranging over all its collections – access it via the website.

Have you heard of any organization putting things online for us all to enjoy during these times?

Please do let us know. You could email me, and I will make sure it gets around the membership and onto our website.

Take care, all. I know many will be worrying about friends and family still working in the NHS, and in other jobs we suddenly realize are so important to our lives. And we will all be worrying about friends and family and their health, particularly in ‘hot spots’. It’s hard to see where and when and how the other side of this strange period will come, but it will, and must take care of ourselves and our friends and support each other. 

Solace in music, art, drama, is often a great comfort. I hope it may be to you.

Best wishes, Amanda