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Stuff to do: Stuck at home but not stuck for ideas

We may all be spending an awful lot more time inside our homes than we are used to doing. And, yes, classes and activities have had to shut down. But we are about to show you that this does not mean you have to stop enjoying new books, art, crafts, history, or music performances. There is lots of great online stuff you can find for free, being offered locally. There is fun educational stuff for children, too.

Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery

While Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery is closed, there are still ways to get inspired and engaged with the historic building and contemporary programmes through online learning and creative activities – including tutorials and downloadable resources.

Some of them are already available at www.pitzhanger.org.uk/learn/online-learning/ with more to come on a regular basis.

The team there have started a weekly series called Pitzhanger Picks (#PitzPicks) where they share a selection of their favourite activities and links related to Pitzhanger and the cultural sector. You can find those posted on social media @Pitzhanger or you can visit the website at www.pitzhanger.org.uk/pitzhanger-picks-pitzpicks/

Pitzhanger has also started a project on social media in collaboration with the Sir John Soane Museum asking people to ‘make their own house museum’. The challenge asks you to take a picture of an object or architectural feature in your own house and design your own museum label with a title, date, material and a short description. You can then post it on Instagram or Twitter with the tags @Pitzhanger, @SoaneMuseum and #museumathome

Here is the link with more details: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-b_3qfnWIw/?utm_source=ig

Keep an eye out on Pitzhanger’s social media @Pitzhanger and website for further activities.

Lots going on through our libraries

There is plenty to do online through Ealing Libraries for you to take advantage of during the lockdown. Free of charge, you can explore the libraries’ tremendous range of services – from eBooks and audiobooks, to magazines and newspapers.

The ‘virtual library’ consists of language, educational and legal resources and you can also find encyclopaedias, citizenship information and even material that will be useful for when the lockdown ends, such as about learning to drive.

To take away any worry about having to return or renew items during the lockdown, the libraries have also set up automatic renewals on all items for the foreseeable future.

And, if you are not a library member and would like to take advantage of these online resources, you can join up online today.

Why not visit the website and social media pages for more details?

Gunnersbury Park Museum

Gunnersbury Park Museum is starting to move to a more online and virtual world, including a live Twitter broadcast with Dan Vo (who created the award-winning LGBTQ+ tours at the V&A Museum).

He has been working with the museum on a project called Build Your Own Museum and one of his ideas was to create a ‘digital listen party’, where people can contribute to a collaborative playlist and he creates videos with facts and commentary to run alongside these. So far, the museum has hosted a Dusty Springfield listen party (representing Ealing), and a Freddie Mercury one (Hounslow). These projects will be available on podcast but the Twitter broadcast can be found here and the collaborate playlist is here

There will be more to come. And Jan De Schynkel, the museum’s arts and culture manager, said: “We are continuing to look at meaningful and engaging ways that the museum can maintain a profile and share the history of Ealing and Hounslow during these times. I am planning to post a new video series on social media with weekly videos about objects, places and stories from the local area too, and there are other plans for digital engagement in the works. There’s an old adage that states that art has the power to comfort the disturbed and to disturb the comfortable. If ever there is a time when we all needed comfort and to feel togetherness, it is now during the Coronavirus islolation period.”

Arts and more

Acton-based arts group Artification put together a heritage project a few years ago with local people. It captured some amazing stories and such a wealth of local knowledge. It is well worth a revisit. You can see the film via the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sICuZ-lDe8

Meanwhile, a taste of the Through the Lens photography exhibition curation by Jonah Rees can be seen in a short film courtesy of ARTi volunteer and artist Yasmin Centeno.

Keep an eye on the website for more Artification updates and activities to get involved in.

Film on rock history

The Ealing Club will forever be remembered as the birthplace of British rhythm and blues and the Rolling Stones. Throughout 1962 the Rolling Stones cut their teeth at the Ealing Blues Club, eventually forming the legendary line-up and playing there together for the first time in 1963.

As Ealing News Extra has previously reported, the Ealing Club has worked with a film-maker to produce a fantastic film about this story of Ealing being the ‘cradle of rock’ and Suburban Steps To Rockland was made available for free (in the UK) as part of a limited seven-day subscription to NOW TV. And it is also being shown on Sky Arts for those who have access to that channel.

However, Ealing News Extra also has three copies of the film on DVD (and some other goodies) to give away in a competition. It will be on this website later in April. Keep coming back to check and follow @EalingNewsExtra on Twitter.

‘Live’ music

St Michael and All Angels Church in Bedford Park, Chiswick, is sharing its monthly organ concerts online They are played and recorded remotely before being posted on the church’s website.

And St Mary’s Church in Perivale has pledged to show a concert every day at 4 pm, starting today (Monday, 6 April), until this crisis is over. The concerts will be streamed and then remain available for viewing afterwards.

Educational fun

Brentford FC Community Sports Trust is giving primary school children a maths challenge with a difference – a mental arithmetic game, using the Brentford players’ shirt numbers as part of a board. A downloadable PDF will give you the board and the rules, and away you go.

Healthy Ealing has put together an information sheet with ideas and suggestions to help support the learning, and health and emotional wellbeing of your pupils and their family during this time. To get top tips on staying healthy download the free PDF

It is also a difficult time for children who will be hearing about coronavirus and may be feeling anxious. There is also advice in the free PDF to help with this, as well as the offer of a daily email that includes an exercise video and lesson plans.

You can sign up for this daily tips email by contacting McGregorN@ealing.gov.uk with the words ‘OPT IN’ in the subject heading. The daily updates will include: 

  • A daily, fun exercise video for you to do first thing in the morning to help you/your family stay active and start your day well 
  • Lesson plans ideas and educational games for your pupils 
  • Important news updates so that you can avoid reading news altogether if it is making you anxious 
  • PLUS: A recipe of the day; mental health tip of the day; and inspiring podcasts, craft ideas and documentaries for your leisure time.

Seen any other useful places for people to check out?

If you have spotted other examples of local ‘virtual culture’, or have created your own, why not send it to us and we might include the best in future updates. Email them to ealinghomeactivities@gmail.com

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