A range of projects we ran during Covid, supporting artists, creativity and wellbeing.

During summer 2020, we facilitated 8 arts projects in our Creativity in Crisis programme. The activities aimed to support our communities during lockdown. Scroll down to see the broad range of creative projects that were delivered.

Have you ever dreamed of writing your own story?  Artist Katy Weir would like to invite you to do this from the comfort of your own home by creating a “Twine” (an interactive story-telling tool using a gaming format) suitable for all ages that will lead to a digital gallery celebrating the importance of creativity to the people and place “where we are from”.

There will be opportunities to explore writing and art, take part in discussions on culture, try out stop-motion, drama and dance all from your living room, kitchen table, back bedroom (or wherever else you use your device in your home) and guided by a team of professional creatives who will give you ideas and worksheets to help you along the way.

Katy’s workshops are as follows:

  • Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm via Zoom – Stop Motion Animation, age 11+
  • Thursday, 29th October 2020, 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm via Zoom – Creative Writing, age 16+

Contact Katy on the email address below for more details on how to get involved in either or both workshops.

Katy Weir

How to take part:

Email Katy: thisiswherewearefrom@gmail.com

Watch Katy’s video here: This is Where We Are From



Penny Randall-Davis, a professional singer, is offering you the opportunity to get engaged with singing live and on your doorstep (at a safe distance of course!).  This could mean singing along with Penny songs of your choice, some simple and gentle movement and breath work, a bespoke performance by Penny or a combination of all three.  You’re sure to feel refreshed and energised and will certainly have fun!

Anyone can take part in the session on your doorstep, there are no barriers to singing with Penny so all ages and abilities are encouraged to take part.

Penny Randall-Davis

How to take part:

Email Penny: pennyrandall-d@hotmail.co.uk

Phone Penny on 07918 182372

Watch Penny’s video here: Doorstep Singing



Are you missing this year’s agriculture shows?  The Showstoppers photography competition is an opportunity to continue our local traditions of making, creating and showing off the results of our passions and pastimes in friendly competiton.

The beauty of photography is that it can be used to show things to other people at a distance.  These might be moments we find beautiful, striking, touching, funny or important and things we are proud of such as a fabulous flower we have grown or the best cake you have ever made!

The Wideyed Team

How to take part:

Email Wideyed: wideyedphotos@gmail.com

Phone Wideyed: 07814 692657

Full details of how to enter, closing date for the competition and helpful hints on how to take a fantastic photo are here: showstoppers schedule


Artist Hollie-ann Coleman collaborated with people of all ages, abilities and cultures within Weardale and beyond giving them the opportunity to come together to create a piece of online dance inspired by the impact and restrictions that lockdown has had on our lives.

Participants worked to a simple brief – “Every Lockdown has a Silver Lining.  What’s Yours?” – and through movement only, showed something that kept spirits up during lockdown and might even continue to do when lockdown eases.  It could be anything: gardening, yoga, painting, socially-distanced hugs, climbing the equivalent of Mt Everest on your staircase…

Hollie-ann guided those taking part through the process both artistically and tecnically helping them to use movement and dance inventively then creating a 10 second video of themselves.   Hollie-ann then choreographed a dance sequence using individual contributions for everyone to take part in and create the final piece.

See the final video here: Every Lockdown Has A Silver Lining

Artist: Hollie-ann Coleman


Join Katharine in a fun, inclusive and inspiring time as together you explore, record and share the experience of being a new mum at this time.

Hands That Can is a creative writing and journaling workshop for new-ish mums. It’s a chance to catch those precious moments which so easily get lost in the everyday, to meet new people and to explore something different – just for yourself.  

 You don’t need to be an expert and you don’t need any special equipment. Bring just a pen and paper, or if you’d like to get creative with paint, card, playdough or whatever you have around, that’s great too. You will be meeting on Zoom to play with words and images, colours, lists, first lines, letters, blackout and found poetry, modern descriptions of motherhood and our own ideas. 

The Zoom sessions will be very relaxed about taking breaks and babies joining in, as they do! If you’d like to, there will be the chance to turn your work into postcards to celebrate your creativity 

Katharine Goda

How to take Part:

Email Katharine: hands_that_can@yahoo.com

Contact with Katharine on her Facebook page here: Hands That Can Facebook

Watch Katharine’s video here: Hands That Can


On 18th March, 2020 the lives of our school children changed beond recognitions as the Government announced schools would close two days later owing to COVID-19.  Immediately children lost their routine and more importantly, their own community.

As a way to address children becoming disengaged and despondent with their learning and interactions (as observed by school staff), artist Gemma McColl asked children from Middleton-in-Teesdale Primary School to respond to their time in lockdown by creating a piece of art through a choice of three mediums: sculpture, textiles or collage.

The children shared their artwork with each other and reflected on how it related to their lockdown experience.

As time was of the essence before schools finished for summer, this project is now completed but we will share pictures of the artwork when available.

Gemma McColl


A Class Displaced working on Zoom


In response to the far-reaching repercussions of COVID-19, artists Edward Cole and Lizzie Klotz created a short film archive made up of the thoughts, feelings and views of  individuals and groups based in south-west County Durham about the impact of the current situation.  They did this by asking one simple question – “what are your views?”

Ed and Lizzie did two things:

  1. engaged with participants to address the impact of time spent in lockdown and/or isolation working with them to express and creatively document their experience
  2. created a time capsule for future generations to be able to see first hand the unparalleled effects of the COVID-19 crisis in an insightful and educational way

In response to the question “what are your views?”, participants were encouraged to explore their physical view as well as their more personal reactions to the question thus gathering a wealth of material which is intimate, creative, artistically diverse and specific to the COVID-19 crisis.

Ed Cole
Lizzie Klotz

See the final film by Ed and Lizze here: Letters in Lockdown


Living Rooms is an animation project inspired by the spaces we live in and the world just outside our windows.

Artist Sheryl Jenkins worked with participants to create an animated film through a series of online sessions which included animation skills development, film planning and editing, and creative tasks.

The participants (of all ages and abilities) were invited to submit drawings, stories, ideas, audio and video, and animated work which were combined to create a film that can be broadcast, shared online, exhibited as an installation and submitted for festival screenings.

Even if participants couldn’t join online, they were still able to take part.  Sheryl shared a creative brief with these participants explaining how they could still share material inspired by their current space –  such things included a comforting sound, a calming view or a family joke and also included the story behind the choice.

The artist: Sheryl JenkinsSee the video of all the participants’ animations here: Living Rooms