Midsummer Arts Festival 2021

Monday, June 21, 2021

Mersey Care and its cultural partners are delighted to be able to bring together a number of virtual themed creative activities at The Life Rooms this coming week to coincide with Midsummer.

Under normal circumstances we’d be able to welcome scores of people into The Life Rooms in person, like we did at our inaugural Midsummer Arts Festival at The Life Rooms Bootle in 2019 when local celebrity and famous footballer Jamie Carragher (pictured) launched the event.

(Caption: Look back to two years ago when Jamie joined us)

 

However the pandemic has not stopped us from offering participants a packed programme of activities, free taster sessions, performance and much more through our online resources at The Life Rooms.

For the week commencing 21 June we have a range of activities organised for the Midsummer week, especially around creative writing as it coincides with National Writing Day due to take place on 23 June 2021. This year is also Liverpool's Year of Writing.

Creative Writing and Poetry: This Midsummer our newly-appointed Writer in Residence Maria Isakova Bennett (pictured above) will be running several themed creative writing sessions online with groups from The Life Rooms Walton, The Life Rooms Southport and The Life Rooms Bootle.

Although these sessions led by Maria are already fully booked up by existing group members, Maria, an award winning published writer, has produced a range of useful learning resources that you will be able to access via The Life Rooms’ website – and we welcome people to join future group sessions!

National Writers Event on The Life Rooms Zoom (23 June 1-3pm):

This will celebrate and share all the wonderful work produced in the creative Writing Zoom sessions held at The Life Rooms from October 2020 to June 2021. And to celebrate the national writers’ campaign we aim to give all the learners the opportunity to voice and share their creative writing pieces.

Digital Anthology: All learners that have attended any of the creative writing sessions have been invited to submit one creative piece such as a poem, short story, prose. They were also given the option of a photo/illustration to go alongside their writing that was also their own work. All pieces will be used to form part of a Digital Anthology produced by the Creative Writing Zoom session learners during Oct 2020 to June 21, to be accessed via Learn worlds or the Life Rooms’ website.

Creative Writing for Wellbeing session (1-2pm, 23 June) delivered by creative writing tutor Cathy and one of our learning facilitator: We will deliver a creative writing session workshop based on the National writing theme ‘Connect’. This will be a fun, creative-warm up session.

Performance of Shared Reading by Creative Writing for Wellbeing (2-3pm 23 June) by  Simone and Ben, Life Rooms facilitators: Learners are invited to read aloud one of their chosen pieces previously submitted. Learners can share images/illustration during their performance, or may wish to ask someone else to read on their behalf. At The Life Rooms we encourage everyone to take part but never pressure anyone to perform in front of others if they are not comfortable with it.

Note: Of the above events the groups are by invitation only for those participants who have attended at least one creative writing session this year in order to enable people to engage and read to the group if they choose. The digital anthology is open to anyone who wishes to contribute a piece of writing as there is no ongoing issue with time – contact The Life Rooms facilitators for more information and future involvement.

Let’s Dance…

Tuesday 22 June (11am) and Thursday 24 June (11am):  Our long time dance and movement partner organisation Movema will be holding two virtual sessions on Tuesday 22 June (11am) and Thursday 24 June (11am) – head over to our Online Learning and Zoom page for more info.

(Note: photo for illustrative purposes only and taken pre-COVID)

Music

During the pandemic we have continued to work with Liverpool Philharmonic to provide a range of virtual courses and opportunities for Mersey Care service users and The Life Rooms participants to enjoy the magic of music and the benefits it brings to wellbeing.

As part of one of our Life Rooms courses in March 2021, Liverpool Philharmonic have produced ‘Red’, a short video of a song written collaboratively by the students from the ‘Exploring Music Through Colour’ course with Liverpool Philharmonic and Life Rooms.

The song is a setting of a poem written by a student, and was composed by the group with guidance from musician Mandy and composer Ian Stephens. The students also found and created images based around the theme of the colour ‘Red’ to accompany the song. The piece is performed by Lead Musicians also husband and wife Ian and Mandy, pictured.

During the ‘Exploring Music Through Colour’ course, Mandy and the students explored and created music inspired by colour, thinking about how colours related to moods and how music might represent this. They also investigated how students’ colour-related written or visual creations could inspire musical improvisations.”

Watch a short video about the course

The Longest Day

The longest day of the year (summer solstice) is 21 June and official Midsummer’s Day, the middle of summer, falls on 24 June, after the longest day (Summer Solstice).

Last year we had to postpone our Midsummer Arts Festival due to the COVID-19 lockdown and instead held an autumn launch of the Arts at Home competition which was successful across a wide range of arts – to see some of the winning entries go to https://www.liferooms.org/arts-at-home-competition/

This year we are encouraging people interested in cultural arts and activities that promote mental health and wellbeing to access a range of our future online events via The Life Rooms website.

Look out for more information prior to National Poetry Day in October https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/