Welcome to the first newsletter of the Creative Courant! Thanks for signing up to get some good news, which I’m happy to share as a reminder that even in the face of a pandemic, the power of creativity and problem solving can overcome massive obstacles.
The first set of articles is an overview of some interesting and uplifting developments, from the first ever Zoom music video and virtual pub to a 12 year-old Boy Scount prototyping a better mask design with his 3-D printer so front-liners can wear them in greater comfort.
The second section is a brief round-up of innovation and creative activities you can do at home.
Celebrate that you’ve made it through another week of quarantine with reading some good news. Have a good weekend!
- A 21-year old college student created fabric face masks with plastic components specifically designed for deaf and hard of hearing wearers. Her college courses in education for the deaf and hard of hearing provided her with information to make the masks more accessible for ASL speakers and those with cochlear implants or hearing aids. You can read more here.
- A “virtual pub” on Facebook has gained over 21 thousand members from around the world, who stream comedians and musicians’ shows to promote community and provide revenue for both the bar employees and performers. Internationally, employees of the “pub” are working to ensure virtual content is available to users in all time zones at all times.
- In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, robots can free up human hospital medical staff and limit the possibility of virus spread. Beijing-based robotics company CloudMinds sent 14 robots to Wuhan, China to help with patient care amid the coronavirus pandemic. The robots can clean and disinfect, deliver medicine to patients and measure patients’ temperature. CloudMinds donated robots to several medical facilities in China, including the Wuhan Wuchang Smart Field Hospital, which was converted from the Hong Shan Sports Center. You can read more and see a video of the robots in action here.
- Innovators at an Irish startup built a robot that disinfects hospitals through ultraviolet light significantly faster than standard cleaning procedures. If approved, “Robot Violet” may be beneficial by more efficiently cleaning hospitals, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read more here
- The first major music video made entirely on Zoom dropped this week, and it is pretty great. This could be the beginning of a new era. Check it out!
- A 12 year old boy scout in Canada invented a mask that is more comfortable to wear by prototyping using his 3-D printer. The strap has notches so the wearer can loop the mask’s elastic straps around whichever notches are most comfortable, allowing them to adjust the tension while keeping the mask firmly in place. You can read more about this wunderkid here.
A WORLD OF CREATIVITY: Some activities you can do at home from around the globe.
Los Angeles’ Getty Museum created an art challenge that could be completed while staying at home, by asking social media to post photos of their homemade replications of famous artwork. The Getty’s social media has received thousands of responses, with submissions inspired by artwork from all of the diverse collections the museum holds. You can read more here.
Thanks to the Dyson engineers, you can download a free set of 44 engineering and science experiments, all of which demonstrate basic principles of science and physics, and are buildable with common household items including balloons, plastic bottles, dish soap, and eggs.
The Saint Louis Art Museum produced a “Slow Art Experience” guided meditation based on the Gerhard Richter piece Ölberg. The video, which is just under 5 minutes, uses the painting’s details to help viewers practice mindfulness.
The Academy Art Museum of Easton, Maryland, created and distributed free kits filled with items like colored pencils, Model Magic, and glue sticks to provide artistic resources to children in their community. These items were made available to students in the area while they picked up free lunches from their elementary school. Click here for more information on this story.
Through Google Arts and Culture, families can go on virtual tours of film sets, art and history museums, and various cultural sites ranging from the Taj Mahal to La Sagrada Familia. The site includes virtual collections based on specific artists, as well as art movements.
Martha Stewart launched a quarantine project geared toward families called Homeschool With Martha. Through both Instagram videos and posts on the Martha Stewart website, families can follow recipes, crafts, and other activities that promote creativity during the quarantine.
I hope these provide you with some happy distraction. Stay healthy and stay home!