Creative Courant: Newsletter #3

Welcome to week three of the Creative Courant and day ? of quarantine! Oddly enough, it seems my family has adapted and we are finding a groove in our days.  Still, the news headlines are full of sorrow and harrowing stories from the heroes on the front lines and my local government has extended our shelter-in-place order ‘indefinitely.’  As we settle into this new norm, such as it is, I’m finding an abundance of creativity at work in very large and small ways. There’s my friend in Rome who gerryrigged a pulley to pick some flowers out of arm's reach of her apartment window, or the massive Global Citizen event: One World; Together At Home with artists performing and storytelling. While vastly different in scale, both had the same intent-to bring a bit of beauty to a tough situation.

Wishing you a week of beauty and creativity. Enjoy this week’s collection of stories and activities (which seem to be increasing ten-fold each week!).




  • A New Kind of To-Go Order. A New Orleans restaurant rigged a zipline to deliver its fried chicken to customers at a safe distance. A testament to dwellers of the Big Easy that nothing gets in between them and a great meal!

  • For Art’s Sake. Check out this article for insights from ten creatives of all fields and located all around the world, including architects Frank Gehry and Maya Lin. The artists share their perspectives on how their art has evolved due to the pandemic, and describe the ways in which their creative endeavors have been influenced by the places in which they have been quarantined.Check out the  recommendations for books, music, and art that they find particularly inspiring in this time.

  • Something New On Tap. A brewery in Atlanta ‘tapped’ its creativity with new beers. Learn about their flavors in their “Fauci Spring” and “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” just to name a couple.

  • Film Studios Shift To Homes. This article describes the ways in which the film industry is adapting to producing during quarantine. To create Maggie Monteith’s recent project The Agoraphobics Detective Society, the producer worked with actors to allow them to film an eight-part series from their own homes, utilizing creative processes in order to ensure her vision could be carried out without her (or any of the other dozens of essential crew members on a typical set) being physically present.

  • A New Kind of ‘CleanTech’. This article illustrates a few of the ways entrepreneurs are creating innovative products that benefit public health. London furniture designer Steve Brooks created a “hygeinehook” to open doors without any need to use the door handle. Seattle Startup Slightly Robot designed a bracelet that buzzes to remind a user not to touch their face. Read here for more!

  • How Art Aids Science. While many of the top news stories relate to innovation in scientific fields, this article is a great reminder of the importance of creativity within all fields. Titled “Why Science Needs Art,” it describes the benefits of using sculptures and photography to demonstrate scientific knowledge and even using illustration in order to discover further information.

A WORLD OF CREATIVITY: Some activities you can do or enjoy  at home from around the globe.


  • MOMA in NYC is offering several free courses on Coursera ranging from Postwar Abstract Painting to Fashion as Design.
  • The National Public Radio’s popular concert series “Tiny Desk” has evolved during quarantine, transitioning from concerts of small audiences filmed in NPR’s Washington D.C. offices to concerts filmed from artist’s tiny desks at their own homes. These “Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts” feature artists including Michael McDonald, Margo Price, and pianist Lang Lang, along with new videos of unreleased Tiny Desk shows filmed pre-pandemic. The annual Tiny Desk Contest, which awards smaller artists with the chance to perform their own Tiny Desk show, has also evolved due to COVID-19 and will accept video entries similarly filmed from the artist’s homes.
  • Darren McGrady, who worked as a chef at Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace for  Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana for 11 years, has started a YouTube channel to provide quarantine cooking classes. He claims the recipes he features in the series are some of the Royals’ favorite foods, including Queen Elizabeth’s favorite scones and Prince William and Harry’s favorite peanut butter and jelly muffins. While the recipes look delicious, his sweet commentary while he cooks and stories about the Royals make the videos that much more enjoyable.
  • Click here to watch a virtual tour of the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show “Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope.” The Garden’s Director of Glasshouse Collections and Senior Orchid Curator, Marc Hachadourian, provides a twenty-minute tour of the exhibit with shots of the plants from all angles. Throughout the tour, Hachadourian shares facts about the artist’s inspiration as well as information about the orchids themselves.
  • London’s Courtald Institute is offering free virtual tours. The virtual tour uses a new photographic technique to show The Courtauld Gallery in exceptional close-up quality. You can roam each room of the Gallery, as it was before it temporarily closed in September 2018, and zoom in to look closely at masterpieces from our collection such as Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear or Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, from individual brush strokes to the texture of the paint.
  • Chicago’s Music Box Theater is offering streaming of art house films to help supplement its lost income. Choose from a selection of 9 movies to help support this storied theater.
  • London’s National Theatre at Home launched on YouTube on April 2, and now, every Thursday (7pm BST/2pm EST) sees a new National Theatre play released – free to watch for one week – along with bonus content including cast and creative Q&As and post-stream talks.
  • The Smithsonian is offering open access to millions of digital items from its collections (2.8 million at February 2020 launch). They have released these images and data into the public domain as Creative Commons Zero (CC0), meaning you can use, transform, and share our open access assets without asking permission from the Smithsonian.
  • Newly-launched Viking TV is offering “At Home At Highclere Castle”. Every Friday at 1PM CST, The Countess of Carnarvon live streams from Highclere Castle, where hit TV series Downton Abbey was filmed.

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