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By Emily Coulthard on

Bringing Bradford to you: The varied, the vibrant and the virtual

Missing the sights and sounds of historic Bradford? Have no fear, institutions and groups all over the city have been creating content for you. Here are some activities you can enjoy in between naps and cups of tea…

Creative connections

The time we’re spending at home right now has become the perfect opportunity to revisit a previous creative hobby or learn a new one. Cecil Green Arts, a collective of community-based visual artists, are challenging you every Friday at 09.30 to a specific artistic activity. Many have a Bradford theme—for example using only Bradford colours to construct artwork and, my personal favourite, using any and all materials to recreate a local landmark. Keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook page or the Cecil Green Arts Twitter to find out what the next challenge is…

For those of us who would like to gain a little peace by entertaining ourselves or our children in a low-key activity, check out children’s activities on the Peace Museum’s website. Here you can print out the template for a Peace Symbol Dreamcatcher to decorate and hang at home, or get out your colouring pencils and gain peace of mind while adding colour to peace-inspired shapes and designs. I’m feeling more relaxed already!

Feeling peaceful: Trying the Peace Museum activities at home

Social disco-ing

A budding artist requires a stimulating soundtrack, so why not draw, colour and create while listening to some vinyl records? The Anorak Attack Collective, a group of local Bradford folks who, in their own words, ‘put on gigs and parties and whatnot’, are keeping the music scene alive by livestreaming artists and undiluted home discos on their Facebook page. After all that hard work, it might be sensible to put down the pencils and have a cheeky boogie instead.

For those of you who prefer to create music rather than listen, there are several Bradford-based individuals and institutions, such as Danny Guitar and All Star Entertainment, offering music lessons through livestreams in both one-to-one and group session formats! It might be time to dust off that old guitar…

Managing movement

Many of us are currently working from home; taking a quick break to do some exercise can help to stretch out your arms and curb the slump in your shoulders caused by sitting at a desk. The excellent intercultural arts hub Kala Sangam are uploading videos of short, fun exercises you can do at home to their #KSMorningBreak YouTube channel every day. Below is my personal favourite, a 70s disco-inspired routine…

You might prefer to take a stroll outdoors to get your daily exercise. If so, look out for colourful and uplifting window dressings supporting those on the frontline, like this one spotted in Saltaire.

#HelloSaltaire project brightening up the windows of Saltaire (image used with permission)

Discover more fantastic, supportive images on the Saltaire Living Advent Calendar Facebook page and under the tag #HelloSaltaire.

Sofa tours

Some of our favourite Bradford heritage sites are creating virtual ways to explore their sites from afar. Bradford Cathedral’s family activities include a virtual trail quiz—download it on their website and use the Discover Bradford Cathedral page to help answer the questions. Learn about the history and importance of the site without having to step outdoors!

The Cliffe Castle Museum in Keighley has also created a virtual reality tour where you can explore the beautiful interiors and learn about the historical objects they have on display.

Screenshot of Cliffe Castle Museum virtual tour
Explore Cliffe Castle Museum through a virtual tour

Finally, you can still get your National Media and Science Museum fix while in your pyjamas! Discover ways to explore the National Science and Media Museum at home, and for even more fun—including online games, video series and 3D objects—check out this blog post from the Science Museum Group.

The excellent virtual contributions of those above are just a small example of the fantastic activities you can join in with online. How Bradford has come together in this troubling time to help, inspire and invigorate those isolating at home provokes faith in the power of community, and hope in the effectiveness of technology to bring us together in spirit when we are physically further apart than ever. Stay home, stay safe, and stay inspired.

This post has explored some, but certainly not all, of the ways you can experience the vibrance of the city while keeping safe at home. There’s lots more to discover—Visit Bradford offer a whole collection of things to do while social distancing.

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