These online lectures, film screenings and live Q&As are all free for over-70s

Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 3:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 3:21 pm

A free arts programme aimed at those aged 70 or over will launch this week, including online lectures, live Q&As, and films.

UK arts education charity, The Arts Society, is the behind the programme, aimed at keeping the over-70s entertained during the current lockdown period.

Many of the Arts Society's 90,000 members belong to the over-70s age group, who have been advised to stay indoors as much as possible in the coming months to avoid contracting coronavirus.

Normally, the society spends its time helping to stage museum trips and events where members meet up face-to-face for cultural activities. With museums now closed and people remaining indoors, the society has been hit particularly hard by the crisis.

How does the programme work?

To mitigate the lack of face-to-face interaction and keep members connected, educated and entertained, the society's new arts programme will be hosted on a digital platform named The Arts Society Connected.

It will be free to members or anyone who wants to watch and take part in the regular lectures, forums and screenings on offer.

Lectures will take place fortnightly, while film screenings will take place on a monthly basis. A social media training package will also be available to anyone who feels they need it.

Florian Schweizer, the society’s chief executive, told the Guardian, “A lot of our members are more mature which is why our initial response was, ‘How can we get them connected back with each other and with us?’

“Local committees have all been chatting away on forums and are responding so well to the crisis. It really has been lovely and quite moving to see things that would have probably taken years to organise, happen within two or three weeks. I’m really proud of our members.”

The first lecture was given by art historian Jacqueline Cockburn on 7 April at 11am, but those interested can catch up on the lecture at any time.

Upcoming lectures include talks by Antiques Roadshow mainstays Marc Allum and Mark Hill, and art critic Sarah Dunnant. Tate curator and JMW Turner expert, Nicola Moorby, will be talking about the new £20 note, which features the artist's work.