WILTSHIRE Creative has today launched a new online programme of work to entertain and inspire audiences during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wiltshire Creative Connects offers a mix of creative opportunities - from interviews and behind-the-scenes films, to family activities and support for local artists - which will be available free online throughout the summer.

And everyone has an opportunity to contribute ideas.

Wiltshire Creative’s artistic director Gareth Machin said: “Even though Salisbury Playhouse and Salisbury Arts Centre are currently closed and the 2020 Salisbury International Arts Festival has been cancelled, we know that culture has a vital part to play in these uncertain times, offering entertainment, perspective and inspiration.

"While we are busy planning for when we can welcome everyone back to our venues, we want to stay connected with our loyal community of audiences, participants and local artists, as well as engage with those at home who may discover us for the first time.

“Wiltshire Creative Connects presents what we do in a new and accessible way, offering both the familiar and the new, and bringing that into everyone’s homes.”

Events include Artist of the Week, profiling some of the artists who either live locally or work regularly with Wiltshire Creative. This will begin with a portrait of Mirka Golden-Hann, ceramic artist and Wiltshire Creative’s head of visual arts.

Another regular feature will be The Big Interview, an opportunity to enjoy a full-length conversation with personalities who have worked with Wiltshire Creative in the past, either on stage or behind the scenes.

The first guest will be Chris Chibnall, writer of Salisbury Playhouse’s hit comedy Worst Wedding Ever. In conversation with Gareth Machin, Chris will discuss how he came up with the idea for the play and how it became one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions.

As well as a playwright, Chris’s television work includes creating ITV’s Broadchurch and, currently, head writer and executive producer of BBC’s Doctor Who.

There will also be opportunities to reflect and look back at the history of Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury Playhouse and Salisbury International Arts Festival, as well as the first two years of Wiltshire Creative. This will include interviews, short films and photo galleries.

The acclaimed Take Part department will also be going online, with opportunities including regular smARTies fun for under 5s and their families and Mind the Gap Connects, offering creative challenges for older people. There will also be online creative activities including writing workshops for young people of all ages.

Wiltshire Creative’s artist development programme will feature a range of opportunities for our community of artists, including script reading, masterclasses and advice surgeries.

Wiltshire Creative would love to hear from anyone who has ideas about what could be included in the Wiltshire Creative Connects programme during the coming months. Suggestions can be sent to info@wiltshirecreative.co.uk

For more about Wiltshire Creative Connects go to wiltshirecreative.co.uk or follow Wiltshire Creative on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.