ARU’s Creative Response to COVID-19

By Ciéra Cree – The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care (FHEMS) Arts and Well-Being Research Interest Group are seeking to learn more about how staff and students…

By Ciéra Cree

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care (FHEMS) Arts and Well-Being Research Interest Group are seeking to learn more about how staff and students have been engaging with arts, cultural and creative activities during the lockdown period caused by COVID-19. The idea stemmed from the creative approach of the public displaying rainbows for the NHS in their windows, but in terms of this research the umbrella of “creativity” reaches far further out.

By “engaging” in these areas the research is not only referring to actively creating, for example, by drawing, writing, painting and playing instruments, but also engaging with the arts virtually through the likes of Zoom groups, watching gigs online and by taking digital gallery tours.

In regards to becoming involved, if you so wish, it is simple. There is a three-part survey available for staff and students to fill out which takes only around ten minutes to complete in total. The first part of the survey asks participants via multiple choice to select which creative activities, from a list, that they have engaged with over the lockdown period both within their households as well as online. The second part asks for some details about you such as which faculty, age group ect that you fall under as well as whether any specific COVID-19 circumstances applied to you (e.g – shielding, assisting a vulnerable person ect). And lastly there is a short set of multiple choice questions about your wellbeing.

Participants are additionally offered the opportunity to write a haiku about their lockdown experiences or feelings, and to provide an email address for contact in relation to sharing some of the projects that they have been working on in an online exhibition space.

‘We aim to capture the range of activities [that] staff and students have engaged in, the motivations behind this engagement, and the perceived impact it has had. We are also inviting photos of your artwork/creations to be put into a virtual exhibition as well as an exhibition on campus when it is safe to do so.’

ARU Researchers

The research group intends to send out a follow-up survey in six months time in order to track shifts in the creative engagement of people after this time has (hopefully) passed or, at least, progressed. If participants would like to elaborate on their responses to anything within the survey via an interview, or if you have any further questions about the project in general, please get in touch with Dr Ceri Wilson at for more information.

Click here to access the survey.

*Deadline for survey responses is August 16th, 2020*

Who are the researchers? : Dr Hilary Bungay, Dr Ceri Wilson, Professor Carol Munn-Giddings, Anna Dadswell and Dr Sally-Anne Francis. The wider FHEMS Arts and Well-Being Research Interest group are also advertising on the project.

Image: Rhondak on Unsplash

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