At the beginning of 2020, none of us could have predicted what life would look like now in the spring. And certainly none of us at Arts for Learning could have known our Norfolk office would be turned into a makeshift video production studio.
Less than two months ago, our program team, joined by sixteen artists on the Arts for Learning roster, rallied to start creating ten-minute video segments for students learning at home, so the arts could remain part of their daily curriculum.
But there was a steep learning curve for artists and staff alike.
“It’s been a matter of working through the kinks,” as Noel puts it. From the beginning, she’s worked directly with our artists to talk through the process of creating the Take 10 videos, conversations that have taken up to two hours long and have included detailed instructions of social distancing protocols and safety measures taken before, during, and after recording. Only one of A4L’s artists had any experience producing live or recorded videos of their art. And Kirkpatrick and Noel also quickly realized they needed new equipment for better audio and video quality. The latest additions are a new directional microphone and LED lighting, made possible in part by a grant from the Community Knights Foundation.
“The quality has really expanded since the beginning of the process until now. Just watching the edited videos, it’s like, wow! Look how far we’ve come,” Kirkpatrick says. “Every session has brought with it a new lesson for me about how to approach the work.” One of Kirkpatrick’s latest projects certainly wasn’t included in his job description when he was started at A4L in January—it involved a trip to Lowe’s to buy PVC pipe and vellum paper to build a homemade light diffuser.
Noel is especially grateful to the artists who have participated in Take 10. “The fact that they have trusted us as an organization with their health is very important to me.”
“I’m just thankful for our artists’ willingness to be creative and share their art. Take 10 happened because artists said yes to trying something different.”
Kirkpatrick agrees. “We all have pent-up creativity right now. So to see an outlet be created and have artists come in and do their own thing, it’s really good vibes.”
So what’s next for our digital programming? Stay tuned, as they say in the news business. We’re working on the next phase and look forward to sharing details soon.
You can watch our Take 10 videos anytime on our YouTube channel, with music, dance, storytelling, crafts, and more to choose from.
Like what you see? We’re paying our artists to create Take 10 videos, but we don’t receive any money to produce them. Can you give $10 to Take 10? Donate here!