Visits to art galleries and museums during a time of COVID-19 The Stuart Low Trust organise regular group outings and visits to art galleries, museums and places of artistic interest. Over the last year we have visited the ‘Loudest Whispers’ exhibition, Kenwood House and the Frieze Sculpture in Regent’s Park. These visits enable members of the Stuart Low Trust community to increase access to the arts and in turn increasing cultural capital. According to the Cultural Learning Alliance, current ideas relating to cultural capital centre on knowledge of a wide range of culture. Individuals have knowledge of both ‘high culture’ and emerging culture such as Grime. We end each visit with a cup of tea and an opportunity to chat with others. These discussions explore the ideas seen as part of the visit, how they relate to other parts of culture and how these impact on the individuals there. Art Visits during COVID-19 Since March 2020 the Stuart Low Trust has suspended all face to face activities. As a result, we have encouraged Stuart Low Trust members to enjoy the arts whilst social distancing with these virtual arts visits. Many of the world’s leading art galleries and museums have made their collections available online. In some ways this has broadened access to the arts, enabling individuals to see artworks that are normally reserved for visitors. Easing of Lockdown and our Arts Visits Although some art galleries have started to allow visitors, the Stuart Low Trust is not currently running group trips. We take the health, wellbeing and safety of our participants, volunteers and staff extremely seriously. Stuart Low Trust is adhering to government guidelines and is communicating with our delivery partners regularly. You can read more about our current position regarding COVID-19 (add link to blog). Many of the galleries that have re-opened have implemented a range of social distancing measures, which mean that they cannot accommodate group visits at this time. In the meantime, we would encourage you to visit galleries independently, if you feel able to do so. We have written a set of tips to support with post-lockdown anxiety to help members of the Stuart Low Trust community ease into the ‘new normal’. Planning your visit to art galleries and museums in London We have put together information to help you plan your visit to art galleries and museums in London. Which art galleries in London are open? Check with individual art galleries and museums to find out whether they are open. Not all of the art galleries and museums in London have chosen to re-open at this time. What are some of the extra safety measures in place? Each art gallery and museum has put in measures to ensure that everyone is safe and to avoid overcrowding and ensure social distancing can be maintained. These include the following: Visitor numbers will be restricted Timed entry slots Tickets must be pre-booked (Members as well as non-members) Additional cleaning regimes Hand sanitisers available with visitors being encouraged to use it regularly One-way systems, which guide you through the buildings Distance markers making it easier to maintain social distance Staff using PPE, including masks, gloves and the use of plastic screens for staff Will I have to wear PPE? Check with the art galleries and museums you are planning to visit. However, most venues seem to advise you to wear PPE, but it is not mandatory to do so. Will facilities such as the toilets, cloakroom and cafe be open? Toilets are open at art galleries and museums. Some cafes are open, but with increased cleaning and limited visitor numbers. Some places are keeping cloakrooms closed and asking you not to wear bulky coats or bring large bags. How will I get to the art gallery or museum? Plan your route to the art gallery or museum. Travel outside of peak times and use a non-medical face covering for the entirety of your journey. Carry a hand sanitiser and wash your hands before and after you travel. For more information about travelling around London, look at the London Assembly website. Support the Stuart Low Trust to re-open our activities We take the health, wellbeing and safety of our participants, volunteers and staff extremely seriously. Stuart Low Trust is adhering to government guidelines and is communicating with our delivery partners regularly. We are still developing an understanding of the steps that need to be taken in order to move towards re-opening our activities. This process may take some time and we will update you with the latest developments. We would also like to hear from members of the Stuart Low Trust community to find out more about how we can support you during this time. Please share your views with us by taking our survey: https://stuartlowtrust.typeform.com/to/BFpisk We hope that you stay safe and well and are managing to stay positive in this uncertain situation.