Lockdown YouTube Artis Celebrities!


By Caroline Hotchkiss (Toot), Artis Learning and Performance Manager

I’m a freelance artist and I’ve worked for Artis for almost 15 years. The last five years, I’ve been in the role as a Performance and Learning Manager with the privilege of ensuring we provide high quality training and professional development opportunities for our Artis Specialists.


I’d like to tell you about our amazing specialists and how they’ve responded to the pandemic, and the changes we’ve had to make and overcome.


How we responded to the pandemic

Continuity and progression is at the heart of the delivery of Artis. As you can imagine, when the pandemic came, everything stopped. Once we’d decided to go online, our mentors and mentor leaders leapt into action to create an online training reporting resource for the specialists. We wanted to ensure that they were comfortable filming themselves, pre-recorded from home, and check that everyone had the right kit. They were also given lots of examples on top tips for filming and planning sessions and how to adapt their activities so they were effective online. It was essential that our specialists could continue to reach out and continue the learning, they were doing with their children in school. It was vital that the children could see the same familiar face and that learning could just continue as it was.


YouTube celebrities!

Through these remote video sessions being viewed in homes where parents could see their children participating in these amazing online sessions somehow, Artis Specialists became YouTube celebrities! We managed to get the videos to the scores with this amazing team and had over 1,602 videos created and viewed over 26,441 times.


This time of year, we get feedback from our school to see how things have been going. One Artis Specialist when arriving back in school for the first time after lockdown had teachers and staff they’d never met before, greeting her as a long-lost friend or celebrity! Parents raved about how they saw Pop teach resilience & explores language in her sessions regularly and could see the progress made by their children at home, before their very eyes. In this instance, as Pop was able to speak the first language of some EAL students the school is finding they now have more Brazilian families wanting to join the school just so they’re able to take part in Pops various fun Artis sessions to improve their language skills and feel secure. This all after seeing how effective the online videos are, really fantastic to hear.


How did we recruit specialists during the pandemic?

And one of the last things I’d like to say is that through the pandemic, we were able to run a recruitment for new specialist’s artists coming on. It was quite a different recruitment we had to do it online as usually, as you can imagine we’re usually very active, interactive, getting to know the people really well before they would join us. We were inundated with extremely experienced performers who would usually be working, say in the West End or out there performing on a regular basis. We took on Artists who had sadly lost a lot of performance work, I think we took on up to four people who have actually worked in school during this past year for us, it’s absolute delight to have their amazing performance skills.  One of the key things we require from our specialists working in school is that they’re highly trained performing artists, that’s really important for us to ensure we are engaging the children and sharing high quality beautiful work with them.


A huge thank you and well done to all the wonderful Artis team delivering in schools and from their homes throughout the pandemic!

03 Jun 2021

Registered Charity Number 1174635