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Short Film Shows How Artists With Down Syndrome Adapted Their Work During COVID-19

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A U.K.-based organization that supports artists with Down syndrome has released a new film exploring the lives of artists during the COVID-19 quarantine. “Artists in Lockdown” was created by filmmaker Chris Kenward for advocacy group Heart & Sold, and features 15 visual artists representing seven countries, exploring how their art survived and even thrived through the lockdown. “Coping with lockdown could have been a real challenge for our artists, but we saw instead that it became a time when their creativity shone out — while the world closed down, they escaped into their art,” Kenward told the York Express.

It is in times of crisis or stress we often turn to creativity to see us through, and this film reflects that. — Suzie Moffat, founder Heart & Sold

The Frontlines: “Artists in Lockdown” is a short film released on YouTube that delves into the way the artists have redirected their talents to cope with the changes, taking on new challenges and learning new skills. Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra copy of chromosome 21. The syndrome has a wide variety of characteristics such as by developmental delays, distinct physical features and may have accompanying medical problems.

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A Mighty Voice: Our contributor, Greta Harrison, cheers on parents who are raising children with Down syndrome. “I am writing this for all the worried and scared parents behind me — who feel just as I did back in 2006, and many times since. Do not give up! The fully inclusive road is hard, bumpy and full of potholes. But it is worth it. Keep up your hard work and go around the roadblocks you encounter.” You can submit your first person story, too.

From Our Community:

What were the first books your child with Down syndrome loved? #DownSyndrome   #Reading 

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Other things to know: People with Down syndrome are vital members of every community they exist within. While they used to be locked away in institutions, because of the work of parents and advocates, they are now afforded the same opportunities as their peers and celebrated for their gifts and talents. Read more about what life is like with Down syndrome.

How to take action: Heart & Sold’s new film, “Artists in Lockdown,” is available to watch on YouTube. To support the organization by purchasing artwork, visit their website.

Header image via “Artists in Lockdown”/YouTube

Originally published: June 26, 2020
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