With the rise of virtual offices, school, gym classes, and more, many of us are still working out just how to make our homes a one-stop-shop that can accommodate them all.
Thankfully, many Hudson Valley organizations have stepped up to make the transition as seamless as possible for as long as we might need the help. Among them is the Cornell Creative Arts Center (CCAC), a Kingston-based organization developed by the Arc Mid-Hudson, whose mission is to cultivate a vibrant community-based arts center accessible to people of all abilities and skill levels.
The CCAC is looking forward to potentially offering one-on-one in-person classes at the center later this summer, but have enthusiastically pivoted to virtual offerings and the opportunity for inclusivity they provide. Their supported arts, adaptive dance, chair-based yoga, and guided meditation classes are designed to introduce the arts to as much of the community as possible.
“By participating in one of our online classes, not only are people able to connect to other people outside of their direct social circle, they can also find a medium for self-expression for holistic healing or relaxation,” says Art Director Rachel Jacob. “We're really hoping that people do connect.”
With several months of online classes already underway, we asked the organization to give us a few tips that will help you ensure a seamless virtual arts or movement class from home.
Find the Lay of the Online Land
As is the norm for most virtual classes now, you can access CCAC’s livestreamed classes on a streaming platform (in this case the Mindbody website) using the link that is automatically emailed to registered users 30 minutes before a class begins.
Their online classes can be easily accessed through either a smartphone, laptop, or desktop with a webcam. Check that your camera lens is clean of smudges, your microphone is working, and that your phone or laptop battery is fully charged to avoid any mid-class mishaps. For CCAC’s classes, if you’re not comfortable sharing video, you are more than welcome to keep your camera off.
Location, Location, Location!
Where you set up the laptop, desktop, or cell phone you're using to access the class will definitely impact the quality of your experience. A clutter-free spot with plenty of natural lighting will give your instructor and fellow classmates a clear view of who is attending the class from your end.
Make sure that your light source is directly in front of you and not behind (AKA backlit), which can prevent others from seeing you. Good acoustics are also essential for a smooth audio and vocal experience. Make sure you find a quiet spot away from any excess noise that might interrupt your session and locate the mute function so you can turn your audio off when necessary.
Wear the Right Clothes
Even though your class is virtual, it will likely still incorporate many of the physical elements that in-person lessons do. If you're taking a visual arts class, wear something you’re comfortable getting a little messy in to avoid getting any paints, glitter, glue, or other materials on your nicer clothes.
Similarly, if you’re participating in a movement class like yoga or dance, make sure to wear a breathable and comfortable outfit that you’re not afraid to sweat in. Even chair-based lessons can get your heart rate up!
For more info and up-to-date info on CCA's events, workshops, and schedules or to sign up for their newsletter visit cornellcreativeartscenter.com.