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More about us…

More about us – BE EXTRA is a new and exciting organisation, creating a positive and inspiring space online to promote the wellbeing of those within the arts, through collaborations with fellow creatives and accessible online courses. The founder and Creative Managing Director, Katherine Rees, started with the vision of an Opera company to benefit the wellbeing of audience members through participation – this vision developed to wellbeing for creatives from all arts industries as well as those engaging in the arts.. The passion for supporting other artists’ wellbeing remained fundamental, so BE EXTRA adapted to the times to create the organisation we know today.

A need for resources…

Through our research we soon discovered an absence in resources to help creatives navigate through this extremely tough time and aid their mental health. We decided to fill this gap with high quality content that will benefit those in the arts specifically. So far, 20 like-minded passionate volunteers from all over the UK have joined the team to create this wonderful project and help as many people as possible. Our Facebook posts and live videos engage at least 6,000 people a week and we are currently developing beneficial mental health and wellbeing courses accessible to everyone. All content will soon be available on our website: www.be-extra.co.uk.

The 2020 problem

Although a difficult time for everyone, the struggles highlighted and exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic were the driving force behind BE EXTRA. It was the change in circumstances for so many affected by the pandemic that highlighted the insufficient resources for creatives and their mental health, this is the pool of people we aim to create our much needed content for. This is an extremely exciting time for BE EXTRA, we are currently collaborating and creating new resources to be available by the end of the year, talking at various mental health festivals and continuously growing.

We love collaborating with other social businesses and combining resources, expanding our outreach and achieving more as a company whilst benefiting a social cause. Social businesses are incredibly important in creating communities and we believe in sharing the message to invest and support each other, create relationships with new companies and think big even when it seems impossible.

What else?

In addition to our work with artists, we also offer corporate courses for organisations looking to expand their wellbeing offerings for employees – these cover a variety of topics and areas, and allow people to explore wellbeing through the arts when they may not engage creatively on a day-to-day basis.

We always welcome any interest to join us, if you’d like to enquire or collaborate with us at BE EXTRA, contact us at katherinerees@be-extra.co.uk. Hope you enjoyed hearing more about us!

Author | Alice Swain
Editor | Lizzy Hardman

Highlights from our Wellbeing Live web series. drawing with Emma Kennedy, saxophone with George Hardman, magic with Chris Slater, watercolours with Kay Hardman, poetry and writing with Olivia Onuk, piano with Jonathan Drummond, still-life and drawing with Beth, journaling with art therapist Nada, guitar with Sapir.

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