14 Dec 2020
The January 2021 Challenge: 64 Million Artists’ Unite
The January Challenge from 64 Million Artists is 31 days of creative challenges to kickstart 2021, inspiring Brits from all over the country to participate in a creative activity for fun and leisure. With everything that has happened throughout the course of 2020, wellbeing is essential for the long term health of the nation. In 2020 over 30,000 people took part and over 98% of them said it had a positive impact on their wellbeing.
This year the submissions, sent in by the public, will be selected and curated by the collaborators . Each collaborator will select a series of 31 creative activities: one for every day of the month of January and they will each give away a prize at random to one of the challenge setters.
There are three exciting and dynamic guest collaborators who will be curating #TheJanuaryChallenge 2021; poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE, writer, artist and part-time superhero Jess Thom aka Touretteshero, and journalist and author Yomi Adegoke. The collaborators have been selected to reflect the diversity of the UK.
Participants can then choose to take part in Lemn, Jess or Yomi’s challenge, or the Wildcard challenge which will be a mixture of all three. They’ll receive these every morning via email, or by following along on social media. Workplaces, schools and libraries can take part together by using The January Challenge workplace package – including creative workshops, CPD webinars and the challenges ahead of time.
“I had the pleasure of submitting a creative idea for The January Challenge last year and was blown away by how engaged and responsive participants were. So I’m honoured to come on board as a curator this year, and be able to watch so many people enjoy the benefits of what a daily dose of creativity can do for self-esteem, mental health and generally well-being. I’m especially excited to see different interpretations of the challenges based on people’s differing forms of expression. Those who sign up to my challenges can expect a lot of fun combined with thinking – I want my curation to feel a bit like an art therapy course, where participants can connect with their creative as well as emotional side.” Yomi Adegoke
To ensure accessibility and inclusion the challenges do not require financial investment to participate; participants can use resources that are widely available at home or in the spaces that they find themselves.
‘This will be the 8th year of The January Challenge and it is well loved by its participants. With so much more community building and creativity happening online we felt it was time to shake up the model and bring new voices into the creative process. We are so excited to have Lemn, Jess and Yomi working together with us to create what we hope will be the best January Challenge to date.’ – Jo Hunter, Co-Founder and CEO
About The January Challenge collaborators
Lemn Sissay MBE
Google the name “lemn Sissay” and all the returning hits will be about him because there is only one Lemn Sissay in the world. Lemn Sissay is a BAFTA nominated award winning writer, international poet, performer playwright, artist and broadcaster. He has read on stage throughout the world: from The Library of Congress in The United States to The University of Addis Ababa, from Singapore to Sri Lanka, Bangalore to Dubai, from Bali to Greenland AND Wigan library. He was awarded an MBE for services to literature by The Queen of England. Along with Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie and Margaret Atwood he won a Pen Pinter Prize in 2019. He is Chancellor of The University of Manchester and an Honorary Doctor from The Universities of Huddersfield, Manchester, Kent and Brunei. He is Dr Dr Dr Dr Lemn Sissay. He was the first poet commissioned to write for the London Olympics and poet of the FA Cup.
Jess Thom aka Touretteshero
Writer, artist and part-time superhero, Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of living with Tourettes Syndrome. Jess has written in the mainstream and disability press including The Guardian, The Observer and Disability Now. In 2012 she published Welcome to Biscuit Land – A Year In the Life of Touretteshero, with a foreword by Stephen Fry. Jess is a visual, performing, and participatory artist based in London. She graduated from The Royal College of Art in 2005. She campaigns for disability rights and social justice and is on a mission to change the world ‘one tic at a time.’
Yomi Adegoke is a multi-award winning journalist who is currently the woman’s columnist at The Guardian and the i paper. She is also co-author of the bestselling book Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible.