Jess Thom among artists spearheading January Challenge 2021

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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. 64 Million Artists have announced 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.

Image is a rectangular, red graphic that reads "Join Jess Thom, Yomi Adegoke, Lemn Sissay. 31 days, 31 creative challenges" The text is on top of three pictures of Jess Thom, Yomi Adegoke and Lemn Sissay, with a rip effect between them.

This year the submissions, sent in by the public, will be selected and curated by 64 Million Artists collaborators Lemn Sissay, Touretteshero or Yomi Adegoke. 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.

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

64 Million Artists’ clinical research shows that taking part in creative and cultural activities is good for our mental health and wellbeing.

“Initially, I was a little apprehensive about participating and certainly about sharing my contributions – as I felt I wasn’t good enough. Pretty soon though, a warm and encouraging community began to emerge, and I felt so thrilled to be a part of it. The structure of having something to do – to create – each day also became very important. It really lifted my spirits, helped boost my confidence, and gave me something positive to focus on.”

– 2020 January Challenge participant


Join in with the January Challenge here.