The Arts Society, one of the UK’s leading arts education charities, has announced a series of free online lectures, film screenings and live Q&As aimed at over-70s in lockdown.

The programme, called The Arts Society Connected, will kick off on Tuesday morning with a lecture on the Velazquez masterpiece Las Meninas by art historian Jacqueline Cockburn.

Subsequent lectures will feature Antiques Roadshow presenter Mark Hill, novelist Sarah Dunant and Tate museum curator Nicola Moorby among others.

People will be able to join a “community moment” before and after the lectures, where they can make a cup of tea and speak with others on a forum.

The society is also offering free social media training to help members them stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Arts Society organises regular lectures and trips to museums and galleries, and has some 90,000 members aged between 60 and 100, with most over 70.

Chief executive Florian Schweizer said: “We are delighted to be able to connect with our members through our new digital initiatives.

“The Arts Society normally offers hundreds of live lectures every month and plays an important part in the lives of our 90,000 members – for the coming months we are not able to do this.

“Our new platform, online lectures and online meetings make a vital contribution to engage with people who have been instructed to stay at home for the coming months.

“We want to recreate and promote a sense of community, belonging and connection during a time of isolation and distancing.

“We believe the arts have the power to bring people together, and we will not let this virus stop communities from enjoying the arts with each other.

“We are working with our thousands of volunteers to develop new skills and initiatives, building resilience and a future in which many of our members will embrace digital as a valuable addition to their cultural experience.”

– Lectures will be uploaded fortnightly on Tuesdays at 11am.