as people in countries around the world are being asked to practice social distancing — meaning to stay at home and avoid crowded places — nations are learning to adjust to the realities of self-quarantine. theaters, galleries and gig venues are closing their doors, and people our avoiding all but essential travel whilst staying away from bars and public gatherings. in moments where they are not working, this has left many with the unique opportunity of having more time than ever to spare, without a lot to do and no one to do it with.


but quarantine doesn’t mean isolation and social distancing is forcing us to use the internet as it was intended — to connect with one another. as creatives continue to inspire us the possibilities of ‘living online’ prove that staying at home can be as opportunistic as going outdoors. museums, concert halls, and other cultural events, are finding ways to open their doors to visitors through virtual tours and live-streamed performances. these events — many of which are being offered for free — work to both entertain and refresh as doors remain closed in the days to come. so as you practice social distancing, here are some ways you can explore arts and culture from the comfort of your own home.


NGV australia


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the NGV has announced that virtual tours, ebooks, online galleries and children’s activities will be available online from thursday 19th march, in addition to the gallery’s online collection, which already features 75,000 works. during the closure, new content will be uploaded to the ngv website regularly, offering deeper insights into the collection and displays each week.


this will include virtual tours of the keith haring | jean-michel basquiat: crossing lines and kaws: companionship in the age of loneliness exhibitions. the free virtual tours are led by a curator, giving both those who have and haven’t seen the exhibitions a new insight to them.


when: both tours (and more) can be viewed via NGV channel. the kaws: companionship in the age of loneliness virtual tour is available on march 21, and the keith haring | jean-michel basquiat: crossing lines tour available on march 28. the NGV also has children’s activities you can download to entertain kids staying at home.


art basel’s online viewing rooms

art basel to open 'online viewing rooms' as cultural institutions showcase digital exhibitions
galerie thaddaeus ropac
image © art basel



art basel’s online viewing rooms will debut with an international lineup of 234 leading galleries from 31 countries and territories, presenting over 2,000 premier artworks intended to be showcased at art basel hong kong. the first iteration of the new digital initiative will run from march 20 to march 25, 2020, with preview days from march 18 to march 20, 2020.


dates: 18 to march 20, 2020 / march 20 to march 25
beginning 6AM EST



triennale decameron: streaming stories

live-streamed and online arts and culture events whilst social distancing
image courtesy of the triennale



running from march 5 – 31, 2020, triennial’s initiative draws inspiration from giovanni boccaccio’s the decameron, about a group of young people who stayed outside florence for ten days to escape the black plague in 1348 and took turns in telling stories to pass the time. triennale milano has invited artists, designers, architects, intellectuals, musicians, singers, writers, directors and journalists to ‘inhabit’ triennale milano’s empty spaces in order to develop a personal story. all the triennale decameron stories will be broadcast live on the triennale milano instagram channel.


dates: march 5 – 31, 2020



daily drawing classes on instagram live with wendy macnaughton


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new york times bestselling illustrator and graphic journalist wendy macnaughton is offering free, daily drawing classes on instagram live for the week of march 16. ‘the class is for kids of all ages, parents of kids, parents of parents, aunties/uncles, friends, and pets,’ the artist shared on her instagram in an announcement post.


each class will last about 20 minutes and kept in macnaughton’s instagram stories for 24 hours once the livestream is over. after the class, participants can share their drawings with the hashtag #drawtogether.


when: monday-friday 10AM PST



zanta pianoforti: listening good music initiative


the slogan ‘Io resto a casa,’ or ‘I stay home,’ has become a national manifesto in italy, with social media becoming a place of solace for many. in addition to balcony singalongs, dance tutors, yoga teachers and musicians, have turned to digital to keep people’s spirits up. that includes instrument sellers and restorers zanta pianoforti who every day at 5 pm, is streaming videos of musicians, pianists and composers on its social media accounts. a network of talent will share their musical performances inviting anyone who wishes to listen from home. the masters massimo somenzi, renata benvegnù, achille gallo, giulia vazzoler, roberta di mario, gerardo felisatti, riccardo roveda, as well as other TBC artists will perform in the following days.


dates: everyday from march 17
5pm CET



the metropolitan opera — ‘nightly met opera streams’

live-streamed and online arts and culture events whilst social distancing

image courtesy of the metropolitan opera



beginning march 16, the metropolitan opera is offering encore presentations of its ‘live in HD’ series available every evening whilst it remains closed. the performances can be streamed every night on the homepage of or on the met opera on demand app. the series will continue through march 22.


when: everyday 7:30PM ET until until march 22



the philharmonie berlin (24/7)

live-streamed and online arts and culture events whilst social distancing

image courtesy of the philharmonie berlin



closed until april 19, the philharmonie berlin has opened its digital library of performances, filled with more than 600 shows. using the code BERLINPHIL by march 31 will give users a 30-day access to the orchestra’s work.


when: 24/7



the melbourne symphony orchestra

a guide to live-streamed and online arts and culture events whilst social distancing

image courtesy of the melbourne symphony orchestra



the melbourne symphony orchestra is live-streaming its scheduled performances for free, as it is closed to the public until april 13. the shows can be rewatched after the live performance on the orchestra’s youtube channel. so far, they’ve hosted performances of rimsky-korsakov’s scheherazade, with plans for more throughout the closure.


dates: TBC



the social distancing festival

a guide to live-streamed and online arts and culture events whilst social distancing

image courtesy of the social distancing festival



want more live streamed arts? theater artist nick green has created the social distancing festival, which gathers live streams and videos of all different types of performances in one place, on one calendar. it works to celebrate and showcase the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing.