Confinement culture

How many events have you had cancelled in the last few weeks? Probably any number of things you’ve been looking forward to have now vanished from your calendar. The Broad counts the Sydney Writers Festival, Festival of Dangerous Ideas, concerts, book launches and talks among the diary cancellations stretching into April and beyond.

Normally the first post of the month is the round-up of TV, film, books and podcast recommendations, but instead this week the Broad has pulled together some suggestions to find your culture from the couch during our mass common confinement. The monthly round-up of what to watch, read and listen to will be out next week.

Virtual theatre

Theatre fans can turn to the Globe Theatre in London which has a range of Shakespeare productions like Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antony and Cleopatra and All’s Well That Ends Well available to view for a small fee. If theatre is your thing and you’re suffering during the confinement, the Digital Theatre platform has shows from across world, including The Crucible, Don Giovanni and Lovesong, with a fee per show or with a subscription. The UK National Theatre has a YouTube channel with free full length plays available to stream each week. The Met in New York has nightly streams of one of its productions along with articles and podcasts.

Galleries go online

Galleries and art spaces are now turning to online platforms to share artworks. The National Gallery of Australia has a series of video on Indigenous artists exploring their work and how connection country informs their art. Mentioned on the blog before, but worth repeating in this post is Google Art & Culture hub featuring artworks, cultural sites and street view tours from around the globe.

The UK’s National Gallery has a host of virtual tours where you can view artworks through any browser. Art UK is celebrating women’s history month with features on Frida Kahlo as well as Cleopatra’s legacy in art. And in case you’ve been wondering, there’s an enlightening feature on the power of art in times of plague. If you’ve seen or shared that letter purportedly from F. Scott Fitzerald about living through the Spanish Flu, gets a mention. Spoiler: it was a parody written by American author Nick Farriella for the humour site McSweeney’s.

The Louvre in Paris has a collection of virtual tours, while the Art Gallery of New South Wales has a host of digitised artworks that can be viewed from anywhere through its website. This list from The Conversation has 14 sites, from zoos to museums and galleries, you can explore virtually.

Music to your ears

The Social Distancing Festival is a virtual festival with livestreams, featured artists and links to where to find art and culture online. Check the calendar to see what livestreams are coming up.

Musician Tim Burgess from The Charlatans is hosting album listening parties you can tune into from anywhere. Find him on Twitter to follow and find the latest @Tim_Burgess

Ben Watt, who with partner Tracy Thorn is UK electro outfit Everything But The Girl, is in isolation due to being immuno-compromised, but he’s still sharing music. Find him on Twitter @ben_watt where he posts links to his Spotify playlists.

Songs in Language is a wonderful Spotify playlist of songs by Indigenous bands and performers.

If you’re ending the day with a drink and need some tunes to accompany your virtual wind down, tune into Virtually Nowadays, a DJ livestream from the Nowadays bar in New York.

In The Writer’s Room podcast Australian author Charlotte Wood talks to writers and artists about their work and the joys and challenges of making art.

Reading material

If you can concentrate on things non-virus related, there’s the pile of bedside table books, but it’s probably a little hard to immerse into a novel. Perhaps as we get further into this period of confinement, we might settle into the new-normal and find relief in a novel and time away from reading and thinking about all things virus-related, at least for a few hours.

The Sydney Writers Festival has a collection of author podcasts and an adult reading list. From The New York Times, Celeste Ng, Ann Patchett, Min Jin Lee and others on the books that bring them comfort.

If you’re looking for something new to read while online, here’s something for you. Girls creator Lena Dunham is publishing her new novel Verified Strangers in chapters on Vogue.com.

The Conversation has a helpful guide on how to do online book clubs and virtual catchups while we’re all staying on.

For kids in confinement

For young readers, the Sydney Writers Festival brings you five books to take them on an adventure while stuck at home.

Explore European galleries, archives and cultural heritage on Europeana.

The Smithsonian Natural History Museum has a virtual tour which includes an option to view with a VR (virtual reality) headset.

Women’s Agenda has complied a helpful list of ideas and websites to keep kids occupied.

Commonsense Media has another list of free online activities for the younger social isolators.

Wide Open School might be geared to US kids and parents, but it’s worth having a look at its free collection of online learning experiences and activities for kids, all helpfully organised by grade and subject.

In a smart marketing ploy, UK consumer comparison site uSwitch has collated an extensive collection of virtual school trips for those now home schooling.

Delicious magazine has you covered for ‘virtual glamping’ with this list of virtual national parks you can visit online.

Pity the performers

Finally, spare a thought, and perhaps a few dollars, for the artists, writers, musicians and other performers whose gigs have vanished along with incomes and livelihoods. To add her support for the arts and culture industry, there’s also some links to place helping to support the artists during this time.

Artists also need to find ways to stay creative during confinement and Artsy has found 10 creatives doing it their one way.

The music industry is trying to rally during this incredibly difficult time for performers, while The Guardian has found musicians performing online and livestreamed gigs.

Find hashtags on Twitter or Instagram to find ways to support arts

Spread art not viruses.

Find art online.

Support diverse artists during Covid-19.

Support artists during Covid-19.

Support for regional artists during Covid-19.

From The Broad’s Archives

Digging out a few more articles from the (very small and new) archives of Some Notes From A Broad on exhibitions, performers and artists. While we can’t get out at the moment, the Broad says we can still enjoy reading about it.

Read about these Creative Women at Work

Comedian Joanne Brookfield

Comedian Jackie Loeb

Artist Michele Heibel

Take a look back at these exhibitions

Dead Central

Archibald Exhibition


Dark Data session at the Antidote Festival

Main image: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

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Rosalyn Page
Journalist, blogger and writer covering arts, culture, travel and digital lifestyle at www.rosalynpage.com and www.somenotesfromabroad.com.

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