During this unprecedented time, visiting our favorite museums and enjoying live theatre, musical performances, and events are not possible, but our incredibly creative and hardworking local arts and culture professionals are making extraordinary presentations online. Here is a selection of a few that are sure to inspire.
San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum has a wide array of interesting content online, including short films, workshops, music, and more. Visit often to see what’s next on the ever-changing calendar. There are also dozens of educational videos and activities for students.
BETWEEN ART AND QUARANTINE
SFMOMA shares favorite art recreations in this fun online gallery. You may not be able to recreate the full museum experience at home, but a group of innovative art aficionados have proved you can still find inspiration within a museum’s collection—even from a distance. Joining hundreds of fellow art lovers, SFMOMA school guides and social media followers participated in the #BetweenArtandQuarantine viral campaign, which encouraged users to don costumes and root around their closets to recreate their favorite works of art. Started in late March by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the campaign now includes museums and fans across continents and has birthed scores of delightful, playful images. This idea is great for art lovers, families, and teachers. Spark some creativity and give this a try!
Montalvo Arts Center is encouraging visitors to its website to express how social distancing and isolation impact creativity through #socialARTsolation. Watch for this hashtag on Montalvo’s social media channels and use it to join the conversation!
SAN FRANCISCO 1906: Resilience in the Aftermath of a Natural Disaster
Arnold Genthe photographed images of San Francisco on April 18, 1906, and for at least two weeks after much of the city was reduced to rubble by an earthquake and a subsequent fire that devastated its downtown. While many of his photographs beautifully document the city in ruins, Genthe’s best images centered on candid portrayals of people, the subjects that had always been at the heart of his San Francisco street work. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s photography holdings include at least 50 of Genthe’s negatives (out of a collection of 156) that show different aspects of daily life during the first weeks after the earthquake and fire. Of the 250,000 San Franciscans who lost their homes, many left the city, while others stayed with friends whose houses survived, and still others camped in tents that filled Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, and every other open space. These inspiring images are available on the Legion of Honor’s website with fascinating commentary by Karin Breuer and Victoria Binder.
RICHARD DIEBENKORN’S SKETCHBOOKS
Central to the Richard Diebenkorn at the Cantor exhibition, the artist’s sketchbooks have been digitized and made available to explore online. Sit back and enjoy this project dedicated to the Stanford alum’s work, celebrating his deep and broad connections to campus.
FAMILY ART-MAKING PROJECT AT HOME: FRIDA KAHLO
The deYoung’s website encourages families to explore art in a hands-on way with a step-by-step guide to recreating work in the style of Frida Kahlo. Kahlo created and re-created herself through her personal style choices and self-portraits. She also kept colorful journals of her thoughts and ideas that were filled with vivid symbolism. Her ability to creatively communicate who she was and how she felt is vibrant and powerful. Kahlo’s art and self-portraits have inspired the world. Log on and introduce yourself to art the Kahlo way.
MAKE ART AT HOME
The San José Museum of Art has always had a robust education program, and the creativity of the SJMA Education Department is on full display on its website, which features dozens of inspiring art activities with helpful videos aimed at K-12 students. Kids will be excited to make everything from newspaper sculptures to superhero portraits.
OPERA IS ON!
The theater lights may be off, but San Francisco Opera has launched Opera is ON to provide comfort and relief. Tune in each day for an “Ode to Joy” performance, backstage stories, artist interviews—even workout playlists.
THEATREWORKS FROM HOME
Enjoy a taste of live theater action with videos from an array of past TheatreWorks productions including Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, The Prince of Egypt, and Daddy Long Legs.
Opera San José’s stunning production of Mozart’s Idomeneo is available for streaming. This production encapsulates the artistry, musicality, and experience of Opera San José’s dedicated professionals. To support these talented performers, an OSJ Artists and Musicians Relief Fund has been implemented during this unprecedented time. Gifts to the fund will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous private donor.
DEVELOP YOUR CHARACTER
San Francisco’s A.C.T. performances have been cancelled, but its acting program is alive online. Students in grades 3 – 12 can sign up for A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory—an internationally recognized professional theater training program.
MUSICIANS OF THE MONTH AND SO MUCH MORE
San Francisco Symphony is working collaboratively with members of the Orchestra and new and existing educational partners to support and create remote learning opportunities. Explore hours of free music and storytelling, including Keeping Score documentaries and concert films, broadcasts, recordings, podcasts, spotlighted Musicians of the Month, and more. There’s also a Kid’s Edition Video series on the SF Symphony website that offers fun facts, activities, and lessons that support music education.
THE SHOW MUST GO ON!
Stanford Live’s extraordinary spring line-up is online. Revel in musical performances from artists including Sounds of Cuba featuring Bobi Cespedes, Alfredo Rodriguez, and Pedrito Martinez; Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turisi; Bang on a Can All-Stars; Vanessa Vo; and Daniel Caesar. Stream fantastic lectures including a one-on-one conversation with Neil Gaiman and author Margaret Atwood and comedic performances including one with SNL alum Colin Quinn. There is also access to MetOpera Nightly Streams and the Wigmore Hall Archives.
KEEP ON EXPLORING + EXPERIMENTING
The Exploratorium’s mission has always been to educate. Right now, the Exploratorium is offering kids, teachers, and parents wonderful ways to explore science, art, and human perception online. You can subscribe to their educational resources, sign up for weekly newsletters, and enjoy videos for “Around-the-House Experiments” you can do right now.
BUILDING MINDS OF TOMORROW TODAY, AT HOME
Engage with the animals and hands-on science experience of CuriOdyssey from home with its terrific interactive website. You’ll find lots of awesome activities, including how to make slime, a solar oven, a citizen nature map, an invertebrate hotel, and much more.
ACADEMY @ HOME
The California Academy of Sciences is offering lots of ways to learn from home, including webcams, STEM activities, games videos, and more. Coming soon are highlights from exhibits like Venom: Fangs, Stingers, and Spines—encounter an electrifying assortment of venomous species as well as giant animatronic insects.
The Tech Interactive’s website is filled with fantastic at-home activities that will bring out your inner innovator. Build, make, and create wherever you are with educational ideas, resources, and links to IMAX films. They are also offering Virtual Field trips highlighting visitors’ favorite exhibits and interviews with the innovators who inspire the science and tech behind The Tech Interactive’s experiences.
MEET THE ANIMALS
Explore undersea life at the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium online with the incredible Meet the Animals A – Z web page. You’ll learn about everything from Abalone to Zebra fish—this is screen time your little ones will love and you won’t feel guilty about. Something extra special right now is a live webcam with rescued sea otter pups at the aquarium.