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Although the situation worldwide might have forced most museums, galleries, and theaters to shut down temporarily, that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. And although looking for culture online is nothing truly “groundbreaking”, it’s a fact that more and more of these venues have discovered new ways to share a unique experience with users all around the world. Places like the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, to name a few, have joined forces with online platforms to make part of their collections available to users online. They’ve all gone digital!

Got no plans for the day? Looking for a way to unwind and disconnect? It’s OK to take a break if life is getting too much, and what better way to do so than by appreciating some of the world’s finest works of art?! Just sit back, relax, and plug into the world of live concert streaming and online museum tours!

Here are four ways to enjoy culture online, all from the comfort of your living room during these tough times of self-isolation.

Love art? Enjoy an online museum tour…
Visiting a museum at this time is out of the question. Like I said, most of them have closed their doors and are keeping employees and visitors safe by urging them to stay at home. Now, although this might seem like the end for all you culture lovers out there, I’m here to say: “ There’s still hope!”

How, you ask? In the form of the now-popular online museum! Big names like Art Basel and the Museum of Modern Art are encouraging people to interact with their exhibits and the artwork online. Through new virtual rooms, interactive magazines, and various forms of social media content, these two museums have become pioneers in creating new ways to help people enjoy and interact with culture online. No crowds, no lines, and no crazy ticket prices. Let’s call this a win in the face of adversity.

person looking at modern art

Want more? You’ve got it! Step inside the Guggenheim Museum in New York without leaving your seat, and marvel at its architecture while you virtually explore some of the exhibits. Once you’re done, pop over to the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also located in the Big Apple, for a look at their online experience. Zoom in, zoom out, click here, and click there. Once you’re satisfied, travel south to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, and continue your journey down to the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in Brazil.

If all this traveling has made you thirsty, put on the kettle as you settle in for a journey across the pond to The National Gallery in London. Also, while you’re here, why not hop on over to the Musée du Louvre in Paris? The world is your oyster! And, thankfully, the options are never-ending…

Another benefit to exploring museums and culture online is that you’re allowed to dig even deeper. The Google Arts & Culture tool, for example, lets you get up close and personal with many famous works of art. How close? Really, really, close. Click on your favorite piece and get an in depth look at the brush strokes, the colors, and all the teeny-tiny details you might have missed in person. This almost beats the real thing, don’t you think?

online art

Craving music? Livestream a concert or show…
Not only have museums shut their doors, but so have most music venues. Festivals, concerts and more have all been postponed due to the coronavirus, but musicians and organizers are getting creative and finding more ways to share music culture online.

The Selina International Music Summit, or SIMS, for example, has gone fully digital to give listeners what they need: a good dose of music. With daily performance streams available via Facebook Live, the SIMS team is keeping spirits high during these tough times. Stay home, stay connected, and embark on a musical journey with artists performing live from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, the UK, Tel Aviv, and more! Plus, participate in panels, workshops, and editorials hosted from around the globe.

Other big names in the music industry are also taking to social media to put on stripped back shows for their followers. Keep your eyes peeled for the many announcements that have started to pour in, and check out some of your favorites’ profiles for the chance to take part in a very special performance.

You know what they say: the show must go on.

Missing the classics? Watch opera and ballet online…
If you’re a fan of the old school, you’ll be happy to know that the Metropolitan Opera has your back during these trying times. How? With an opera streaming repertoire that’s available for free every night! Watch these special performances in your comfiest sweatpants – or don your best “opera night” attire – and enjoy classics like Die Walküre or Il Barbiere di Siviglia without ever leaving the couch.

Fans of the ballet will also be delighted to know that the Royal Opera House in London will host Facebook “Watch Parties” every Wednesday for aficionados looking to learn more about famous performances and behind the scenes stories. Plus, they’ll also screen select performances for free via their social media channels.

ballet dancer

Cabin fever? Enjoy these wildlife & outdoor cameras…
And now, if you ask me, the toughest part about self-isolation is being away from nature itself. A quick walk down to the park was always a great way to release tension. But, how can you do that now if you’re confined to staying inside the four walls of your apartment? Wildlife cameras might be the way out!

Depending on what you’re into, wildlife reserves worldwide are giving viewers a sneak peek into the daily shenanigans of their animals. If you have a thing for gorillas in the wild, the GRACE Center in Kasugho, DRC, is here to help you live out the dream of watching them closely from a very safe distance. Meanwhile, South Africa’s Tembe Elephant Park, located on the border with Mozambique, offers a unique look at these gentle giants going about their day, as well as leopards, warthogs and more. Keep the volume up for a symphony of chirps, growls and splashes!

gorillas in the wild

If you’re dreaming of warm climates and crystal-clear waters, take a trip to the Caribbean with the Cayman Reef Cam. Think of this as your private virtual aquarium with fish galore, untouched reefs, and curious critters. The best part? You don’t need to hold your breath to see them! All these and more are available to stream 24/7, and they’re a great way to keep you from going stir crazy for the next couple of days.

Another cure for your outdoor withdrawal? Google Street View! And, trust me, this option is a lot better than it sounds for exploring culture online.

machu pichu

If your dreams of visiting Machu Picchu got a little side-tracked, why not jump on Google and tour the grounds while you wait for the real deal? Or how about a quick stop at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City? Or a walk along the shore at Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro? The great thing about traveling online is that you can go around the world in the time it takes to brew a cup of coffee. And, although these might not be the real deal, they are the perfect inspiration fuel for all of the adventures soon to come.

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