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.
Art can be a sacred space of refuge and provide a palette for processing present and historical oppression. SFMOMA’s website explores Art and Blackness with an array of videos featuring artists including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Mildred Howard, and Fred Wilson. Dig into their work with them as they dissect identity, history, grief, power, and diaspora.
Featured on 25 independent public sites around the Bay Area, including Montalvo Art Center’s public park and the entry foyer of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, lone some includes works by Lucas Artists Fellow Chloë Bass, Modesto Covarrubias, Jane Chang Mi, Leena Joshi, Susan O’Malley (1976-2015), and Alyson Provax. Each artist created work that considers the theme of isolation and loneliness in the ever-changing landscape of our urban areas.
AFRICAN ART @ THE DE YOUNG
Until the de Young re-opens, discover pieces from its permanent collection, including important works of African Art. Since 1971, when the Department of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas was founded, the collection has been developed to present the richness and diversity of art from sub-Saharan Africa. A few works extend back to the great civilizations of Africa, including the kingdoms of Mali, Ghana, and Songye. Most of the collection dates from the 19th century through the mid-20th century, when tremendous political, economic, and religious change impacted art and culture in many societies through colonialism, imperialism, war, and globalism.
ACHENBACH FOUNDATION FOR GRAPHIC ARTS
The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts (AFGA) is the department responsible for the Fine Arts Museums’ collection of works of art on paper: prints, drawings, and artists’ books. Selections from the collection are exhibited in rotating exhibitions in specially designated galleries at the de Young and the Legion of Honor, while the remainder of the collection is stored in the department’s state-of-the-art facilities at the Legion of Honor, along with the Museums’ collection of photography. Learn about this artistic treasure via the Legion of Honor’s website.
Stanford’s Cantor and Anderson Collection museums have a variety of digital options to explore, including Artist Talks with visual artists Deborah Kass and Catherine Opie. The John and Jill Freidenrich Director of the Cantor Arts Center Susan Dackerman speaks one on one with both talents.
ODES TO JOY!
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 “Odes to Joy” performance, backstage stories, artist interviews—even workout playlists. Don’t miss stellar performances by artists including Kyle van Scoonhoven, Edward Nelson, Christian Pursell, Simone McIntosh, Zjengyi Bai, Timothy Murray, and Andrew King.
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.
VIRTUAL PADDLE RAISE
The team at Opera San José has created multiple levels of fundraising support that will not only aid OSJ and its talented artists and musicians, but also offer an opportunity for the lucky bidders to bring extraordinary experiences of music to life.
ACTING ONLINE SUMMER CLASSES
Foster City’s beloved Hillbarn Theatre & Conservatory is bringing its artistic talent online this summer in a series of interactive summer acting, comedic, dance movement, film, and camera classes for K-12th-grade students.
CREATING ART DURING SHELTER IN PLACE
San Francisco Ballet dancers and musicians make it work. In this series of videos, see what happens when SF Ballet dancers improvise to excerpts provided by members of SF Ballet Orchestra. Go online to enjoy virtual performances by Rufus Olivier and Kimberly Marie Oliver, Shinji Eshima and Benjamin Freemantle, and Caroline Lee and Wei Wang. Even from afar, #sfbcreates.
Believe in the power of the arts to lift the human spirit and guide our hearts through these uncertain times and beyond. The team behind Festival Napa Valley invites you to engage with the artists of past FNV performances through unique and uplifting Festival Now virtual experiences. Visit the FNV website weekly for incredible performances.
MUSICIANS OF THE MONTH AND SO MUCH MORE
San Francisco Symphony is working collaboratively with members of the Orchestra and with 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.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN
The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus website features celebrated interviews with exciting performers including Kristin Chenoweth, Lance Bass, Cheyenee Jackson, Amy Landecker, and Bradley Whitford.
TIME TRAVEL THROUGH MUSIC
What if you could travel back in time to see and discover what life was like 300 years ago? Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale’s new 35-minute video, Time Travel Through Music, shows how historically informed performance can do just that. Log on to Philharmonia’s website and join maestro Nicholas McGegan and his musicians as they take you on a lively exploration of Early Music.
TINKER AROUND YOUR HOUSE
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 “Tinker Around Your House Experiments” you can do right now, including Cranky Contrapyions, Light Painting, Scribbling Machines, and much more.
BUILDING MINDS OF TOMORROW TODAY, AT HOME
Engage with the animals and hands-on science experience of CuriOdyssey from home with the terrific interactive website. You’ll find lots of awesome activities, like how to make slime, a solar oven, a citizen nature map, and even an invertebrate hotel.
STINGRAYS ON DEMAND
The California Academy of Sciences is offering lots of ways to learn from home, including webcams, STEM activities, games, videos, and apps. Download apps including Stingrays Live, streaming in real time 24/7 from the California Academy of Sciences. Switch between two high-definition webcams and spot every detail on 10+ species of fish. Watch as cownose and honeycomb rays circle the Academy’s mangrove lagoon exhibit in search of their next meals.
VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS!
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 AFRICAN PENGUIN
Explore undersea life at the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium online with the incredible Meet the Animals A – Z web page. This month they are highlighting African penguins. These fascinating creatures live in the cold currents along the coast of South Africa (a climate similar to Monterey Bay). They are agile and graceful under water, using their flippers as rudders. From 7 AM – 5 PM each day you can tune in and see the Aquarium’s live penguin cam and enjoy watching the penguins play and swim.