How to enjoy concerts, plays and museums from your cozy couch


In challenging times, we look to the arts to uplift our spirits, distract our busy minds and inspire our souls.

Although it might be awhile before we can all gather in one space to watch our favorite musicians, actors, dancers and comedians, we are so grateful for the countless ways virtual performances connect us from afar, as we watch from our individual homes.

Onstage wonders

Watch a symphony in your pajamas — Photo courtesy of iStock / cyano66

While stages are dark, The Metropolitan Opera has launched “Nightly Met Opera Streams,” a free series of encore Live in HD presentations streamed on the company website. For the duration of the Met’s closure, a different encore presentation will be made available for free streaming every day.

Take a virtual trip around the globe by tuning into the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Live Broadcasts, Berliner Philharmoniker digital concert hall and live streams offered by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (among many others). To learn where to watch 15 dazzling Broadway musicals and shows, follow this uplifting Playbill guide.

NPR has gathered an ever-growing roundup of live virtual concerts; so far we’ve been delighted by Instagram-streamed #TogetherAtHome gigs. We’ve enjoyed surprises like being serenaded via in-home concerts by Pink, Keith Urban, John Legend, Mandy Moore and husband Taylor Goldsmith, and Chris Martin (interwoven with charming banter).

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie has announced he’s streaming daily at 4 p.m. PT, and more innovative concerts and festivals seem to be developing by the day.

To get transported to the Pickathon music festival, which takes place on a wooded Oregon farm each summer, access dozens of free videos available on their website. (Dreaming of the joyful return of upcoming events may just lift your spirits as much as the beautiful melodies.)

Museum escapes

Explore a museum without leaving the houseExplore a museum without leaving the house — Photo courtesy of iStock / monkeybusinessimages

Galleries and institutions around the globe are granting access from afar as well. Here’s one of many extensive guides that will allow to you to take field trips to some of your favorite museums (most likely, you’ll discover several new ones, which you can later visit in person!).

London’s British Museum offers virtual tours of hundreds of artifacts and to the Great Court, where you’ll see the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies.

Get whisked away to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Louvre in Paris and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. On Google’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul virtual tour, you’re able to absorb six floors of contemporary art from Korea and beyond.

Take a virtual tour of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, a non-profit and Brazil’s first modern museum, and Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology, a venue devoted to the archaeology and history of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic civilizations. The Seattle Art Museum offers a “My Favorite Things” video series that is sure to brighten your day, too.

Looking to up your cultural knowledge? Here are 10 art history classes you can take online for free. And kids are loving the daily “lunch doodles” offered by Mo Willems via the Kennedy Center website.

Movie magic

See movies that normally wouldn't be available for home viewingSee movies that normally wouldn’t be available for home viewing — Photo courtesy of E+ / skynesher

Melbourne’s Virtual Cinémathèque hosts weekly sessions; they’ll announce each week’s program on the day of, so that cinephiles can enjoy double bills showcasing new and old movies (linked by a common director, performer or theme). And NBCUniversal encourages you to prep your popcorn at home and get cozied up to rent movies currently out in theaters.

The Northwest Film Forum has many programs they’ll bring to you in the near future. Plans are already underway to co-present content with their sister streaming channel Satur8r, plus partner orgs On the Boards, Velocity Dance Center and Interbay Cinema Society.

Don’t forget to laugh, too. One way to do so? Ten of the biggest Australian names booked for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival announced stand-up specials that will stream on Amazon Prime. Starting Friday, April 10, two specials will be released every week. We know that laughter equals medicine, and that’s certainly something we could all use more of right now.

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