Obviously there’s not a lot to love about our current circumstances. Most of the world is in some form of isolation due to the Corona virus. We’re all in the same, miserable, anxious boat. But I do love that some people have used this as a time to connect creatively, teach others, and share art. I’ve made a list of some people, hashtags, and websites that I feel are providing great resources during this troubling time. Feel free to provide others:
- #SunshineSongs Broadway star Laura Benanti reached out to kids who were supposed to perform in the school musicals only to have then canceled. She asked them to perform on twitter using the hashtag, and she got a beautiful response.
- #ArtFromHome The Ayala Museum in the Philippines has started an #ArtFrom Home Challenge. 15 prompts are posted, every other day, for 30 days. People make
art according to the prompts and post with the hashtag.
- #InternationalPoetryCircle Poet Tara Skurtu started this project. Poets from around the world are sending in videos of themselves reading their work, or just their favorite poems. Not only does the thread have some beautiful work, but it’s a great way to discover contemporary poetry.
- Gene Leun Yang’s book tour for his novel Dragon Hoops was cancelled, so he started “touring as a cartoon” from his Instagram page, where he responds to reader questions in comic strip form.
- Amy Kaufman is hosting a weekly #kidslitgoesviral twitter party for MG and YA authors whose promotional plans have been upended by the virus.
- Grace Lin is posting drawing tutorials and readings from her books on herYoutube channel. She started doing this as a way to combat the anti-Asian rhetoric has come up amid the Corona virus fears.
- Author/illustrator Mo Willems is invites kids to draw with him every day for Lunch Doodles in which he walks viewers through his studio, answers questions, draws creatures and created simple animations for them to try at home.
- Mac Barnett reads a book aloud every afternoon on Instagram Live.
- Oliver Jeffers is reading on Instagram Live on weekday afternoons. Afterwards the recordings are available on his website.
- Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady graphic novels, is hosting daily drawing sessions on his youtube.
- Peter H. Reynolds’ tour for his most recent book, Be You, was also cancelled. He’s taken to reading aloud from his work on Facebook Live every day.
- Susan Tan started an Authors Everywhere! Youtube channel. She provides workshops that are supposed to teach aspiring authors as well as give kids an emotional outlet for addressing their fears about the pandemic.
- Stars in the House concerts– Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s Seth Rudetsky is doing an interview/concert series with Broadway stars via skype benefiting the Actor’s Fund.
- The Irish Repertory Theatre has launched a digital series called The Show Must Go Online, featuring homemade videos of their actors performing favorite songs, poems and monologues from Irish and Irish American playwrights, poets, and musicians.
- The National Yiddish Theatre is offering it’s Folksbiene! Live series featuring livestreamed theatre, American Jewish performers, workshops, talkbacks, and other events.
- The American Conservatory Theatre has cancelled performances of the plays, Gloria and Toni Stone. However, a video of the performance is available to stream.
- The Show Must Go Online (popular title!) is a weekly Shakespeare reading group covering the plays in the order they were written, as a way for actors and theatre makers to stay connected during unprecedented times. First up is Two Gentlemen of Verona.
- Mike Lew’s play Teenage Dick at Theatre Wit in Chicago is available for remote viewing.
- Broadwayworld has launched Living Room Concerts where the stars perform from their living rooms.
- Broadway Star Elena Shaddow is doing a live concert on IGTV every night at 8PM EST. She takes requests from viewers and accompanies herself on the piano in her living room.
- The Metropolitan Opera is offering “Nightly Met Opera Streams” a free series of Live in HD presentations of their past performances.
- The Vienna State Opera has opened is archives and will broadcast recordings of opera and ballet performances. The performances can be found here, with instructions and information about how to access them here.
- The Seattle Symphony is sharing live broadcasts of their performances.
- The 92nd Street Y has recent performances available from pianist Garrick Ohlsson, and mezzo soprano Fleur Baron.
- London’s concert hall, Wigmore Hall, has past livestreams available on the website.
- The Paris Opera is streaming performances online for free. Full performances are available on their website.
- Pandemic Check-In is sort of a pop up podcast that’s really a call in show for people who needs some mental health support. The people at Brooklyn Minds, a psychiatry/psychology center are behind it, alongside the LA Based podcast studio Western Minds.
- Headspace, a popular meditation app is offering some free meditations that you can listen to any time. The collection, called “weathering the storm” includes meditation, sleep and movement exercises that can help you through a variety of different situations.
- Outlander star, Sam Heughan, has created a 30 day social distancing challenge for free as part of his My Peak Challenge program.
- Planet Fitness is offering a live 6PM “work in” every evening on Facebook, led by personal trainers. You don’t even have to be a member.
- Core Power Yoga has a collection of free classes available any time.
- Studio Three is a Chicago area gym that combines yoga, cycling, and interval training. They’re hosting classes on Instagram Live at several times throughout the day. Workouts are available for playback on the app.
- Pop Sugar fast tracked the release of their new app Active, and is offering it now for free.