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Streaming culture

Streaming culture
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COVID-19, a novel strain of the coronavirus, has grown into a full-fledged global pandemic, and ‘social distancing’ is the new normal. It’s not always easy, but being stuck at home doesn’t have to be completely isolating. You can partake in the arts and music from anywhere. Many museums and concert halls have opened their archives to bring you the best in culture and entertainment, delivering it right to your TVs and laptops.

So today, instead of curling up for another round of classic re-runs on Netflix, visit one of the great art museums in Europe or stream a professional opera. Here’s your list of some of the best and brightest virtual tours and concerts available now.

The Louvre

The Louvre
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Paris is under lockdown, but you can still virtually roam the halls of its most iconic art museum. The Louvre is offering three online tours, including Egyptian Antiquities; Remains of the Louvre’s Moat; and Galerie d’Apollon, a recently restored gallery of decorative arts. Highlights of the Egyptian room include a statue of Akhenaton and Nefertiti standing hand in hand and an ancient amulet that belonged to Paser, the son of the high priest of Amon.

New York’s Metropolitan Opera

New York’s Metropolitan Opera
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The Met’s season was scheduled to end May 9, 2020. But as schools and workplaces closed across the country, the Met, in New York City, followed suit. Along with a message from General Manager Peter Gelb, the prestigious venue announced, “During this extraordinary and difficult time, the Met hopes to brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark. Every day a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being released for free, on-demand streaming.” The nightly performances began on March 16 with Bizet’s Carmen. The full upcoming schedule is available at MetOpera.org.

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
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An internationally recognised destination for inventors and curious automobile lovers, The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, is perfect for a family-friendly virtual pit-stop. For older students slogging through e-learning homework, visiting The Henry Ford brings back some of the fun and wonder of field trips. Virtual visitors can explore artefacts like the bus where Rosa Parks protested segregation laws and the first car built by Henry Ford. The museum website also includes episodes of the Emmy award – winning Innovation Nation TV show, which highlights modern innovators who have come up with creative solutions to real needs.

Wiener Staatsoper

Wiener Staatsoper
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Cook up a plate of wiener schnitzel and settle in for a free daily stream of one of the archived performances from the Vienna State Opera in Austria. A new archived show is unlocked each day. From Falstaff to Romeo et Juliette, the Viennese performers will whisk you away from your living room and into the magical world of opera. You’ll need to create an account to log in, but the daily streaming is completely free (for now).

Ann Arbor Film Festival

Ann Arbor Film Festival
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Every year, experimental film lovers converge for a weekend together in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for several days of new flicks and critiques. This year’s live festival was cancelled, so the Ann Abor Film Festival is going virtual March 24 to 29! All films and discussions, music videos, and animated films will be live-streamed for free. (Due to the avant-garde nature of the independent film festival, some screenings might not be kid-friendly. Read the synopsis of each film in the competition for details.)

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The Palace Museum in Beijing

The Palace Museum in Beijing
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Disappointed that you had to postpone your vacation to the 600-year-old Forbidden City and miss out on these Chinese New Year traditions? The Palace Museum is here for you, wherever you are. Explore the Treasure Gallery, Gallery of Clocks, the Lantern Festival in the Forbidden City, and more. Once you ‘walk out’ of the Palace Museum, head over to TheChinaGuide.com for a tour of the Great Wall of China, available for anyone who’s ever wanted to visit this wonder of the world.

The British Museum

 The British Museum
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Anyone who’s ever stepped foot in the British Museum knows that it is a treasure trove of history – from ancient times to modernity. The museum can easily take hours to roam. You can still do this with the uniquely tailored virtual journey that takes place along a timeline of history. From that timeline, you can choose a continent and view artefacts and stories that originated in that place and time. Attached audio files provide commentary on the images you see. The physical British Museum includes about 8 million artefacts, so no matter how long you spend exploring on your screen, it will only whet your appetite for a future visit.

‘Keep it Playing’ at the Bobby Hotel

‘Keep it Playing’ at the Bobby Hotel
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It’s not just museums and opera halls that are getting in on the virtual act. The Bobby Hotel in Nashville has started a virtual concert series on its Instagram channel. Nashville was hit with devastating tornadoes right before the coronavirus restrictions were set in place, so the hotel says it’s more important than ever to ‘keep the music playing’– and rightly so. Tune in daily for virtual concerts featuring Nashville’s favourite singers, songwriters, and musicians. Also on the hotel’s Instagram, you’ll find specially curated Spotify playlists that are guaranteed to keep your toes tapping.

The Guggenheim

The Guggenheim
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New York City’s Guggenheim Museum is a piece of artwork all on its own. Virtual visitors can now explore the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed spiral interior and the giant collection of works for free. The museum’s website invites all patrons to explore from their homes, saying, “In uncertain times such as these, art can provide both solace and inspiration. … We remain a virtual community committed to igniting ideas, discussion, and creativity.” In addition to photo tours, the Guggenheim is opening its archive of video interviews with staff members about the museum’s architecture, exhibits, and history. There is also a video collection of interviews with contemporary artists from Simone Leigh to Wong ping

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Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, we hope to have the April print issue available by the middle of July, and the May, June and July issues available by the end of July, but this is dependent on when local lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team