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Get Your Dose of Culture During The Quarantine

Support the arts even if you can’t leave your house

As Manila headed into a community quarantine last March 15—and later on, an enhanced community quarantine along with the rest of Luzon two days later—many cultural events found themselves cancelled, including the highly-anticipated performances of MatildaThe Band’s Visit, Dekada ’70, and Repertory Philippines2020 season. Art exhibits, too, as well as movie screenings, have shuttered, deemed to be non-essential mass gatherings that could only increase the risk of COVID-19. Because of this, several producers and creators have released their art for free, and we’ve also rounded up everything else you can do to stay cultured and support the arts—all from the comfort of your own home.

Go on a virtual museum tour

12 museums are offering virtual tours that you can attend from the comfort of your own home. Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 2,500 museums and galleries around the world to bring art to straight to people’s laptops. Participating museums include the British Museum in London, the Guggenheim in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, the Pergamon in Berlin, the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the J. Paul Getty Museum in LA, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Museu de Art de São Paulo, and the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. Additionally, the Louvre offers virtual tours on its website.

Watch musicals and plays on BroadwayHD 

Theatre is best experienced live, but professionally shot recordings of shows make the art form more accessible to those who otherwise would never get the chance to see it. While its collection still isn’t as extensive as one would hope, BroadwayHD has consistently brought theatre to the comfort of fans’ homes since 2015. On the site, you can browse titles like She Loves Me, Putting It Together, Falsettos, and various Shakespeare plays, and watch them for free for seven days or purchase a subscription amounting to $8.99 per month (that’s P457.96—still more affordable than a ticket!). Bonus: Ghost Quartet, a song cycle by Dave Malloy, is on YouTube, free to watch

Stream an opera

As a response to the cancelled performances due to COVID-19, the Met Opera is livestreaming their would-be performances every day until April 5. Early in March, they launched “Nightly Met Opera Streams,” a free series of encore Live in HD presentations streamed on the company website during the coronavirus closure. Videos are available for 23 hours after its scheduled stream. They’re currently in an all-Wagner week, and will continue with works by Verdi, Rossini, Poulenc, and more. 

Read books on Scribd and Project Gutenberg

As people all across the world find themselves quarantining at home due to COVID-19, Scribd has chosen to give away one month of unlimited access for free. One will be able to find Stephen King books, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, The Handmaid’s Tale, and so much more. If you’re looking for older titles, Project Gutenberg may just have what you need. It’s an online database of books whose U.S. copyright has expired, and thus are in the public domain. You’ll find various works by Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen, James Joyce, Emily Brontë, and more.

Watch free movies on iWant

For one month, iWant is making over 1,000 blockbuster movies available to watch, completely free of charge. You’ll find your favorite Star Cinema hits, from One More Chance, to the Miggy and Laida trilogy, to recent favorites like Alone/Together and Hello, Love, Goodbye. Just create an account and watch either on your laptop or on the app, available on Google Play or the App Store.

Disappear into a podcast 

If you still don’t have a favorite podcast, you’re doing the quarantine wrong. Dive into a wellness podcast, or something on pop culture, so you have company as you do chores around the house or right before you fall asleep. 


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Lead photo from Unsplash