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EDUCATION COMPANIES OFFERING FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS DUE TO SCHOOL CLOSINGS
DAVID WALLIAMS IS RELEASING A FREE CHILDREN’S AUDIO STORY EVERY DAY FOR THE NEXT MONTH
‘Elevenses’ are daily short stories from his best-selling kids’ books.
EMERGENCY DIY PAPER TOWEL, PARCHMENT PAPER AND TWIST TIE FACE MASK
Sandwich parchment paper between 2 paper towels. Fold a twist tie at the top using tiny folds then follow the directions for folding the mask in the video.
VIRTUAL TOURS FOR ALL AGES
THE SAN DIEGO ZOO
Want to have something fun going on in the background while you’re working? Your favorite zoo probably has live cams so you can check in on all the animals. The San Diego Zoo is a great start.
THE SHEDD AQUARIUM: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
The Shedd Aquarium has already captured hearts with the antics of its resident penguins, which have been filmed roaming the now-empty halls of the aquarium, looking at all of the other exhibits. But animal lovers will want to follow their Facebook page, too: They’re sharing all kinds of behind-the-scenes videos and fun virtual experiences.
THE GEORGIA AQUARIUM: ATLANTA
The Georgia Aquarium has live streams, too! And you can pick what animal you want to watch. We’re partial to the African Penguins.
THE CINCINNATI ZOO
Every day while school is out, the Cincinnati Zoo (home of the famous Fiona the hippo), will be hosting a Home Safari on their Facebook Live Feed at 3 p.m. ET. They’ll have up-close animal experiences, plus activities to do at home.
SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: WASHINGTON, D.C.
Dinosaurs! Snakes in jars! Giant diamonds! This is a good option for kids. Our suggestions: The Ocean Hall, The Hall of Mammals, and the Hall of Fossils. Or, mix it up with minerals.
SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
Washington, D.C.’s National Museum of Natural History, one of the most-visited museums in the world, offers a peek at its wonderful treasures with an online virtual tour of the entire grounds. Viewers are welcomed into its rotunda and are greeted with a comprehensive room-by-room, 360-degree walking tour of all its exceptional exhibits, including the Hall of Mammals, Insect Zoo, and Dinosaurs and Hall of Paleobiology.
AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE: WASHINGTON, D.C.
If you’ve ever wanted to visit an extremely popular museum but couldn’t seem to nab tickets, a virtual tour is the next best thing! This one gives you just a taste of what the museum has to offer, and wherein the museum each feature is located.
NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART: WASHINGTON, D.C.
View online exhibits and more than 42,000 works here. Our suggestion: A selection of fashion watercolors from the Index of American Design.
The National Parks Service partnered with Google (yes, Google again) to follow a handful of park rangers through some of No. America’s most stunning and challenging terrains, from the Alaskan Glaciers to Utah’s Bryce Canyon.
Virtual dives are a trippy affair and thanks to the National Marine Sanctuaries, you can explore the blue depths of the American Samoas, the Florida Keys, Monterey Bay, and many others. For real-time adventures, check in with the New England Aquarium to see live feeds of the marine life they take care of.
THE SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM
While the architecture of the Guggenheim’s building itself, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is quite impressive, you don’t have to visit the Big Apple to get an up-close view of some of the priceless pieces of artwork inside. The museum makes some of its collections and exhibits available online for people who want to get a taste of what the museum has to offer, including works from Franz Marc, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, and Jeff Koons.
THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART
Founded in 1937, the National Gallery of Art is free and open to the general public. For those who aren’t in Washington, D.C., it also provides virtual tours of its gallery and exhibits. You can view its current exhibitions and listen to audio and video recordings of past lectures online.
NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY: WASHINGTON, D.C.
The intimate nature of portraiture makes this museum a particularly great option for a home browse. Our suggestion: Now’s the time to take a closer look at the Obama portraits everyone raves about.
THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
The Met is home to over 2 million works of fine art, but you don’t have to be in New York City to enjoy them. The institution’s website features an online collection and virtual tours of some of its most impressive pieces, including works from Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, and Giotto di Bondone. In addition, The Met also works with the Google Cultural Institute to make even more artwork (that’s not featured in its own online collection) available for view.
NASA offers free virtual tours of the Langley Research Center in Virginia, as well as of Ohio’s Glenn Research Center. The Space Center Houston also has an app that provides virtual tours, augmented reality experiences, and videos and audio stories about space exploration.
METROPOLITAN OPERA: NEW YORK CITY
Arts lovers, if appointment viewing is more your thing, the Met is putting on nightly opera streams. But you better not be late! They’re only available until 3:30 p.m. ET the next day. And there’s something to be said for such ephemerality.
THE WHITE HOUSE: WASHINGTON, D.C.
Hang out in the Oval Office? Don’t mind if we do! By the way, the online exhibit sections of Google Arts & Culture’s offerings are like having your own personal tour guide. Our suggestion: The Virtual Tour of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building will get you acquainted with stunning spaces you’ve only ever seen on TV.
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THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S HISTORY MUSEUM
The mission statement of the National Women’s History Museum in Alexandria, Virginia, is to educate, inspire, empower, and shape the future “by integrating women’s distinctive history and culture in the United States.” Part of that mission is delivered through well-curated online exhibits and oral histories.
THE SOCIAL DISTANCING FESTIVAL
Want more live-streamed arts? A theater artist has created The Social Distancing Festival, which gathers live streams and videos of all different types of performances in one place, on one calendar.
The Louvre is not only one of the world’s largest art museums, but it’s also one of Paris’s most iconic historic monuments. The museum offers free online tours of some of its most important and popular exhibits, such as its Egyptian Antiquities and works from Michelangelo. You can take a 360-degree look at the museum, and click around the rare artifacts to get additional information on their histories.
MUSÉE D’ORSAY: PARIS
Take in 278 masterpieces here. Our suggestions: Vincent Van Gogh’s self portrait, and Éduoard Manet’s legendary nude, “Olympia.” Don’t worry about clicking aimlessly, all the pieces have extensive descriptions and notations.
PALACE OF VERSAILLES: VERSAILLES, FRANCE
Explore one of France’s national treasures and all of the Baroque art, architecture and finery within. Our suggestion: Go outside of the palace interior for an early birds-eye-view of the grounds, to get your bearings.
JOHANNESBURG ART GALLERY: JOHANNESBURG
Browse more than 500 works from Africa’s largest art gallery. Our suggestion: The museum houses plenty of works form Dutch and other European artists, but it also offers an array of works from South African artists. For a more historical angle, browse their online exhibit about the role of photography and resistance in the era of Apartheid.
UFFIZI GALLERY: FLORENCE, ITALY
Take a virtual walk through Florence’s artistic gem before stopping to admire some of the museum’s most famous inhabitants. Our suggestion: Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” of course. But also, in the tour, don’t forget to drag the screen and look up at the beautiful frescoes on the ceiling, painted by Alessandro Allori.
THE SISTINE CHAPEL: VATICAN CITY
There are a lot of museum collections to explore on the Vatican’s virtual site. But first, go straight to zooming in on all of the detail on the Sistine Chapel.
BRITISH MUSEUM: LONDON
Explore a stunning visual timeline of the world, with an array of annotated objects. Our suggestion: This timeline pairs nicely with “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” a podcast narrated by the Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor. (If your ears are craving more, here are some more culture podcasts to enjoy.)
THE BRITISH MUSEUM
With a collection that totals more than 8 million objects, London’s British Museum makes some of its pieces viewable online. The museum also teamed up with the Google Cultural Institute to offer virtual tours using Google Street View technology.
TATE BRITAIN LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Tate Britain (known from 1897 to 1932 as the National Gallery of British Art and from 1932 to 2000 as the Tate Gallery) is an art museum on Millbank in the City of Westminster in London. It is part of the Tate network of galleries in England, with Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. It is the oldest gallery in the network, having opened in 1897. It houses a substantial collection of the art of the United Kingdom since Tudor times, and in particular has large holdings of the works of J. M. W. Turner, who bequeathed all his own collection to the nation. It is one of the largest museums in the country.
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE: LONDON
When it comes to high culture, don’t underestimate YouTube! The Royal Opera House’s channel has a selection of some of the top performances from famous operas and ballets, just a click away. Our suggestions: The Caterpillar from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Dance of the Knights from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, if just for the incredible costumes.
THE PRAMBANAN TEMPLE: YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA
There’s so much to behold in this iconic, intricate Hindu temple complex. Good thing you’re in no rush! Step up to the spires with the arrow marks, and drag your cursor to get a good look at the carvings.
RUSSIA’S STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM: ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Got five hours to kill? Enjoy this extensive video tour of the largest museum in Russia, complete with 45 galleries and 588 artistic masterpieces.
KUSAMA’S INFINITY MIRRORS
If you missed one of the hottest traveling museum exhibits of the past few years, ooh and ahh at a brisk room-by-room rundown of the hypnotic, multi-faceted work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
BANKSY MURALS AROUND THE WORLD
Go on an artistic treasure hunt — without the hunt part. With something like street art, it’s much more interesting to see the work it its full context, than just through a close-up.
VAN GOGH’S STARRY NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART IN NEW YORK CITY
These close-up looks at famous paintings are so intense; you may think a docent will start yelling at you. Few paintings are suited to such a treatment than the bold, textured lines of The Starry Night.
THE DALÍ THEATRE-MUSEUM
Located in the town of Figueres in Catalonia, Spain, the Dalí Theatre-Museum is completely dedicated to the artwork of Salvador Dalí. It features many rooms and exhibits surrounding every era of Dalí’s life and career, and the artist himself is buried here. The museum offers virtual tours of the grounds and a few exhibits.
The Vancouver Symphony live streamed its final performance from their BeethovenFest, and it’s available for your viewing — and listening — pleasure any time.
THE VATICAN MUSEUMS
The Vatican Museums feature an extensive collection of important art and classical sculptures curated by the Popes over many centuries. You can take a virtual tour of the museum grounds and iconic exhibits, including Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
With a special limited-time code, you can enjoy a treasury of online performances from one of the best orchestras in the world. Our suggestion: You can’t go wrong with anything from the trifecta of national B’s: Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. But Gustav Mahler’s second symphony, The Resurrection Symphony, seems apt in these trying time.
VIENNA STATE OPERA
If you can’t be in Vienna, you can at least treat yourself to full streams of some of the Vienna State Opera’s latest performances. A reminder, for people who don’t like opera: These works are almost always as much a treat for the eyes as much as the ears.
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)
Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe Follow @OurVoicesEcho