During a time of social-distancing and self-isolation, the Melbourne arts community is finding new and innovative ways to keep their doors open to the public, via the online world.
Take a virtual stroll through some of Melbourne's best art galleries and impressive museums. Live-stream a theatre show, or tune in for a moving performance by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Here are the top five virtual arts experiences in Melbourne, delivering your culture fix straight to your mobile phone, computer or device.
1. Take a virtual tour of the NGV
Despite its temporary closure, the National Gallery of Victoria remains accessible to the public. The Gallery is giving patrons the opportunity to access its digital collection, download eBooks and take virtual tours of both NGV Australia and NGV International online, or through its app. Pick up a new hobby by engaging in NGV's Drop-By Drawing program. An online video tutorial will be streamed, featuring tips and tricks from some of Victoria's best contemporary artists. Keep across the NGV website and social media channels as the Gallery continues to share its collection with the public.
2. Watch Arts Centre performances online
The doors of its theatres and concert halls remain shut, however the Arts Centre Melbourne will be streaming some upcoming performances, live. Keep across the website for more information. Streamed shows will be archived on their YouTube channel, to watch at your leisure. Keep up with the theatre crowd by going behind the scenes, with a backstage virtual tour of MTC.
3. Stream the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
When concert halls and live-music venues first shut, the musicians of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra led the live-stream charge, as they continued to perform behind closed doors. These performances have been archived on MSO's YouTube channel, with the orchestra releasing archived concerts to the public each week. Visit MSO's website for more information on how you can support the orchestra, and keep the music going.
4. Host an online movie night with ACMI
Get your weekly cinema fix from ACMI. Each Wednesday wherever possible, the Virtual Cinémathèque will stream a themed double billing, showcasing classic and contemporary films. The program for the week will be released each Tuesday. Enjoy solo, or catch it with friends, even if you're self-isolating. Using the program Metastream, you can invite others to watch the film at the same time, no matter where you each are. Screenings are free – all you need is an Internet connection and some microwave popcorn.
5. Explore Melbourne's biggest museums
While it's not possible to physically visit the museums of Melbourne at this point in time, you can tour them online. Museums at Home allows you to take a virtual walk through the collections of the Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks and the Immigration Museum. Stroll, or scroll rather past the skeletons of 17 prehistoric animals within the Dinosaur Walk exhibition, or learn about Australia's First Peoples in the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Check out the historic Spotswood Pumping Station at Scienceworks, and explore Australian identity at the Immigration Museum, all from the comfort of your computer desk or couch.
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