Virtual Events: How To Get Your Culture Fix at Home
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Whether it be enjoying ‘drinks’ with your friends via Zoom, hanging out on House Party, or doing sit-ups alongside an Instagram live workout, the virtual world is bustling. Here are some of the best virtual events and tutorials to keep you entertained.
Borough Market is launching a second series of its culinary online discussions, Borough Talks. Kicking things off on 19 August is a discussion about summer cooking with Olia Hercules and Elisabeth Luard, which will focus on why seasonality matters – for the land, for producers and for anyone who cooks. This will be followed with a talk from Ravinder Bhogal, Elizabeth Haigh and Jack Stein on the future of dining out, looking at how restaurants can adapt to the new normal. boroughmarket.co.uk
World Big Dog Walk
The Covid-19 pandemic has sadly proved difficult for many animal charities across the globe. Enter the Virtual Big Dog Walk Challenge; a digital fundraiser aiming to raise money for these charities in need. The campaign is asking humans to take their furry friends for a walk at a location of choice – yes, it’s really that simple – in which owners (including the likes of Claire Balding, Michaela Strachan and Gemma Atkinson) will pledge a distance to walk throughout the month of September, in order to raise money for a number of animal charities. The aim is to reach 40,075km worth of pledges – the circumference of the Earth. Visit bigdogwalk.co.uk to sign up.
Hay Festival Book of the Month Live Q&As
Hay Festival has launched a new Q&A series, designed to showcase the author of the Festival’s Book of the Month title through an interactive conversation on Crowdcast. Poet and playwright Inua Ellams kicked the series off with a discussion on his award-winning collection The Half-God of Rainfall, and upcoming sessions will see novelist Anne Enright talking about Actress and David Mitchell on Utopia Avenue. hayfestival.com
Totally Thames Festival
Totally Thames’ Rivers of the World project sees artists work remotely with 2,000 young teens across the globe to create river-themed art, including the above image. This year’s festival has adapted with an exciting online programme, bringing together artists and anglers alike to celebrate the river that brings Londoners together. The works can be viewed non-virtually from September, when they will be displayed outside the Tate Modern. 1–30 September 2020, thamesfestivaltrust.org
Somerset House: I Should Be Doing Something Else Right Now
Somerset House’s online programme ‘I Should Be Doing Something Else Right Now’ ensured culture vultures could still get their fix from home amidst the months of lockdown. Comprising an array of ‘live streams, long reads, deep listens and a weekly ‘Pause’ series’, the virtual initiative, still available to partake in online, revolves the themes of connection and commonality, encouraging and supporting artists whilst maintaining a sense of cultural cohesiveness throughout these unprecedented times. Some of the highlights of the July programme include a first-time streaming of Mercury-nominated band Sons of Kemet’s headline set from last summer; Sleep Mode, a week dedicated to dissecting ‘the new normal’ and a series of archive podcasts, films and live music dedicated to the Windrush Generation. somersethouse.org
Arundel Castle: Sensational Roses in Bloom
In its latest virtual tour of the grounds, Arundel Castle showcases a beautiful array of old-fashioned roses – more than 20 varieties flourishing across the impressive West Sussex estate, from ‘Harlow Carr’ hedging to ‘Princess Anne’ roses and white ‘Winchester Cathedral’ shrubs. Tune in now via arundelcastle.org
Curator Tour of Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk
If you can’t wait until 27 August for the V&A’s kimono-dedicated exhibition – the first of its kind in Europe – to open, you’ll be pleased to know that you can catch a glimpse online. The V&A has launched a 30-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the retrospective, now available to watch on YouTube. View the five-part series here.
The Barbican’s Digital Programme
London’s The Barbican has announced a new schedule of digital content drawn from the performing arts centre’s eclectic international arts programme. Comprising a range of podcasts, playlists, films, videos, talks and articles – from the release of an album created by young Londoners to Stephen Fry’s ‘The Art of Change’ podcast – the initiative hopes to engage and inspire creativity throughout the pandemic. barbican.org.uk
The Assembly at Heckfield Place
In light of the pandemic, Heckfield Place is aiming to bring its long-established community together digitally. The Assembly – the country hotel’s events initiative which ‘cultivates a space to unearth, reconnect and rediscover’ – will instead take place online and over Instagram throughout the upcoming months. Viewers will be presented with an eclectic range of virtual events, from a ‘walk in the woods’ with renowned craftsman and furniture designer Sebastian Cox, to a discussion over the philosophical nature of lockdown with Dr Julian Baggini, as well as botanical painting, tea-making and more. heckfieldplace.com / @heckfield_place
Dior: Savoir-faire of the diamond-accented Gem Bag Clutch
Another lockdown fashion fix straight from Dior, the luxury fashion house has released a video showcasing the making of its brand-new green satin minaudière, created by both Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri and Victoire de Castellane, artistic director of Dior Joaillerie. The gem-set clutch features an exquisite rose-shaped diamond clasp from the ‘Rose Dior Bagatelle’ collection – a nod to one of Monsieur Dior’s favourite flowers. View the video here.
‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’
If you didn’t get the chance to visit the spectacular Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at the V&A last summer, you can now experience the enchanting showcase from home. Dior has released an hour-long film available to watch for free via YouTube detailing the curation of the retrospective hosted at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, from the elaborate dress tailoring to the comprehensive exhibition construction and glamorous opening night (attended by the likes of Karlie Kloss and Jennifer Lawrence). Watch now via the Christian Dior YouTube channel.
Behind The Scenes
Catch a glimpse of the Hayward Gallery’s Among the Trees through a video interview with artist Hugh Hayden. Learn more about the National Gallery’s Artemisia exhibition with a YouTube lecture by art historian Jesse Locker, and watch Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin star in Candice Breitz’s video installation exploring the refugee crisis.
See Raffaello Sanzio’s spectacular works on-screen
Art enthusiasts will be pleased to know they can still get their High Renaissance culture fix thanks to Musement. The online platform has cleverly introduced a brand-new virtual exhibition in light of the 500th anniversary of artist Raffaello Sanzio’s (or Raphael’s) death. Peruse an array of the Italian painter’s spectacular works via the website now. musement.com
Lend your voice to Mark De Lisser’s world choir
Put your shower singing to good use by joining vocal coach Mark De Lisser’s virtual choir of voices. The renowned choral director – also the choral arranger for Harry and Meghan’s wedding – is calling on people to lend their voices to The World Choir and sing along to a number of uplifting songs from home. Add your voice at singologychoirs.wufoo.com
Join The Arts Society’s new digital platform
UK arts education charity The Arts Society has launched a new digital platform inviting both Arts Society members and the public to join an array of fortnightly art lectures, screenings, live author Q&As and more. Aiming to keep members and the greater population connected and entertained through tough times of isolation, the platform will also provide a community forum accessible to all. ‘We believe the arts have the power to bring people together, and we will not let this virus stop communities from enjoying the arts with each other,’ said chief executive of The Arts Society, Florian Schweizer. connected.theartssociety.org