Think you can't enjoy local arts and culture amid COVID-19 concerns? You can't sit in movie theaters or concert venues, but you can livestream some intriguing virtual content — from a full production by Arizona Theatre Company to virtual Arizona Pride events featuring everything from drag story times to Arizona LGBTQ+ history facts. Here's a look at five ways to expand your cultural horizons without leaving the comfort of home.
Bacurau Q & A
Thousands of arts spaces across the country have closed temporarily due to concerns over the coronavirus, from FilmBar in Phoenix to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in New York City. So BAM decided to shake things up a bit by doing a YouTube Live Q&A with actor Udo Kier and filmmakers of Bacurau, a movie that imagines villagers in Brazil fighting off forces bent on making them disappear.
When you visit FilmBar’s Facebook page to buy a $12 ticket, you get five days of access to a screening of the film, plus the warm fuzzies that come from knowing half those funds will go to your local film house. That’s also where you’ll find details about the YouTube Live Q&A happening at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1. Whether you’re in New York, Phoenix, or Brazil, it really does take a village.
Tour of Taliesin West
Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright transformed the desert expanse surrounding his winter home into a living laboratory for organic architecture where students could explore the intersection of built and natural environments.
Now that tours of the home have been temporarily suspended, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is offering free virtual tours through its website. It’s a chance to place yourself in Wright’s shoes, overlooking the desert landscape he once dubbed “the rim of the world.” The tour highlights unique features of Wright’s architecture, even as a new generation of architects explores sustainability strategies for the future. Lynn Trimble
It’s been nearly 40 years since activists organized the first Pride march in Phoenix. This year, the annual event will get a new twist, as people avoid large crowds to help stem the spread of COVID-19. The first Virtual Arizona Pride event is happening on Saturday and Sunday, April 4 and 5. Expect an eclectic lineup of conversations, film screenings, music, comedy, drag storytimes, performances, and pop-up shops.
The free virtual event is a way to support the local LGBTQ+ community, experience work by local creatives, learn more about Arizona LGBTQ+ history, and show a little love through online donations to participating creatives if you feel inspired to do so. You can find the daily schedule online. Lynn Trimble
Hearts for Arizona
Art groups that reply on spring fundraisers are taking a big hit this year, as COVID-19 has caused mass cancellation of public gatherings. But some, including Arizona Citizens for the Arts, have found a way to translate their events into virtual experiences. The organization works for increased arts funding and art-friendly public policy around the state, but making its budget depends on ticket sales for an annual awards ceremony that won’t happen this spring as planned.
The organization is holding a virtual telethon called Hearts for Arizona starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3, and running through 4:59 p.m. on Saturday, April 4. The lineup includes comedy, poetry, theater, music, visual arts, and more. Also expect a robust lineup of demonstrations, for things like yoga, making cocktails, and arranging flowers. There’s no cost to watch the livestream, but artists will have virtual tip jars, and you also can bid on silent auction items to help support the cause.
The Legend of Georgia McBride
Art imitates life (sort of) in a music-filled comedy called The Legend of Georgia McBride, which imagines an Elvis impersonator losing his gig just as the rent is coming due and his wife learns there’s a baby on the way. See how he tackles tough times by launching an epic drag show, as Arizona Theatre Company brings its latest offering to the virtual performance space.
The company taped its production now that viewers can’t go to the theater to watch a live performance. You can buy a $25 ticket to watch the performance online during a two-week period, which is a fun way to get your theater fix while supporting the theater company through challenging times.