BBC Presents ‘Culture In Quarantine’ For Coronavirus Social-Distancing Initiative
Streaming services all over the internet are thriving during this time of social-distancing and self-quarantining. With Coronavirus shutting down any and all sources of art and culture to the outside world, the internet is all we have to turn to when it comes to watching some of our favorite movies, plays, shows, or visiting some of our favorite museums and theaters.
Google Arts and Culture has teamed up with the world’s most famous museums to deliver virtual tours of each establishment for those staying at home, as we all should be. Beyond that, BroadwayHD offers online streaming of some of New York City’s most famous productions, and the Metropolitan Opera does the same.
Most recently, the BBC has announced a plan to keep the world’s most prestigious art and cultural institutions alive through their own means of streaming. The “Culture in Quarantine Festival” will be covering everything from the theater and dance to art and classical music, all as a means of keeping the public a little more sane during this time of complete panic.
BBC Radio 3 made the initial announcement, but the festival itself will be covered on multiple platforms including social media and television. The festival will contain guides to closed exhibits or permanent gallery collections. Exclusive music and comedy performances along with pre-recorded versions of certain plays and other theater performances will also be included within the festival.
The BBC states that this will be “a virtual festival of the arts…rooted in the experience of both voluntary and involuntary isolation. All this will be done hand-in-hand with the wider arts and cultural sector through coverage and collaboration.”
BBC Radio 3 has begun streaming different classical music genres and performers throughout the week, but their main plan is to begin playing recordings from some of Europe’s most famous orchestras to bring some of the cancelled concerts that were meant to take place in the coming weeks, right into peoples homes.
In addition, BBC is hoping to shine a major spotlight on the freelance musicians of the world, who are now even more limited in sharing their craft due to the quarantine. There’s a major emphasis on mental health with this festival as well. The many art forms within the umbrella of “Art and Culture” often act as a sort of therapy for people. Not only practicing certain crafts, but being inspired by others is what motivates many artists, so this festival is working to keep those worlds connected and open.
“For a sector that thrives on bringing people together to share live and shared experiences, and that brings benefits for us all, it raises the urgent question: what is culture in a state of quarantine? For me, a precious ray of sunshine has emerged in the clear determination of artists, performers, curators and producers to keep creating and connecting with audiences whatever the circumstances. Historically, artists thrive on periods of isolation and it seems certain that the current period will result in new plays, poems, books, films, paintings, sculptures and all other forms of art that might not otherwise occur,” said Director of Arts at the BBC, Jonty Claypole.
The amount of streaming services that have come together to deliver at home entertainment for those of us who are stuck and worried about the massive unknown that comes with a global pandemic is astounding. It’s easy to get trapped in an endless thread about all the major and minor facts regarding COVID-19, but more times than not that’s just going to cause more hysteria. Follow the government’s orders, maintain good hygiene, and keep your distance as much as possible. Use this time to focus on you and your mental health and make sure you’re giving yourself everything you need to keep your mind, body and soul in a good place.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.