As part of widespread efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, there has been a flood of business closures including many of the world’s cultural institutions. While the pandemic has hit these institutions pretty hard, one thing has become abundantly clear: cultural institutions play a crucial role in our society, especially in times of need. They remind us of the past, show us where we are now, and give us hope for the future.
While nothing can quite replicate the sounds of wildlife or quiet escape of an art museum, it’s no wonder that only days after closing, many institutions opened their doors to anyone with a digital device and decent internet connection. Using the hashtags #MuseumFromHome and #MuseumMomentOfZen, cultural institutions near and far have begun sharing informative posts of their collections, allowing us all to experience and enjoy some of the world’s most famous and coveted exhibits from across the globe. Some offer 360-degree virtual tours taking you to every nook and cranny that each exhibit has to offer; several provide browsable archives of their collections and riveting behind-the-scene stories; and others utilize webcams to give you a glimpse into the lives of our favorite animals.
To help you make the most of your cultural experiences, we’ve compiled some tips:
- Make the time. Find a place and time with minimal interruptions and coordinate with livestream schedules so can enjoy the exhibits in front of you in real time.
- Class up your experience. While a perk of virtual offerings is being able to experience them in your pajamas, make sure that it still feels like a special day out with a plate of snacks or glass of wine to complement the collections.
- Get your learning on. In addition to exploring the exhibits, seize the opportunity to partake in the many educational programs being offered for both children and adults, ranging from podcasts to animal spotlights.
This digital transition of bringing the arts, sciences, and beyond does not simply provide us with our cultural fix; it more importantly speaks to our overall need for education, stimulation, and inspiration, especially as we navigate through these challenging times.
With that, we’re starting a new social media campaign, #TLCFieldTrip. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we will feature one of these incredible institutions—including museums, zoos, and libraries—so you can be transported to their exhibits and experience their dynamic virtual offerings.
As the world adjusts to a more homebound lifestyle for the time being, we hope you stay safe, keep healthy, and #MuseumFromHome.