San Francisco Provides Artistic and Cultural Enrichment While Sheltering in Place


San Francisco is home to some of the finest artistic and cultural institutions in the United States. It’s also a city where innovation and technology are as much a part of the landscape as Victorian houses and cable cars. When San Francisco’s museums and performing arts organizations temporarily closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, their drive to share and inspire kicked into high gear. The result is a broad and colorful spectrum of ways to experience the enrichment of San Francisco while sheltering in place.

The de Young and Legion of Honor museums, SFMOMA, the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University and Alcatraz Island are featured on Google Arts & Culture. This highly interactive platform practically gives you a private tour of the world’s greatest museums. Here are highlights of arts and cultural experiences available remotely from major San Francisco institutions.

San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT)

In light of the COVID-19 closures, the San Francisco Symphony is making available nine one-hour documentary episodes of “Keeping Score” with Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT). The program traces the lives of eight influential composers from around the world. 

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s (SFMOMA) “Artist Interviews” series offers nearly 300 artist interviews with some of the most forward-thinking artists of our time, in their own words, as they share their stories, creative processes and how they bring their visions to life in our artist interview series. 

SFMOMA’s award-winning arts and culture “Raw Material” podcast feature a different “podcaster-in-residence” each season to explore modern and contemporary art through a new lens. The series is currently in season six. SFMOMA’s online and live interdisciplinary commissioning platform “Open Space” is anchored in the Bay Area but casts a wide net, commissioning and supporting critical, experimental and poetic ruminations by artists, writers, and thinkers from all over the world.

MoAD (Museum of the African Diaspora)

MoAD, a Smithsonian affiliate, invites readers to register for the Virtual African Book Club. April’s book selection is “Small Country” by Gaël Faye. Already an international sensation and prize-winning bestseller in France, an evocative coming-of-age story of a young boy, a lost childhood and a shattered homeland.

Contemporary Jewish Museum

The Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) is sharing its exhibition, “Levi Strauss: A History of American Style” exhibition with a virtual tour. In 1873, at the end of the California Gold Rush, Levi Strauss & Co., named for a Bavarian Jewish dry goods merchant in San Francisco, obtained a U.S. patent with tailor Jacob Davis on the process of putting metal rivets in men’s denim work pants to increase their durability. It was the birth of the blue jean.   

American Conservatory Theater

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) will stream video-recorded performances of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s “Gloria” and Lydia R. Diamond’s “Toni Stone.” The title character in “Toni Stone” dreams of nothing but baseball. But to become the first woman to play professionally with men as a member of the Negro League’s Indianapolis Clowns, she must confront hostile crowds, ruthless team owners, and players who slide spikes first. As she negotiates life’s challenges and opportunities on and off the field, Toni stays true to herself and reaches for who she can be. 

Alonzo King LINES Ballet

The famed Alonzo King Lines Ballet is offering weekly live online classes for teens and adults. From Ballet to hip hop and contemporary to belly dance, LINES Dance Center offers an exciting selection of styles, faculty, and levels for all movers.  

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco – the de Young and the Legion of Honor – offer exclusive content at their YouTube channel and Blog for behind the scenes look at the exhibitions and collections. 


The Exploratorium has launched an online learning toolbox that helps make sense of timely topics and provides general science support for virtual classrooms or learning together at home. Science Snacks are bite-sized science activities to do with simple materials.



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