Arts Playlist: Connecting with audiences online during COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic forced arts organizations and museums across the First State to close, but for some that doesn’t mean being completely cut off from their audiences.
A number of them are getting creative as they seek ways to stay engaged with people who would normally stroll through their doors.
In this week’s Arts Playlist,Delaware Public Media’s Kelli Steele takes a “virtual” road tripto see what some these places are doing.
Hagley Museum and the Delaware Contemporary - both in Wilmington, the Biggs Museum in Dover and the Delaware Museum of Natural History - also in Wilmington - are just a few places thinking outside the box.
The Delaware Museum of Natural History's communications director Jennifer Acord says kids at home need something fun and educational to do, and that’s why its daily 11a.m. storytime is now on Facebook live.
“The storytime and the live animal presentations - in addition to our taxidermy - we have many live animals like bearded dragons and snakes," said Acord. "We even have a Museum cat here and we’re showing all of them on Facebook live. But then we’re taking those recordings and linking them on our website.”
Kerri Lacey is director of Marketing at the Biggs Museum in Dover.
“The first thing we thought about was our permanent collection," said Lacey. "And to begin, we started featuring a daily item on social media - on our Twitter, on our Facebook and on our Instagram.”
Virtual exhibitions at the Biggs can be viewed here.
The Delaware Contemporary’s director of public engagement Brittany Powell says they’re offering virtual tours and online galleries. She adds there are also things on their website for kids.
“We’ve got downloadable art activity workbooks for students that are ages 3-7 and ages 8-12, said Powell. "These are booklets that are focused on basic elements of art. So the first one is up now - focused on color.”
The Hagley Museum and Library hired a new executive director amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
That new director, Jill MacKenzie, says her staff is using the downtime to plan for this summer, when they can hopefully re-open:
“What we’re doing is kind of figuring out - okay what are our deadlines - when we need to make the decision can we go forward with this event," said MacKenzie. "And certainly I think the one event that most people associate with Hagley in the summer is our fireworks.”
The Delaware Art Museum’s world-renowned Pre-Raphaelite art collection as well as its American art, illustration, contemporary art and sculpture garden collections, can also all be viewed online.
The sculpture garden is open to visitors from dawn until dusk.
For the next few Fridays at 10:30 a.m., the museum will also post a Glory of Story, a virtual story time with a work of art and an activity to bring the art and story to life.
Also, the Mt. Cuba Center has created a virtual tour of its entire property. This includes its more than 630 acres of grounds, the main house, ponds, meadows and gardens, home to more than 1,000 native plants. Many are threatened with extinction. Mt. Cuba can be virtually visited here.
The Brandywine River Museum has created a virtual tour of its special exhibition "Votes for Women: A Visual History," featuring curator Amanda Burdan, Ph.D. It can be viewed here.It celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which granted women the right to vote.
The Delaware Children’s Museum is also posting step-by-step how to videos on activities and crafts parents can do with their children while they are home. The videos can be accessed on the museum’s Facebook page, here.