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San Francisco Cultural Institutions Offer Virtual Experiences

by Katie Skrzek

Apr 6, 2020

Photo: Svetlana Day | Dreamstime.com


Much like cities around the world, San Francisco closed its museums and performing arts venues temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to technology, those sheltering in place can experience many of these cultural institutions from the comfort of their own homes. Here are the places opening their doors remotely.


Alonzo King LINES Ballet

The ballet company is offering weekly live online dance classes for teens and adults. Genres include ballet, hip hop, contemporary and belly dance.


American Conservatory Theater

The theater will stream pre-recorded performances of two productions: Gloria and Toni Stone. Those who purchase tickets will receive a link to a password-protected site to view the productions.


Asian Art Museum

Explore more than 13,000 works on the Asian Art Museum’s online collection. The museum’s app features tours and activities. Its YouTube channel provides additional video programming. Educational resources are also available.


The Contemporary Jewish Museum building in San Francisco. Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. Photo: Oleschwander | Dreamstime.com

Contemporary Jewish Museum

The museum has a virtual tour of its current exhibit, “Levi Strauss: A History of American Style.” The museum also hosts different activities, including DIY projects, artist interviews, Facebook Live chats, educational resources and long-form articles.



The science museum has an online learning collection with a variety of activities, including some related to understanding COVID-19. Other digital programming and content are available and updated frequently.


Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The museum offers behind-the-scenes access to its exhibitions and collections on its YouTube channel. Normally the museum offers Free Saturday programming on site. Now, take advantage of virtual offerings on the museum’s social media channels.


Museum of the African Diaspora

A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum invites patrons to register for a virtual African book club. April’s selection is Small Country.


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The museum offers an array of content available for free. “Artist Interviews” is a video series with interviews from nearly 300 artists. Listen to the Raw Material podcast for discussions on modern and contemporary art. The museum hosts several digital publications on the website. Educational resources are available for teachers, or anyone finding themselves teaching at home now. Read essays written by curators, artists and others in the art world.


San Francisco Symphony

The San Francisco Symphony presents nine one-hour documentary episodes of “Keeping Score” with Michael Tilson Thomas, music director, San Francisco Symphony. The series explores the lives of influential composers from around the world. Episodes are released Wednesday and Saturday through April 11.


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