Art installation by Teresita Fernandez, Black Sun (2014), polycarbonate tubing, 660 x 960 x 120 inches, installation view, As Above So Below, MoCA, North Adams, MA
It seems like just yesterday events occupied every square on the calendar. There were places to go, people to see, things to do. It seems like yesterday because, well... it was. Social distancing rocked our way of life, but that does not mean you cannot enjoy a night out on the town while staying safe with family at home. These virtual experiences are just as fun—and they support Phoenix and Scottsdale arts organizations and restaurants. Win-win!
1. Take a virtual walk through the Phoenix Art Museum
The museum is temporarily closed, but you can feel all the First Friday vibes by doing a Virtual Visit. Phoenix Art Museum is leaning into the lull in foot traffic by streaming popular exhibitions like Legends of Speed, Teresita Fernández: Elemental and Explore India: Fashion’s Muse via YouTube. You will also find bonus content, including lectures and interviews with the artists.
2. Get Frank Lloyd Wright—in your living room
We need beauty and inspiration now more than ever. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Unity Temple Restoration Foundation teamed up to allow virtual tours of Wright’s most treasured buildings, including Taliesin West, Unity Tempe, Fallingwater and Hollyhock House. Follow their social channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for a new tour each Thursday. Not only is it a great way to calm anxiety—it raises much-needed awareness for these historic gems, which are now in jeopardy due to budget shortfalls and furloughs caused by COVID-19. Other ways to help: donate or become a member. SaveWright.org/WrightVirtualVisits
3. Live stream a painting class.
Pop open a bottle of wine and set up your easel in a relaxing spot in your home. Several local studios, including The Brush Bar (via Facebook Live—materials are available for curbside pickup from $15) and The Painter’s Lounge ($39 per class, which includes all materials needed delivered to your home) are live streaming lessons for pros and novices alike.
4. Book a virtual happy hour.
We’re not talking about the kind you have had with girlfriends or your grandparents on FaceTime. Some local restaurants and bars—including Postino and Undertow—are hosting virtual happy hours via Instagram Live. Get up close and personal with the owners, learn how to make some their signature items and perhaps some fun secrets. Follow them (@undertowphx and @postinowinecafe) for dates and times. And don’t forget to follow your favorite restos to see if they are getting in on the fun!
5. Catch a Phoenix Symphony show...from the couch.
There’s only so much Spotify you can listen to before the craving for live performances creeps back up. Phoenix Symphony will scratch the itch each Monday at 7PM through June 1 on 89.5 FM KBACH by broadcasting live. Conductor Tito Muñoz will bring the soothing riffs of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky right to your Air Pods or stereo. Pour a cocktail, close your eyes and soak it up.
6. Learn the foxtrot with Fred Astaire Studio.
You can’t become a Tik Tok dance master without first learning the basics of dance. Fred Astaire offers these free virtual ballroom dance lessons taught by world-renowned dance instructors including Dancing With the Stars superstar, Tony Dovolani.
Photography by: From top: David Dashiell, courtesy of Teresita Fernandez, Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong and Seoul | Steve Johnson on Unsplash | Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash