Art, music, culture—you don’t have to miss anything while in self-isolation in Greater Fort Lauderdale.

COVID-19 is postponing public performances and concerts, and temporarily closing museums and gardens—but you know what the virus can’t take away? Creativity. And, that’s just what we’re seeing from musicians, artists, and cultural leaders in Greater Fort Lauderdale and around the world who are finding creative ways to share their talents and even museum collections and exhibitions on social media and online. 

By now, maybe you’ve peeped the viral videos from Italy where residents are taking to their balconies and serenading one another; or maybe you’ve even joined in the massive celeb-filled (think J Lo, Oprah, and John Legend) online dance parties with DJ D-Nice. From our local radio stations pumping out virtual concerts to museums and cultural centers letting the arts take center stage online, here’s a look at where to find free entertainment.

Let the Music Play

Sure, the virus has stopped us all from gathering at concerts, but many musicians from every genre are offering impromptu and virtual concerts—literally, just follow your favorite singer/performer on social media and you’ll probably see they’ve scheduled a live performance or some sort of live interaction. Chris Martin from Coldplay, John Legend, country legends Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks, yep, they’re just some of the stars crooning from their homes or studios.

Pop-up virtual performances are happening everywhere including here in South Florida, so check the Instagram pages of radio stations like 104.3 The Shark, Power 96.5, and KISS Country 99.9 for information on streaming performances, Q&A’s, instrument tutorials, or replays of concerts that have already happened. For virtual concerts, from some of the biggest names to newcomers in the music biz, check out Billboard’s “Live At-Home” series. Josh Groban kicked it off in mid-March, singing “ You Raise Me Up” from his shower!

Every Friday Night 'Find Your Beach' on a Facebook Live Broadcast from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Coming to you from the porches, backyards and home studios of some of our favorite solo and acoustic artists who have graced the Sound Waves stage in years past - complete with dance videos during the break and photos of friends who over the years have become family. Find upcoming performances here

 

Our local BB&T Center has also rounded up a collection of concerts to keep you entertained. Check out their Concerts #FromYourCouch for live performances from Lady Gaga, Elton John, Queen, and more. Be sure to check back with them regularly as they continue to roll out content inspired by music for your at-home enjoyment.

 

Missing those nights of culture? At the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the stage is currently dark, but they’ve created YouTube playlists that feature beloved artists and award-winning performances. Let the music bring you back to a special performance, sing along to your favorite show tune—hello, “Aladdin”—or simply relax your mind.

 

Your Virtual License to Chill. Well, live touring may be temporarily paused as we all do our part to socially distance, but we're all still desperately in need of some fun! Margaritaville is re-broadcasting shows from the archives. Watch on Margaritaville.tv or listen on Radio Margaritaville on Sirius/XM. Check out the full schedule here

On a grand scale, the New York Metropolitan Opera is graciously streaming a different encore presentation from their “Live in HD” series each day, starring some of the opera’s greatest singers. Each performance is available from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the next day.

A Night (or day) at the Museum

Art is something we all desperately need right now, and the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is allowing the public to peruse their world-renowned contemporary art with a virtual tour. You have to check out the current exhibition “Happy!” meant to spark joy and a range of emotions with its floating cloud balloons and colorful rainbows. And, with a name like “Happy!” it couldn't be more appropriate for the times we’re living in?! The museum, located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, is encouraging virtual guests to select a piece that resonates with them and then share how it makes them feel with a friend or loved one, or even create something of their own. Share your work of art on social media using #DotheDistrict and start a conversation.

 

Missing our museums full of nature and history? You can still (virtually) stroll the stunning grounds of the historic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens with the “Virtual and Vintage Tour,” which includes a four-part video series. The vintage videos offer special tours inside the home, historic lore told by the late Bonnet House owner Evelyn Bartlett and Irene Hart (who as a child lived at and near the Bonnet House) and extended clips from the Bartletts’ home movies. It’s a way to relive much simpler times, until the home reopens for tours.

 

Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of Discovery and Science – MODS for short – releases a new Camp Discovery Goes Virtual video each weekday morning on the museum’s YouTube channel with presentations, experiences and lessons focused on STEAM topics Topics available include Dinosaur Bone Hunt, Sinister Sneezes, How to Make a Kazoo, and an Early Childhood Storytime reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

At the Stranahan House, built in 1901 by Frank Stranahan along the scenic New River, family-friendly, educational programming will be available via livestream as part of Stranahan House’s “Live from Fort Lauderdale” series. Tune in Monday through Friday at 11 a.m., grab the kids, and learn something together.

 

And, History Fort Lauderdale wants to make sure everyone stays current on Fort Lauderdale and our country’s past and present. They’ve created an entire series of lectures from prominent authors, historians, and civic leaders that highlight the challenges, achievements, and discoveries of the past that shape our present and will inform our future.

This idea is happening all over the world, with some of the top-tier museums and art galleries allowing the public to access their coveted collections online. You can instantly be transported to Paris, ogling pieces from the Musée d’Orsay, or thumbing through the digital archives of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

Don’t let this time go to waste, there’s so much to see and experience until we’re all back together in harmony very soon. By then, maybe you’ll have picked up a new craft or musical talent.