Isolation Inspiration: Arts & Culture

Pointing at laptop image

The Coronavirus pandemic may have us housebound more, but there is a huge array of arts and culture online to keep you inspired and engaged. We'd love to hear your suggestions as well.

Whether it’s a concert, dance, opera, art or craft you’re craving, take your pick from our suggestions below.

We’ll be updating them regularly and if you have any you would like to share, contact us by:

  • Email:
  • Phone: 9518 3636
  • Social media:
    Facebook  @cityofmonash
    Twitter       @MonashCouncil
    Instagram @monashcouncil

Quick links:

Create at Home

Sunny Saturdays – Mary Walker Arts & Education

Sunny Saturdays are free 40 minute online drama workshops for primary school aged children running every Saturday from 7 November t12th December 2020.

The workshops are divided into 3 age groups: 5-7, 8-10 and 11-12. They are aimed to support a healthy and positive mind. The workshops explore feelings, processing anxiety and worry and focusing on the positives. They are aligned with some brilliant resources from Smiling Mind. All of this is done through drama games and activities.

More info: Sunny Saturdays

ArtsHub - Artist Essentials Tooklit Videos

In this time of social distancing restrictions, it has become more important than ever to create and share inclusive online content in order to connect with others and promote your artwork. In these Artists Essential Toolkit videos, co-produced by ArtsHub and Creative Victoria, you will learn the basics of creating your own website and blog, promoting your brand using different social media platforms and sharing your work with an artistic community. 

Once you have got started, you can always share with us at

We love to see what you have been creating!

Bilingual Chinese Painting Tutorials

Wenxin Community Art Academy has made their bi-lingual Chinese painting classes accessible to Monash residents. You can now find tutorials on how to create beautiful Chinese style paintings uploaded weekly on Youtube. 

More info: Wenxin Community Art Academy Youtube

Little Things Big Ideas - Miniature book activity with art therapist Emma Finch

Learn to make a miniature book activity for participants of all ages and artistic abilities. Watch Emma as she takes you through a very simple process of creating your big ideas in miniature. 

  1. Watch the below video with Emma Finch
  2. Create your own miniature book
  3. Take a photo of your favourite page and send it to
Watch the video below


Monash Lockdown Challenge - Recreating Famous Artwork

Are you a fan of the Mona Lisa or the Girl with a Pearl Earring? Maybe you love The Scream? We're running a fun Monash Lockdown Challenge and asking you to share your recreation of your favourite famous artwork! 

Get involved by picking an artwork, recreating it and sharing it with us!

More info: Monash Lockdown Challenge

Sarah Munnings - Jewellery Workshops at Home

Learn to make earrings at home - all you need is a hammer and a pair of pliers and Sarah will send everything else!

Sarah is missing her face-to-face workshops so these workshops in a box are the next best thing for now. There are 7 workshops in the series. 

More info: Workshops in a box

Woven by Society - DIY sewing kits

Find a range of DIY sewing kits available online. All you need if your own sewing machine and Robyn from Woven by Society will send you the rest! 

These are great for beginners or experienced sewers looking for something a bit different. Sewing is great therapy and a relaxing activity to do from home. 

More info: DIY Kits

Online craft classes - From Picture to Page 

Local Mount Waverley crafting company From Picture to Page is running online craft classes, offering three levels of tutorials: at home with the kids, general crafter and experienced crafter. 

These tutorials are all FREE! Find out more at the links below.

At home with the kids: Gratitude Heart Garland

General Crafters: Papercrafts Shows on YouTube

Experienced Crafters: Mixed Media Arts

More info: From Picture to Page

Polyglot at Home

One way that we can stay connected, motivated and positive is online. We challenged our ingenious artists to come up with some fun things to do with stuff that’s probably already in your house. Don’t have kids? Don’t worry! These creative activities are for all ages (some kids may need a hand with things like scissors). Help us share the fun and video or photograph you and your family playing at home with Polyglot. Post it on your socials and mention or tag us so we can all stay connected. Home-bound hilarity – ACTIVATE.

More info: Polyglot at home

Homebound: Art Acts and Acts of Art for Kids and their Grown-Ups

A beautiful collection of activities for kids collated on Facebook by Claudia Chidiac, which truly celebrates Australian art and artists.

More info: Home Bound Art Acts

Educational Activities by Patch

Here are some of our favourite fun (and educational) activities to try at home or school. We’re updating this page with new activities regularly.

More info: Patch Theatre

Barking Gecko Theatre - Isolate > Create > Connect

Barking Gecko Theatre in collaboration with ThinkArts in India has created a new digital initiative Isolate > Create > Connect to highlight the similarities and differences that children are experiencing right now across the globe. This will become a lasting record of how life in isolation during COVID-19 was experienced by young people.

Weekly videos were delivered by teaching artists from BGT and ThinkArts online, children aged 5 to 17 are set a creative task inviting them to create a small artwork capturing their perspective on the world right now.

Videos are still on their website for your family to find creative projects to keep them entertained.

More info: Isolate Create Connect

Performing Arts

Melbourne Digital Concert Hall Program

A rapid-response initiative designed to support the fragile arts industry during the COVID-19 crisis, Melbourne Digital Concert Hall presented its first live-streamed performance in March. The busy program managed by Melbourne musicians continues and future performances celebrates Australian composers and emerging artists. Bookings required, at $24 per concert.

More info: Melbourne Digital Concert Hall

The Australian Ballet - Bodytorque Digital

Bodytorque is the Australian Ballet’s development program, supporting talented emerging choreographers. Bodytorque Digital will showcase “the endurance of creativity during isolation, five up-and-coming choreographers were tasked with developing new works designed specifically for the digital space. Bodytorque.Digital combines all elements – choreography, dancers, music, and cinematography – together through digital screens and virtual rehearsals.”

More info: The Australian Ballet

No Strings Attached  - Melbourne Guitar Festival

The Melbourne Guitar Festival was set to expand this year, adding a months-long series of concerts in regional Victoria and interstate to September’s main event. Instead, festival director Michael MacManus has moved his vision online with a 37-week, mostly live-streamed concert series featuring local and international classical guitarists. Pre-registration, with a donation of your choice, is required.

More info: Melbourne Guitar Festival

Music Victoria - Coronavirus Response

In light of the current (COVID-19) Coronavirus outbreak, Music Victoria and VMDO have put together some useful resources for the Victorian music industry.

Including Best Ways for Music Lovers to Help, Creative Industry Resources, Creativity, Educational, Employment, Financial, Livestream, and Mental Wellbeing  Resources.

More info: Coronavirus Response

Together With You - free archival recordings and performances

"Share in the wonder of the performing arts.
While our curtains are drawn, the show will go on with a series of free archival recordings and digital experiences.
To help uplift and connect during this time, we’ll be sharing full length performances, artist interviews, family activities, podcasts, curated playlists and more.
Keep checking in as new programming will be regularly released for your enjoyment.
Let us come to you, until we meet again under the Spire."

More info: Together With You

Sydney Opera House Digital Series

In difficult times, we believe that the arts can both inspire and strengthen the community. While the Opera House’s physical stages are not in use we will continue to share uplifting stories and digital experiences with you all. Join us for a weekly program of unmissable full-length performances, live recordings and never-before-seen footage from the Opera House archives.

More info: Sydney Opera House Digital Series

Theatre Around the World

"Even though theaters around the world are closed, the show must go on…online that is. Arts companies are streaming productions, so you can experience everything from a lavish opera at the Met to a high school production of an award-winning play.
While sometimes coming together means spending some time (physically) apart, the arts is the ultimate connector, and these livestreamed productions, concerts, and more are making our world feel a little bit smaller right now. "

More info: Theatre Around the World

Windmill Theatre at Home

A new online platform that hopes to bring a little bit of Windmill joy into your home. We believe that good stories bring people together and can make even the darkest days brighter.

We've worked closely with our wonderful team of artists and creatives to share some of your favourite stories in a whole new way. Read on to discover a whole suite of stories with Grug, a collection of hands-on activities and explore our interactive (and award-winning) digital experiences.

We'll be back onstage just as soon as we can. For now, find us here and on your screens!

More info: Windmill at Home

Creative Theatre Challenges

Keep creative by accepting the creative challenges set up by Corrugated Iron.

More info: Keep Creative

Museums and Galleries

MGA - Monash Gallery of Art Digital Works

"MGA holds a collection of almost 3400 Australian photographic works. Our growing collection aims to provide a cogent and refined account of Australian photographic practices from the perspective of an art museum. As a result of our efforts to date, MGA is the only cultural institution in the country whose collection is focussed solely on Australian photography.
Explore our collection is an online resource started in September 2013 that provides digital access to the collection. Currently over 30% of the collection is available online with many records including extended texts and artist biographies to create an excellent resource of Australian photographers and photographs for researchers, students, and the general public."

More info: Monash Gallery of Art Digital Works

Melbourne Museum at Home

If you're feeling like a cooped up critter or a nervous numbat, we can relate. Whilst Melbourne Museum’s doors might be closed, there’s still a whole lot of magic going on. We've curated our best online content for you to enjoy from the couch!

More info: Melbourne Museum at Home

Google Arts and Culture around the World

Missing visiting beautiful artwork? Well check out Google Arts & Culture, an online platform through which the public can view high-resolution images and videos of artworks and cultural artifacts from partner cultural organizations throughout the world.

More info: Google Arts and Culture

Anne Frank video diary

The Anne Frank Musuem in Amsterdam has posted a video diary where an actor plays Anne Frank, sharing her secret life hidden in the annex. The 15 episode series is based on her diary and letters. 

More info: Anne Frank video diary

Museum of Modern Art: Art Online

New York's Museum of Modern Art has eight free courses online, perfect for beginners offering topics including Fashion as Design to What is Contemporary Art?

More info: MoMA Art Online

Watch, Listen and Read 

Austen Con – a Jane Austen digital festival

Running live online for ONE DAY ONLY on Saturday 7 November 2020, the third annual Austen Con is a much-loved celebration and exploration of all things Jane Austen.

Completely online and interactive, this year ticket holders can partake in workshops from Bonnet-making and painting, to dancing and baking, with a wonderful array of guest presenters and expert enthusiasts. They are also invited to join lively discussions and watch some of Melbourne’s finest arts companies bring Austen’s words to life.

  • 9am – 5pm, Saturday 7 November 2020
  • Tickets: $20

More info: Austen Con

Have your own film festival at home

We can’t sit in the cinema eating expensive snacks in the dark with strangers at the moment. Thank goodness for the internet. We can still enjoy amazing movies from our comfy living rooms, eating obscene amounts of snacks (no judgement here!) in our pyjamas with our loved ones.

To enjoy some free International and Australian cinema from home check out these services

  • Beamafilm  This Australasian based movie streaming service specialises in high quality independent and documentary films. Free with your Monash Public Library Service library card. If you don’t have a card already join online.
  • SBS OnDemand has a great collection of Hollywood hits, a fantastic selection of international films, and indie films.
  • ABC IView has a great collection of Australian Movies for free on their website.
  • Tubi is a free, ad-supported streaming service. There is content from major Hollywood studios as well as plenty of fun B-grade films too.
  • Kanopy – Check with a library service outside of the City of Monash or your tertiary education provider, for example Monash University.
  • If you’re a student at Monash University, you also have access to a range of online video streaming services.

The show must go online

Another initiative that came out of nowhere is Hope, which is gathering actors, playwrights and musical-theatre composers to develop 10 new works. Like the project’s three creative directors, most participants are based in Victoria, but near or far (including some Aussies in New York) they must collaborate virtually given social-distancing limitations. A reading of each work-in-progress will be filmed then streamed to the public every few days.

More info: Hope New Works

ABC Radio Art Show 

“The Art Show brings you in-depth conversations with artists and creative thinkers from Australia and around the world. Airs Wednesday 10am Repeated: Sunday 3am and 11pm”

More info: ABC Radio

Shrine of Remembrance videos and podcasts

Many of the Public Programs held at the Shrine of Remembrance are recorded and available for download including talks by historians and authors.

More info: Shrine What's On

100 Outdoor Films To Watch Online For Free

A list of 100 outdoor films to watch online for free from the archives of the Banff Mountain Film Festival, the world’s premier adventure film festival.

We’re living through extraordinary times and, like most, we’re currently not hiking or travelling anywhere. As such, we’re on the hunt for as much inside-outdoor entertainment as we can find.

Fortunately, a Reddit user has compiled a list of contemporary outdoor films recently showcased at Banff Mountain Film Festival – all available to watch online.

More info: Outdoor films to watch online for free

ArtsHub Digital Events

Welcome to the home of the Australian arts industry. ArtsHub is your definitive source for arts jobs, industry news, reviews and data. They have loads of links connecting you to digital exhibitions, online workshops & courses, streaming events, and more during COVID-19.

More info: ArtsHub what's on

Online Learning

Diversity Arts Australia: Creative Equity Toolkit

The Creative Equity Toolkit is a knowledge-exchange website and program to support arts and creative organisations in reaching their diversity and inclusion goals.

Research consistently reveals how very Anglo-focused our creative industries remain. While many organisations know the value of cultural diversity in the arts, it’s not always easy to know how to create change. The Creative Equity toolkit is a digital platform of practical resources to help arts leaders, creative workers and practitioners and organisations take action on creating diversity in their sector. Creative Equity Toolkit will feature toolkits, guidebooks, directories and how-to instructions, along with links to research, case studies, and policy documents. The site adopts an instructional, hands-on conversational tone—something akin to a travel guidebook.

More info: Creative Equity Toolkit

Open Culture 

Open Culture brings together high-quality free educational media including courses and kids' resources. 

More info: Open Culture

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Last updated: 30 October 2020