Isolation Inspiration: Arts & Culture

Watching video

The Coronavirus restrictions may have us housebound, but there’s a huge array of arts and culture online to keep you inspired and engaged during isolation. 

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 3555
  • Social media:
    Facebook  @cityofmonash
    Twitter       @MonashCouncil
    Instagram @monashcouncil

Quick links:

Create at Home

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

Free online arts & culture classes

Keep those creative juices flowing during lockdown with our Arts and Culture classes!

Monash residents will have the opportunity to access fun and free online classes taught by Laneway Learning. All classes will be engaging and interactive to make learning as easy as possible.

More info: Free online Arts and Culture classes

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


We want your movies!

We're missing you – our beloved patrons – during this time, so we want to reconnect. That's why we’ve decided to host the Isolation Film Festival 2020.

A short film competition presented by Classic, Lido, Cameo and Ritz Cinemas, Isolation Film Festival invites you to make a short film at home for your chance to win cash prizes as well as a golden ticket for a year from when our cinemas are allowed to re-open.

More info: Isolation Film Festival

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

Mackie Rd Neighbourhood House - Online classes

Mackie Rd Neighbourhood House provides a range of classes and groups for community members, including art classes for children and teenagers. 

More info: Mackie Rd classes and courses

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. 

Through a weekly video 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. Once their creation is complete and uploaded, a digital scrapbook of children’s creative responses will be created to reflect this unprecedented time in history.

At a time where children don’t have access to the connection we crave, this project is designed to keep children connected to their creativity and encourage them to find expression through whatever tools they have at their disposal in their homes.

Although we have had to press ‘pause’ on our day-to-day life for now, creativity is always at our fingertips!

The 10-week program started on Wednesday 29 April and children are welcome to join in at any time until its conclusion in the last week of June.
Sign up today to be a part of the journey!

More info: Isolate Create Connect

Shelter - Multicultural Arts Victoria 

Multicultural Arts Victoria is inviting expressions of interest from writers, visual artists, music and sound producers, songwriters and composers to create new works that can be shared online for Shelter.

Shelter is a new MAV produced initiative that will reflect on and respond to this unique moment in time in which we find ourselves confined to our own homes. For some home is a safe space and for some it is a dangerous place. For most of us now, home is a place of isolation, uncertainty, challenge, or even crisis.

We are all explorers right now, navigating physical and mental spaces of not knowing, renegotiating our relationships to home and each other, reframing our “shelter in” experience from being a personal disruption to a quest for collective wellbeing, and trying to imagine the new normal beyond pandemic.

More info: Shelter Commissions Program

Performing Arts

All Abilities Dance Class - Chrisalis Foundation

Everyone is welcomed to join a fun all abilities dance class online! The classes are open to people of all abilities, carers, family and friends. No partner or dance experience necessary. 

The program has been running successfully for over two years now and Council has supported Chrisalis Foundation through our Monash Community Grants Program during that time. 

Online classes are free and run throughout Term 2 (ending 24 June 2020). 

More info: All Abilities Dance Class

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

Clayton Virtual Festival

Do you live, work or play in Clayton? Join us for a Clayton Virtual Festival from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 May.

We have a range of activities programmed that include dance, yoga, drawing, music and more. Check out the program and sign up below.

Also, please share this invitation with your networks! We are hoping that this exercise enables communities to come together and create bonds that last after COVID-19 ends. Hopefully online encounters translate into offline friendships in the future.

Looking forward to "seeing" you next weekend!

More info: Clayton Virtual Festival

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

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Williamstown Theatre Festival in the USA will make the season of new work as planned.  WTF is creating a season in collaboration with Audible, the world’s largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks, in a format safe to elevate, entertain, transport, reveal, unmask and transform audiences from the comfort of their homes. The stellar group of artists who planned to spend the summer in Williamstown, will deliver—with fearlessness and redoubled passion—on the promise they made to create this work for you. This virus might get to tell us what we cannot do but it does not get to dictate what we can do. The voices of these artists will be heard. Works include "A Streetcar Named Desire", "Cult Of Love", "Photograph 51", "Wish You Were Here", "Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club", "Row" and "Animals".

More info: Williamstown Theatre Festival

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra - Free Online Performances

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is hosting an online concert series to bring their wonderful music into your home. Tune in to youtube every Thursday at 7.30pm to #KeeptheMusicGoing. 

More info: Free Online Performances

Melbourne Comedy Festival - Free Comedy Acts

Melbourne International Comedy Festival will be sharing a daily clip from past festivals. The festival may not be going ahead but you won't miss out on the artists you wanted to see! Visit their YouTube channel or more.

More info: Free Comedy Acts

Enjoy American Theatre while Stuck at Home

"Check out this New York Times article ""Great Theater, Dance and Classical Music to Tune Into While Stuck at Home"". It is full of great ways to access a lot of American theatre content from the safety and comfort of your home.
Please note though that not all of it may be free or totally accessible in Australia."

More info: Enjoy American Theatre while Stuck at Home

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

Opacize Dance Fitness Classes at Home

Opacize is similar to aerobics/zumba and is suitable for beginners. Liz does a mix of high and low impact, easy to follow dance aerobic moves.  It's a 30 min live class on Facebook on Monday nights at 7pm. When life gets back to normal, classes will resume at Glen Waverley every week.  Until then - see you online!

To book in for the classes phone Liz on 0424 953 280 or message her on Facebook.

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

Moogahl Live Events online

Mooghalin are hosting artists weekly in their Moogah-live platform! MOOGAHL LIVE is a response to unfolding world events and their impact on our cultural arts community.

With the current limits on outdoor and indoor gatherings and arts events being cancelled, Moogahlin wants to bring the Artist to the Community via a series of Facebook Live events.

Performances will be rough, ready, and interactive, as audiences join the artist in their own homes for a chance to moogahl about!

More info: Moogahl live

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

Head On Photo Festival

This year Australia’s leading photography festival is turning 11 – and going completely virtual. It’s been rechristened to the Head On(line) Photo Festival.

You can explore more than 110 exhibitions and a daily program of 80 online events from May 1 to 17. Artists from five continents are involved in the festival, which has previously toured America, China, India, Europe and New Zealand.

The topics explored include the urgency of climate change, the precious (but fleeting) nature of childhood, the beauty of old age, the rise of anti-immigration groups, the devastation of war, identity politics, and the value – inherent and ascribed – of the selfie.

More info: Head On

Watch and Listen

ABC Radio Creation in Isolation

ABC Radio is hosting Creation in Isolation, a weekly check in with members of the Australian arts community to see how they're going and to hear the creative ways they continue their practice.

More info: ABC Radio Creation in Isolation

Ted Connects: Community and Hope

TED Connects: Community and Hope – a live, daily conversation series with global leaders and experts, whose ideas can help us reflect and work through this uncertain time with a sense of responsibility, compassion and wisdom. Hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers.

More info: Ted Connects: Community and Hope

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

Open Culture 

Open Culture brings together high-quality free cultural media including films and audiobooks. 

More info: Open Culture

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

Human Kind Online Film Festival

Presented by Human Rights Art & Film Festival. A 7-day online festival presenting a retrospective of exceptional films that speak to and celebrate the resilience of the human spirit.

One film per day, one theme per film, based on a set of attributes that shape and characterise human nature. In these times of sudden change, we remember what it is to be human. We remember what it is to be a neighbour. We remember how important it is to connect. We find joy. We share grief. We get creative. We gain perspective. We unite as humankind.

Programs & tickets launching 1 May 2020. 

More info: Human Kind Festival

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

Chatterpack - Boredom - Busting Resources!

ChatterPack has posted a list of free, online, boredom-busting resources! It includes links to Google: Arts & Culture where you can explore museums and art galleries around the world. There are also links to free musical experiences, online learning, science, literature and mental health resources. It's a great, comprehensive list of free things that let you experience the world from your home.  

More info: Chatterpack

Law Week 2020

Law Week 2020 presented by the Victorian Law Foundation in May has a program of online lectures, panel discussions, info sessions and exhibitions including Confined 11 , a program supporting Aboriginal offenders and ex-offenders to tell their stories. There's also a session for makers about copyrighting their craft and protecting their intellectual property. 

More info: Events, Confined 11, Copyright Your Craft

Open Culture 

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

More info: Open Culture

Mackie Rd Neighbourhood House - Online courses

Mackie Rd Neighbourhood House provides a range of classes and groups for community members, including special interest classes such as learning a language, life writing, editing and more. 

More info: Mackie Rd classes and courses

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Last updated: 15 May 2020