All the virtual concerts, plays, museums and other culture you can enjoy from home – CNN

The fact is, most of us are going to be spending a lot of time at home. And while nothing can replicate the swell of a live orchestra or the quiet murmur of an art gallery on a Saturday morning, there are countless cultural experiences at your fingertips to make your time indoors more artful and imaginative.
CNN Style looks at some of the most fascinating, immersive concerts, museum tours and other virtual experiences you can take part in from the comfort of your own home.

Top 5 picks this week

The National Theater brings theater to screens

As part of The National Theater at Home, full-length productions will be uploaded its YouTube channel every Thursday (7pm BST/2pm EST). ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’, written by Richard Bean and starring James Cordon premiered April 2 and will be free to stream for a week. It is to be followed by ‘Jane Eyre’ on April 9.

The National Theater is bringing the stage to the screen Credit: Simone Joyner/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images

Alvin Ailey launches ‘All Access’

The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater has launched #AileyAllAccess in celebration of the theater’s anniversary, and has made a range of digital content, including dance tutorials and performances, available for viewing. In addition to this, a full-length recording of Ailey’s acclaimed piece ‘Revelations’ is now available to watch for free on YouTube.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performing Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece ‘Revelations’ Credit: Paul Kolnik

Alexander McQueen launches ‘McQueen Creators’

Finding creative new ways to engage with their audience, the brand’s newly launched McQueen Creators initiative sets artistic tasks for fans online. This week the McQueen team asked people to sketch, paint or draw the Autumn-Winter 2019 Rose dress and upload their art to Instagram (hashtagging #McQueenCreators) for a chance to be featured on their feed.

Curator-led tours of Tate’s exhibit’s

The Tate is to launch free online film tours of Andy Warhol (April 6) and Aubrey Beardsley (April 13) exhibitions on their YouTube channel. The virtual tours are to showcase over 100 artworks from Warhol and will be led by Director of Tate’s Collection of International Art, Gregor Muir.

“Marilyn Diptych” 1962,” by US artist Andy Warhol at the Tate Modern. Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

Guggenheim Bilbao virtual tour

Google Arts and Culture has collated a number of virtual art tours and museum exhibits from around the world. Their exploration of the Guggenheim Bilbao is a must-see and features cinematographic photos and videos captured by freerunners. Guided tours of masterpieces from the collection is also available.

Guggenheim Bilbao Museum in the Spain Credit: ANDER GILLENEA/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

Art galleries


Musée d’Orsay: Paris

Take in 278 masterpieces here. Our suggestions: Vincent Van Gogh’s self portrait, and Éduoard Manet’s legendary nude, “Olympia.” Don’t worry about clicking aimlessly, all the pieces have extensive descriptions and notations.

National Gallery of Art: Washington, D.C.

View online exhibits and more than 42,000 works here. Our suggestion: A selection of fashion watercolors from the Index of American Design.

Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Uffizi Gallery: Florence, Italy

Take a virtual walk through Florence’s artistic gem before stopping to admire some of the museum’s most famous inhabitants. Our suggestion: Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” of course. But also, in the tour, don’t forget to drag the screen and look up at the beautiful frescoes on the ceiling, painted by Alessandro Allori.

Johannesburg Art Gallery: Johannesburg

Browse more than 500 works from Africa’s largest art gallery. Our suggestion: The museum houses plenty of works form Dutch and other European artists, but it also offers an array of works from South African artists. For a more historical angle, browse their online exhibit about the role of photography and resistance in the era of Apartheid.

Paul Morigi

National Portrait Gallery: Washington, D.C.

The intimate nature of portraiture makes this museum a particularly great option for a home browse. Our suggestion: Now’s the time to take a closer look at the Obama portraits everyone raves about.

National Gallery Victoria: Victoria, Melbourne

After a 6-year digitization project, more than 75,000 works from the gallery’s collection are available online. Also on offer are free curator-led virtual exhibition tours, which are added to regularly. This weekend visit ‘KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness’ (from Saturday March 21), and ‘Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines’ (as of Saturday March 28).

Rijksmuseum: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Get up close with some of the world’s most loved artworks, including Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” and Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid” via a new online platform, Rijksmuseum Masterpieces Up Close, which allows visitors to browse artworks from the Amsterdam museum, accompanied by videos, audio clips and 360º images.
The Rijksmuseum also has a platform called the Rijksstudio, which allows participants to download artwork images to create masterpieces of their own. There are more than 700,000 high-resolution images to choose from.

Tate Galleries: UK

The UK-based art powerhouse is offering downloadable exhibition guides, including for the recently opened Aubrey Beardsley and Andy Warhol exhibitions. Their online collection, featuring nearly 80k artworks is also available to view, from Salvador Dali to David Hockney as part of their Staying Inspired At Home initiative.
Tate Modern has an online-only performance available to watch by Congolese dance artist and choreographer Faustin Linyekula. “My Body, My Archive” centers around social and political tensions in the performer’s home country.


Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

British Museum: London

Explore a stunning visual timeline of the world, with an array of annotated objects. Our suggestion: This timeline pairs nicely with “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” a podcast narrated by the Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor. (If your ears are craving more, here are some more culture podcasts to enjoy.)

African American History and Culture: Washington, D.C.

If you’ve ever wanted to visit an extremely popular museum but couldn’t seem to nab tickets, a virtual tour is the next best thing! This one gives you just a taste of what the museum has to offer, and where in the museum each feature is located.

Victoria and Albert Museum: London

Ever wanted to don a big 18th-century hairpiece? Here’s your opportunity, with the V&A’s Design a wig activity.

Lucia RM Martino/National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History: Washington, D.C.

Dinosaurs! Snakes in jars! Giant diamonds! This is a good option for kids. Our suggestions: The Ocean Hall, The Hall of Mammals, and the Hall of Fossils. Or, mix it up with minerals.

Russia’s State Hermitage Museum: St. Petersburg, Russia

Got five hours to kill? Enjoy this extensive video tour of the largest museum in Russia, complete with 45 galleries and 588 artistic masterpieces.

Museum Tours

From the Mikhail Bulgakov Museum in Russia to the National Palace of Sintra in Portugal, Google Arts & Culture provides around 500 panoramic tours of some of the most famous heritage sites and museums.
For example, explore landmark exhibition “Faces of Frida,” curated by Google Arts & Culture in collaboration with 33 museums and organizations. The free digital exhibition offers a glimpse into the pioneering artist’s life and legacy, with artworks from multiple collections around the world.

Art experiences

Cathy Carver/Hirshhorn Museum

Kusama’s Infinity mirrors

If you missed one of the hottest traveling museum exhibits of the past few years, ooh and ahh at a brisk room-by-room rundown of the hypnotic, multi-faceted work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City

These close-up looks at famous paintings are so intense, you may think a docent will start yelling at you. Few paintings are suited to such a treatment than the bold, textured lines of The Starry Night.

Street Art

Explore the stories behind street art across the world with audio-guided tours and online exhibitions, offered by the Google Cultural Institute.

Carl Court/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images

Banksy Murals around the world

Go on an artistic treasure hunt — without the hunt part. With something like street art, it’s much more interesting to see the work it its full context, than just through a close-up.

Classical concerts

Vancouver Symphony

The Vancouver Symphony live streamed its final performance from their BeethovenFest, and it’s available for your viewing — and listening — pleasure any time.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images

Berlin Philharmonic

With a special limited-time code, you can enjoy a treasury of online performances from one of the best orchestras in the world. Our suggestion: You can’t go wrong with anything from the trifecta of national B’s: Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. But Gustav Mahler’s second symphony, The Resurrection Symphony, seems apt in these trying time.

Operas, plays and ballets

Royal Opera House: London

When it comes to high culture, don’t underestimate YouTube! The Royal Opera House’s channel has a selection of some of the top performances from famous operas and ballets, just a click away. Our suggestions: The Caterpillar from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Dance of the Knights from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, if just for the incredible costumes.

Getty Images

Vienna State Opera

If you can’t be in Vienna, you can at least treat yourself to full streams of some of the Vienna State Opera’s latest performances. A reminder, for people who don’t like opera: These works are almost always as much a treat for the eyes as much as the ears.

Metropolitan Opera: New York City

Arts lovers, if appointment viewing is more your thing, the Met is putting on nightly opera streams. But you better not be late! They’re only available until 3:30 p.m. ET the next day. And there’s something to be said for such ephemerality.

Kathy Willens/AP

The Social Distancing Festival

Want more live streamed arts? A theater artist has created The Social Distancing Festival, which gathers live streams and videos of all different types of performances in one place, on one calendar.

Courtesy Matthew Murphy/The Phantom of the Opera

Broadway shows

Did you know you can stream broadway shows through Amazon, iTunes, YouTube and other streaming services? You can also check out BroadwayHD, a special streaming service that brings you the greatest from the Great White Way. It’s $8.99 a month, but there’s a one-month free trial.

Cultural sites

The White House: Washington, D.C.

Hang out in the Oval Office? Don’t mind if we do! By the way, the online exhibit sections of Google Arts & Culture’s offerings are like having your own personal tour guide. Our suggestion: The Virtual Tour of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building will get you acquainted with stunning spaces you’ve only ever seen on TV.


Palace of Versailles: Versailles, France

Explore one of France’s national treasures and all of the Baroque art, architecture and finery within. Our suggestion: Go outside of the palace interior for an early birds-eye-view of the grounds, to get your bearings.

The Prambanan Temple: Yogyakarta, Indonesia

There’s so much to behold in this iconic, intricate Hindu temple complex. Good thing you’re in no rush! Step up to the spires with the arrow marks, and drag your cursor to get a good look at the carvings.

AFP / Getty Images

The Sistine Chapel: Vatican City

Zoos and aquariums

from Facebook

The Cincinnati Zoo

Every day while school is out, the Cincinnati Zoo (home of the famous Fiona the hippo), will be hosting a Home Safari on their Facebook Live Feed at 3 p.m. ET. They’ll have up-close animal experiences, plus activities to do at home.

Penguin touring aquarium gives internet much-needed break

The Shedd Aquarium: Chicago, Illinois

The Shedd Aquarium has already captured hearts with the antics of its resident penguins, which have been filmed roaming the now-empty halls of the aquarium, looking at all of the other exhibits. But animal lovers will want to follow their Facebook page, too: They’re sharing all kinds of behind-the-scenes videos and fun virtual experiences.

The San Diego Zoo

Want to have something fun going on in the background while you’re working? Your favorite zoo probably has live cams so you can check in on all the animals. The San Diego Zoo is a great start.

The Georgia Aquarium: Atlanta

The Georgia Aquarium has live streams, too! And you can pick what animal you want to watch. We’re partial to the African Penguins.

Exit interview: Joseph Mitchell, Artistic Director, OzAsia Festival – ArtsHub

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CaLD artists to be hit hard by coronavirus closures – ArtsHub

A survey, Lost Work for Artists and Creatives of Colour, has revealed the full impact of the COVID-19 crisis for culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) creatives in the Australian sector.

Launched by Diversity Arts Australia (DARTS) on Wednesday 18 March, the survey has received 163 responses as of COB on 23 March. The data shows that 91% of respondents are expecting to lose income over social distancing measures. 


DARTS Executive Director Lena Nahlous said: ‘Artists and creatives of colour were already amongst the most marginal in our sector and now their situations are worsening due to COVID-19.

‘Data obtained in Diversity Arts Australia’s Lost Work for Artists and Creatives of Colour survey shows just how vulnerable our talented creatives are.’

Collectively, survey respondents speak over 29 different languages and 85% identified as CaLD, while 8% identified as First Nations, 17% as LGBTIQ+, and 9% as a person with disability.


The survey showed that respondents felt the impact of travel bans in particular, with many CaLD artists having close connections with creative communities overseas.

The survey also shows that artists and creative workers from refugee backgrounds, and migrants who are on bridging visas or not yet permanent residents or citizens – since they do not qualify for Centrelink and stimulus package benefits announced by the Federal Government – are at the highest risk of income uncertainty.

Veronica Pardo, CEO of Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV), told ArtsHub, ‘At MAV, we are worried about the impacts of COVID-19 sector-wide, but particularly the compounding of disadvantage for those who are most vulnerable in our community: asylum seekers, newly arrived migrants and refugees, people with disability and people experiencing mental health issues.

‘We urge governments and agencies to ensure that support provisions are getting to these groups, by identifying existing and new barriers that may be getting in the way,’ she said.

Respondents to the DARTS survey also commented on the pandemic’s adverse effects on their mental health, with one responded saying: ‘I am now feeling despondent and unsure as to how to move forward when my graphic design work comes to a halt. I also suffer from depression and anxiety. I’m trying hard not to be affected psychologically but unsure as to how long I can keep this up, especially without an income.’

Support the supporters

DARTS is urgently calling on Federal and State Governments to ensure that measures which support the arts will include equity provisions for CaLD artists and creatives.

We support measures such as Live Performance Australia’s $850 million package. Similar measures will need to be implemented across all creative sectors, including screen, visual arts and writing,’ said Nahlous. 

She also called on governments to ‘support the supporters’.

‘That is, to support those arts companies that advocate for marginalised and underrepresented creative workers. Dedicated funding streams must be distributed through relevant peak bodies and organisations who are connected with the affected creative workers such as Diversity Arts, Multicultural Arts Victoria, CANWA, regional arts organisations, Aboriginal arts organisations and Disability arts organisations,’ Nahlous told ArtsHub.

The wider public can lend a hand by supporting organisations which advocate for marginalised and underrepresented creative workers, becoming micro-patrons by making contributions and buying music, books and artworks from diverse artists.

To read more about the survey results head to Diversity Arts Australia’s website.

Harmony Day 2020: What These Young Australians Are Doing To Unite Cultures – HuffPost Australia

If there’s anything the past few months have taught us about community, it’s that harmony amongst cultures is more important than ever.

Harmony Day falls on March 21 every year, coinciding with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

This Harmony Day, several young Australians speak about the inspiring work they’ve been doing to help unite cultures, before shedding light on why racism amidst the coronavirus crisis is detrimental to the world’s Asian communities and beyond.

Phillip Kuoch and Thomas Tan – Hosts, Lemon Podcast

Phillip and Thomas are the brains behind Lemon Podcast, which focuses on entertainment, social and cultural topics from a queer Asian perspective.

“We decided to start Lemon because there weren’t any podcast or mainstream programmes aimed at tackling issues that are faced by Asian millennials, like how Asians can’t break the ‘bamboo ceiling’ at work because of a lifetime of being told to be submissive and respecting the work place. This results in us never putting ourselves forward for tasks or leadership roles,” the duo said.

Explaining Harmony Day allows him to celebrate his Chinese and Cambodian identity, Phillip said his younger years were tough, because “kids at school to used to make fun of me and Asians were never portrayed positively in the media without being the satirical comical character”.

“As I get older, I’ve loved learning and visiting the rich history and culture of China and Cambodia and I’m super proud to be an Australian-born Chinese-Cambodian.”

Phillip and Thomas believe further representation of cultures is needed in the media, as well as a better example being set by political leaders. “It’s problematic when you have the certain world leaders calling COVID-19 the ‘Chinese Virus’,” they said, referring to US President Donald Trump’s recent comments. “It allows people to be xenophobic and racist towards the Asian community around the world.

“We’ve seen Asian businesses everywhere impacted since coronavirus emerged, regardless of their business category, and Asian people getting physically and verbally abused. It’s the stigma that is carelessly associated with our culture that leads to the catastrophic impact on businesses and people. People need to remember that we’re all in this together and be careful to not misplace their anger.”

Anisa Ismail – Member, Muslim Empowerment Collective

Anisa Ismail

Anisa is a member of a grassroots organisation that aims to empower Muslims in Australia to become more politically engaged and build capacity in all facets of our community. She was involved in Democracy In Colour’s Create Change Fellowship.

“I joined the fellowship so that I could better serve my community. Muslims in Australia need to be engaged politically given the increasing Islamophobia that we experience, the Christchurch terror attacks being one of the latest examples,” she told HuffPost Australia.

Describing Harmony Day as “a nice way to start celebrating the cultural diversity in Australia”, Anisa said “long-term structural change is needed beyond that if we want to build a truly inclusive society”.

“I don’t think we can move forward as a nation until we address the fact that Australia was built on racism, which has obviously shaped the way it has developed since. This racism not only affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but also manifests over time into different forms towards other minorities.”

Commenting on the increased wave of racism towards Asian people amid the coronavirus crisis, Anisa said, “there’s a difference between taking safe precautions and using fear to justify racism in your everyday interactions”. She added “the idea that Asians are ‘dirty’ or ‘unclean’” has also been adopted by bigots.

“People need to stay informed and stop looking for convenient scapegoats. Also support your local Chinese and Asian-owned businesses. They’ve been hit especially hard because of this misinformation.”

Khushaal Vyas – 2017 NSW Premier’s Harmony Youth Medal Recipient

Since being recognised by Multicultural NSW for his involvement in the development of the Fairfield Youth & Community Centre in 2017, Khushaal has gone on to combine his passion for social justice with his budding as a lawyer.

“I’ve been really fortunate that the legal world presents a lot of opportunities to get involved in pro bono and community projects,” he said.

“Previously I was involved in setting up a community outreach and mentoring program through university based in the Dubbo and Trangie areas, with a focus on mentoring Indigenous youth and getting involved with local community centres and schools. I was stoked when that project was taken up by my workplace, with one of the community centres becoming one of the firm’s nominated charities for 2020.”

Reflecting on what Harmony Day means to him, Khushaal said it “presents an opportunity to set the record straight” during a time when “powerful world leaders can often succumb to the temptation of division”.

“Each year it represents a reminder of the strength of Australia’s diversity, the benefits of it and the contributions of our multicultural community,” he explained.

As for the “negative rhetoric directed toward people of an Asian background” during the coronavirus outbreak, Khushaal said “we all have a pretty big onus to call out unfair commentary in our day to day lives and conversations”.

“That doesn’t mean labelling and shouting down people who may be making unfair comments, but to hold them accountable and question their viewpoints,” he explained. “I often think that the mere fact that someone is willing to disagree and call out unfair commentary makes people realise that there are other viewpoints to consider and at the very least, may make them reconsider making divisive comments in the future. Staying silent when someone spreads misinformation is one more small battle lost to fear.”

Eunice Andrada and Anisa Nandaula – Poets

Eunice Andrada

Harmony Day has been particularly special for Eunice and Anisa, both poets involved in T2’s campaign addressing micro ignorances and inspiring meaningful conversations through slam poetry.

“As poets, we reflect the truth of the time we’re living in. And the reality is that the discrimination older generations of immigrants and ‘othered’ peoples have faced is still happening now,” said Eunice, a proud Filipina woman. “Having poets like myself use our art to talk about the micro ignorances we’ve experienced opens up another way to understand the issues we face.”

Anisa only need refer to her personal experiences when writing poems. “Growing up in Rockhampton, my family was the only African family I knew, we emigrated from Uganda when I was seven, so I feel like I’ve always had one foot in each world,” she said.

“Even now, I am constantly dealing with strangers wanting to touch my afro hair. Women who looked like me used to be put in zoos and in museums, people used to pay to come and see us and touch us and view us as animals. So even though people may think it’s harmless, it actually represents centuries of mistreatment.”

As the world faces the coronavirus crisis, Eunice said “now more than ever is the time to pause, reflect and really think about the way we interact with one another.

“My heart is with the East Asian communities who are experiencing even more racist abuse right now. In this challenging time, it’s necessary to continue to see the humanity in each other. There’s no excuse for harmful behaviour. As a community, we have to recognise that if one of us is hurting, we are all hurting.”

Aakanksha Manjunath and Annelise Lecordier – Co-founders, It’s Not A Compliment

Aakanksha Manjunath

Annelise Lecordier

As the co-founders of the It’s Not A Compliment campaign, Aakanksha and Annelise campaign against street harassment, working to achieve street justice for all through the community (of thousands) they have formed.

“We’re a campaign that’s tackling street harassment by combating its normalisation, disrupting common narratives around it and advocating for community-led solutions that centre prevention through education and cultural change rather than criminalisation,” said Annelise.

The women launched the campaign after participating in Democracy In Colour’s Create Change fellowship. “The fellowship introduced me to other people of colour who are just as passionate as I am about social justice and it was refreshing, because while the development sector in Australia advertises diversity, it doesn’t always practice it,” claimed Aakanksha.

Moving to Australia after growing up in Mauritius, Annelise said she’s been confronted with people asking questions “where the message behind it is that they might not know exactly what I am but they definitely know that I’m not white”.

“Because of that and the fact that I’m quite light-skinned, I’m also often put in a position where I’m privy to some of the pretty awful comments people make about other cultural groups or people from a similar background to mine,” she explained. “Emotionally, that’s always a very complicated moment for me – I’ll feel angry at the discrimination but also really isolated and frustrated at the implicit erasure of my own background in that moment, along with guilt about being somehow complicit in this because they felt comfortable making these kinds of comments in front of me.”

Referring to the current landscape amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Aakanksha said the heavy circulation of “false information” is “highly problematic”.

Annelise said Australians should “go support smaller businesses owned by people of colour rather than the obvious supermarket chains or restaurants. They need the financial support more than ever.”

Sarah Liu, Founder, The Dream Collective

Sarah Liu

Sarah is the founder and director of a global diversity and inclusion consultancy agency, which “helps organisations attract, retain and advance diverse talent, with a niche focus on emerging female leaders, particularly in technology”.

“The world has so much diversity, and I think Harmony Day shines a light on being inclusive of those differences. It’s not just about having a seat at the table, but having diverse voices heard at the table,” she said.

“I think as we mature, we face less blatant discrimination. Although in light of recent events around panic-buying, just last weekend I found myself on the other-end of a snarky comment at the supermarket. Crises bring out our true colours. We see extreme generosity and kindness, as well as amplified insecurities and racially-charged hostility.”

Sarah explained that given this situation, “there’s no better time to promote cultural harmony”.

“I encourage Australians to educate themselves and stay informed, be mindful of their language, and remember the power we all have to influence those around us – use it wisely.”

COVID-19 communication campaign boosted for multicultural communities – SBS News

The Federal Government has rolled out a series of in-language COVID-19 guidelines for multicultural communities, but there are calls for more to be done to reach more Australians who do not speak English.  

The Department of Health has already released advice in Chinese, Farsi, Korean and Italian on its website around best practice hygiene, social distancing and self-isolation to contain the outbreak’s spread.

It is also working on translations into more languages as the coronavirus crisis continues, according to the Department of Home Affairs.

The Federal Government’s in-language guidelines translated into Farsi.

Department of Health

Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) chairperson Mary Patetsos told SBS News further in-language guidelines were needed.

“Community information is critical at this point in time (and) it is important to promote information in-languages for communities,” she said.

“It will really help allay the fears of the current situation.”  

The government is ramping up a $30 million communications strategy as it steps up its efforts to contain the spread of the virus, including ordering all Australians not to travel overseas and banning indoor gatherings of 100 people or more. 

A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs told SBS News translations were fast-tracked for languages spoken in nations most impacted by recent border closures blocking travellers from Iran, Italy, China and South Korea. 

“The Department of Home Affairs is working with the Department of Health to have these translated into other languages as the COVID-19 crisis and response continues and has been distributing COVID-19 advice via its community liaison networks,” the spokesperson said.

The translated advice covers the government’s fast-evolving response to the health crisis and provides advice on washing hands and limit non-essential meetings with healthcare professionals. 

It also explains the requirement for all travellers coming into Australia to be required to self-isolate for 14 days and explains what this self-isolation involves.

Other information covers the symptoms of the virus and the need to practice social distancing by encouraging people to remain 1.5 metres apart.

The Korean Society of Sydney’s Daniel Han said their community held some concern the translated fact sheets would not be updated efficiently.

“The translated factsheets are great but … currently, they (the community) feel that the guidelines communicated by the government are not detailed enough,” he said.

Labor MP Andrew Giles.


Labor’s spokesperson for multicultural affairs Andrew Giles told SBS News the opposition had written to the government calling on them to make more translated material available.

“We need to get information to them in terms they understand … Now is no time for complacency,” he said.

He said the government was “justified” in speeding up access to the Chinese, Farsi, Korean and Italian translations, but the response can’t stop there.

“It’s a responsibility of government to give every Australian up-to-date information that enables them to look after themselves and to keep themselves safe,” he said.

The University of Melbourne’s associate professor Robyn Woodward-Kron, who specialises in public health communication, told SBS News multilingual guidelines are essential.

The Department of Health’s COVID-19 guidelines translated into Korean.

Department of Health

She said abstract concepts like isolation, social distancing and transmission must be explained in an understandable manner and was concerned the current guidelines have no images to aid comprehension.

“Questions to consider with this initiative include are the right languages being targeted for the most vulnerable population?” she said.

“While there appears to be good coverage of this information in English in public buildings … to date I have seen nothing in other languages.”

The rapidly-changing pandemic has seen the number of cases in the nation pass 450 as the government imposes restrictions to contain the virus’s spread.

The Federal Government has committed $30 million towards a national communication strategy.

The Department of Home Affairs confirmed to SBS News this will also be “distributed to multicultural audiences through targeted print, radio and social media placements.”

The government has also hosted several meetings with community leaders regarding COVID-19 and working with those affected by travel restrictions.

FECCA chairperson Ms Patetsos cited the Greek community and fast-growing African communities as other groups that would benefit from in-language guidelines.

She said the Greek community’s significant elderly population meant many from this group would be vulnerable to the virus.

“They need to know how to protect themselves, those around them and also the wider community,” she said.

“We know older people are particularly vulnerable (and) may have poorer English.”

The Federal Government applied new restrictions on people visiting aged care facilities on Wednesday.

This means anyone who has been overseas or in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within a fortnight will be banned from visiting these homes

Aged care residents will only be able to receive one visit a day, with a maximum of two people visiting and no school groups will be allowed to visit. 

A one-man journey through the barbs, one-liners and neoliberal legacy of Paul Keating – The Adelaide Review

A one-man journey through the barbs, one-liners and neoliberal legacy of Paul Keating – The Adelaide Reviewhe Adelaide ReviewFacebookTwitterhe Adelaide Reviewacebooknstagramwitter

Thomas McCammon

Jonathan Biggins in character as Paul Keating

Yesterday, the State Theatre Company confirmed its season of Jonathan Biggins’ The Gospel According to Paul has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. But with this story already in the bag, we suspect some readers might appreciate any excuse to look back on a time when prime ministers spoke in fewer slogans – and more sick burns.

Say what you will about Australia’s many prime ministers, but few have inspired the creation of theatre. It’s hard to imagine Tony Abbott On Ice getting funding in this environment, let alone Kevin Rudd’s All Dancing Disco Revue (although a Busby Berkeley-style water ballet celebrating Harold Holt has a certain undeniable appeal).

Paul Keating, however, inspires something in artists and writers that few of Australia’s many, many leaders has done. He’s already been the subject of an award-winning musical (Keating!) and now actor, comedian and satirist Johnathan Biggins is stepping into his (Zegna) suit to present The Gospel According To Paul.

“You look back and think there was an extraordinary amount of policy going on and not that much politics,” he says of the Keating years. “And now the reverse has happened. I mean, obviously there was the leadership and the Kirribilli Agreement [in which Bob Hawke supposedly agreed to hand the leadership over to Keating during his third term], but it’s a pretty extraordinary life that someone who left school at 14 – technically 14 and ten months, I’ve been told – and didn’t go to university who then became such a rounded, educated autodidactic polymath, and was able to dominate the political scene so effectively.”

Keating was a unique PM: on the one hand, he was a fiercely progressive force, especially when it came to multiculturalism, the status of First Australians, and the arts. On the other, he led Australia into the global neoliberalism which is currently starting to look like maybe not having been an entirely awesome idea. 

A taste of the real Keating’s ‘performance’ style

“You could argue that some of his and Hawke’s reforms are now coming back to bite us,” Biggins agrees, “but he would argue that they were necessary and that ensuing governments removed the safety net and failed to protect the legacy of what he did. It certainly looks like the 29 years of uninterrupted economic growth are about to slide to a halt. And we could argue that in the light of climate change that economic growth is no longer a desirable thing, but part of the problem of doing a one man show about someone like Paul Keating is that it’s very hard, when being him, to criticise himself.”

Biggins has been performing his version of Keating for years as one of the mainstays of the annual Wharf Revue, and it turns out that the former PM was not initially a fan of the idea that this version of himself getting a full-length show. 

“We knew that he was averse to this project at the beginning,” he admits. “The original plan was to make the show about Keating planning his state funeral, and then his sister pointed out to me that he has refused a state funeral and finds the whole idea utterly terrible. So I changed that, but I gathered that he was still not keen and was worried that it’d be a hatchet job or an invasion into his personal life,” He pauses. “I mean, Keating! was basically a hagiography, that’s why he saw it seven times.”

The seeds were sown from an emergency monologue Biggins shoved into the Revue a couple of years ago when co-star Drew Forsythe was forced to drop out with a sudden medical emergency. “So I did this thing of him coming out and going ‘I’m here to remind you what leadership looks like’ and the audience went ballistic. And Keating came and saw that and thought ‘Oh, they still love me? Alright, fine, go ahead.’ And he gave us permission to use some photos from his private collection, and he’s see the show twice and sent his family along. Even [former wife] Anita came and saw it…”

A different night, presumably? “Oh, a very different night.”

Keating tells student protestors in Adelaide, including then-NUS SA President Tammy Franks, to “get a job”. She certainly did.

The show took two years to write due to the sheer amount of research and Biggins is proud to declare it factually accurate, though is quick to point out that “the other joy is integrating Keating’s barbs, one-liners and insults and making them my own. And he’s just a theatrical character – he’s funny, he’s sharp, he’s melancholic, so people are also moved by it. People come expecting 90 minutes of stand-up Keating, and it’s not that. As Bob Carr said ‘he’s the most entertaining politician we’ve ever had.’”

And at a time when global and national events seem to be moving more swiftly than the government can handle them, his legacy looms larger than ever. “Keating said that leadership was about two things: imagination and courage. Imagination makes sense of the big picture, to think of something better, and the courage to see it through. And I worried that maybe we’d missed the boat, that Keating was a bit old-fashioned, but wow: it just gets more relevant every day.”

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions on mass gatherings, State Theatre Company’s March/April season of The Gospel According To Paul has been cancelled.

24 March – 4 April

The Gospel According To Paul

Related Article

AGSA, Museum suspend public programs while Festival Centre, State Theatre join nation-wide event cancellations

Andrew P Street is a freelance writer whose books include The Short And Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign Of Captain Abbott (2015) and The Long And Winding Way To The Top (2017).

Spread Art Not Viruses – new hashtag gains traction – ArtsHub

Last August, artist Christopher Langton opened his exhibition Colony at Melbourne’s Tolarno Galleries – a whole gallery installation of steroid-sized viruses and bacteria. Who knew it would be a prophecy for what was to follow – a pandemic that would shut down the world, and spur xenophobia.


Two years in the making, and inspired by Langton’s own experiences of life-threatening disease and infection, Colony has become much more than a month-long exhibition.  

‘The entire installation was bought by Chinese art collector Charlie Xiao – a serendipitous occurrence given COVID-19 originated in the town of Wuhan where Charlie has family and is one of the cities where Colony may soon be exhibited,’ said Langton.

Originally from Beijing, the now Melbourne-based collector and curator acquired Colony, shipping it to China in late December 2019 with the intention of showing it in Tank Shanghai, and then touring it to Beijing, Changsha and Wuhan.

It arrived in China mid-January, the time when news began emerging of a viral outbreak in Wuhan, where it remains still remains in quarantine. 

The project, however, has taken on another life.

Through the exhibition, Xiao met Theodore Wohng, the CEO and founder of ZOME AR. Wohng saw Colony as an ideal vehicle for ZOME – a free Augmented Reality messenger and social network.

Through the ZOME AR app, gallery visitors access interactive multimedia to enhance the 43 individual objects in Colony which are real and imagined viruses, bacteria and fungi as well as asteroids, meteorites and other celestial bodies.

It was the trigger for Xiao in what was to become #spreadartnotviruses – a creative Instagram campaign in response to the impact of coronavirus COVID-19.


#spreadartnotviruses is an open invitation to artists, writers and other creatives to contribute to the movement online via Instagram and ZOME AR.

‘During the time of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak, many are experiencing social isolation and loneliness, since humans and our societies thrive on interaction. It has been a great psychological challenge for those who are staying indoors and working from home,’ said Wohng.
#spreadartnotviruses project, together with the use of ZOME AR, is about inspiring new ways to interact with each other without the need to leave your home or studio.

‘Essentially this is what art and innovative technology is all about and should be doing, especially during times like this – bringing people together in more meaningful ways and inspiring others to see the world from fresh new perspectives,’ added Wohng.

‘Hopefully, as a result of this project, when the virus passes, there will be many heartening artworks and stories to be discovered when you walk past the streets and at other unexpected places,’ he added.

The project gains traction as Hong Kong Art Basel App replaces viewing at the popular art fair and the ART Power HK, a new platform including around 60 of the city’s galleries, museums, and auction houses, uses the momentum of the work already in play for HK Art Week events, reallocating resources to the online alternative.

Read: How some museums are combating COVID-19 closures

Christopher Langton, Colony 2019, installation Tolarno Galleries. Photo: Andrew Curtis.


Xiao was introduced to Langton’s Colony through social media, so it is uncanny that it is given renewed life through an online platform.

‘It was everywhere online – on Instagram, on Wechat, Weibo and Red, where people would dress up in their spectacular fashion outfits and pose in the gallery with the scaled-up virus forms, it was not to be missed,’ Xiao said.

The gallery described Langton as a pop sculptor and installation artist who creates gigantic plastic blow-up ‘toys’ of frightening proportions. Stepping into Colony is like entering a contaminated cyberspace, the zone of a video game or that of a B-grade horror movie.

Xiao was quick to purchase the installation upon experiencing it. Racing against the Christmas shipping rush to get the artwork to China, Xiao had no idea his planned tour of his latest purchase was soon to be put on hold.

‘Now, the whole world continues to scramble with the situation, plans are all altered, and we start to see all kinds of things echoed from the pandemic, the frustration and hurtful things we hear and see from anti-Asian prejudices and other misinformation, fake news and hate speech, he said in a gallery statement.’
‘It really made us question – although we are in a multicultural world, do all communities really come together to support one another? If the languages or the differences in cultures are the barriers that are dividing us, maybe finding another medium would be great to show positivity. Art is powerful in this case, we can use art as a communication tool to engage with the community,’ he continued.

Xiao said he decided to initiate this movement #spreadartnotviruses as those biases grew.

‘When everything goes back to normal in China, I hope I can go back to visit my family and friends, and to unpack Colony – it’s currently in crates sitting inside a warehouse in an industrialised town near Shanghai. When it’s shown to the public again, with the colours, the imaginary forms, the application of augmented reality, we will know this great body of work will reflect on the reality of coexistence with COVID-19 and we can focus on moving forward,’ Xiao concluded.

Coffs Harbour crowned the 2020 Australian Town of the Year – Bellingen Courier Sun

Coffs Harbour has been named the best Australian town to visit in 2020 by online travel site Wotif.

It’s one of three NSW towns to make the top 10 list, which is based on a data index that recognises Australian destinations offering good affordability, well-rated accommodation and increasing traveller interest over the last twelve months on

The announcement comes at a particularly significant time for Australian tourism, with new research revealing that one in three Aussies say they’ve “fallen back in love with travelling in Australia” in the aftermath of the summer bushfires and ongoing drought.

The research shows a resurgence in domestic travel, with 41 per cent of Aussies committed to travelling more in Australia this year compared to 2019.

An overwhelming number of Aussie travellers say they are keen to show their support by travelling to areas both directly and indirectly affected by the bushfires, with 12.6 million Australians (91 per cent of those who travel on holidays) saying they are likely to either amend or continue their holiday plans to ensure they support the local tourism industry. This includes one-in-three (32 per cent) who are likely to plan an additional trip to a bushfire-affected region.

Wotif Managing Director Daniel Finch says: “During what is an incredibly tough time for many parts of the country, this year’s awards are more relevant than ever, as a way of recognising the hard-working tourism operators and local businesses who make up Australian tourism – the driving force behind many regional communities. We know that Aussies are a resilient bunch and it’s fantastic to see this overwhelming sense of pride for all the country has to offer.

“Australians are spoiled for choice in Australia and our annual Aussie Town of the Year initiative is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the many towns, cities and regions worthy of the spotlight. Tourism is vital to many regional communities, with a record $77.5 billion spent on domestic travel last year, meaning Aussies have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact by choosing to holiday here this year. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a week-long escape, 2020 is the year to discover your own backyard and book a getaway that gives back.”

Wotif 2020 Aussie Town of the Year awards

  1. Coffs Harbour, NSW: Bananas aside, there’s something for everyone in Coffs. From intimate beaches to untamed rainforests and perched halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, Coffs Harbour is NSW’s very own paradise of attractions.
  2. Mackay, QLD: The inaugural winner of Wotif’s Aussie Town of the Year awards in 2018, the historic town of Mackay is firmly on the radar for travelling Aussies. Located at the centre of the Queensland coast, Mackay boasts lush subtropical rainforests, national parks and a thriving public arts scene.
  3. Airlie Beach, QLD: Known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is an aquatic playground offering stunning views by day and a bustling, vibrant nightlife.
  4. Batemans Bay, NSW: Named in 1770 by Australian explorer Captain James Cook, Batemans Bay is located in the heart of the Oyster Coast; offering fresh local seafood and a great base for exploring the wonders and natural beauty on the NSW South Coast.
  5. Cairns, QLD: Famed for its access to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, these world-heritage sites stamp Cairns on the map as Australia’s nature capital with some serious adventure game.
  6. Port Fairy, VIC: Delivering old world charm with a modern twist, Port Fairy sits on the doorstep of the famed Great Ocean Road, boasting a rich history, excellent restaurants and a charming seaside community.
  7. Albany, WA: As close as you’ll get to a historic European city in WA, Albany is the western state’s oldest European settlement with a rich history and fantastic family appeal.
  8. Katoomba, NSW: Oh hey (three) sisters! A vibrant and historic town at the heart of the Blue Mountains, Katoomba spoils its guests with spectacular walks and lookouts, rich cultural heritage and great restaurants and bars.
  9. Margaret River, WA: You had me at Cab Sav. The Margaret River region is known globally for its wine, beaches and sense of adventure, all tucked away in Australia’s south-west corner.
  10. Maroochydore, QLD: With its funky cafes, multicultural cuisine and thriving live music scene – Maroochydore is the cultural capital of the Sunshine Coast where you can enjoy an ocean dip during the day and a cocktail at night.