Getting Creative

What You Can Do to Enjoy Art—Despite COVID-19

Some suggestions for your experience, as local organizations work to keep the arts coming.

By Kay Kipling March 20, 2020

Girl Playing with a Bird on a String, Jean Raoux (1717); bequest of John Ringling, 1936

While nothing can replace the experience of seeing visual art up close, hearing live music in a concert hall, or watching live theater surrounded by an audience, in these days of COVID-19 restrictions and concerns, we have to find other ways to bolster our cultural intake.

No doubt our local arts institutions will find creative ways to continue to share their work with us, and we will bring those ways to you when we can. Here are a just a few suggestions right now.

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art galleries may be closed, but you can still view more than 28,000 works from the museum’s collections online, from historic circus images to Baroque paintings to Asian art to outdoor sculptures. You just might be able to take more time and dig deeper into a piece’s background than you usually do in a museum filled with other art lovers. 

Also, The Ringling’s Learn From Home program is great for parents at home with kids. And check in soon at the museum’s Instagram feed for a virtual tour of Mable’s Rose Garden.

The Sarasota Opera has had to suspend its #SuddenlyOpera flash performances due to crowd restrictions, but is working on ways to keep the music playing and stay connected to the community. In the meantime, take a listen to some opera singers here.

Art Center Sarasota had to cancel the March 19 opening of four exhibitions, including paintings from Javier Rodrigues, cut paper pieces from Philomena Marano, and the juried show Uncharted. But staff is working on a virtual tour of the galleries, plus interviews with the artists and videos to stimulate your creativity at home. Check out for updates.

As long as you can still venture outside, our city’s public art collection (86 pieces in all) is all over town for the viewing, most of it outdoors. Head to the website of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota county,, for a list, and while you’re there download their public art scavenger hunt page to add a quest to your stroll.

New Music New College had to cancel its live April 2 performance by the JACK Quartet, but plans are afoot to offer the concert as a live-streamed video at a future date; check for the latest on that at

If you’d like to learn to play some music yourself, the Music Compound has transformed its business model practically overnight to an online music school. Previously providing in-person music lessons for all ages, the Music Compound now offers online lessons personalized for each student, with additional access to virtual workshops, jam sessions and specialized training with key instructors. Click here for details.

Show Comments