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Buckle Up for a Virtual Culture Road Trip This Weekend

Take a virtual road trip with us this week and next to see a dozen cultural organizations in cities across America. While our collective efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 keep us from visiting them in person, these organizations, which are part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program, offer resources and experiences we can enjoy from home.

Small and midsize arts non-profits play a vital role in anchoring diverse and vibrant communities, driving local economies and supporting artists, and through the AIM program, we seek to strengthen their organizational capacity and programming by providing unrestricted general operating support along with management training. Since 2011, the initiative has supported over 700 organizations in 14 cities across the US.

So, this weekend, join us on the first leg of our virtual cross-country road trip with engaging activities at select AIM organizations in six cities:

Fine Tune Your Musical Skills with the Atlanta Music Project

The Atlanta Music Project (AMP) is a group of professional musicians who offer tuition-free music education to underserved youth in Atlanta, Georgia. AMP is now offering these music classes to the public through a weekly series, AMPmasterclasses online.

Whether you’re a beginner who wants to learn how to read music, or a musician looking to excel with a specific instrument, AMP has content for you. Classes vary from tone development for the winds, to interactive live lessons throughout the week, to recorded classes to watch at your convenience. No matter your musical skill set, AMP will have you ready to join the orchestra in no time!

Stop in the Big Easy for Creative Activities from KID smART

Are you looking for unique weekend activities for the whole family? Look no further than the abundance of offerings from KID smART in New Orleans, Louisiana. By partnering with public schools, KID smART uses the arts to support child development. The organization’s Art Apart e-learning series provides hands-on activities, read-aloud videos, movement exercises, and other projects that you can explore from the comfort of your home.

Kids can learn about the three iconic elements of New Orleans life – architecture, food, and carnival – with “Know What It Means” guidebooks and lesson cards. They can learn how to turn their body into an instrument with a body percussion exercise, make an accordion comic strip, paint beautiful pressed flower art, or create their own unique characters by following a character acting challenge. The creative possibilities are endless!

Experience Austin Opera in the Live Music Capital of the World

With Inside Indy Terrace, Austin Opera combines the best of opera with the casual vibe of an Austin music venue. Join opera star Will Liverman’s performance from home previewing his role as the Count in The Marriage of Figaro, watch featured selections of Austin Opera’s favorite productions, or practice your own opera skills with education resources available for K-12 and beyond.

Adventure seekers can download the Austin Opera AR app and experience the thrill of Talbot and Scheer’s, “Everest.” Thanks to this one-of-a-kind augmented reality experience, anyone with a smartphone can explore the climbers’ icy paths, trace the formidable mountain, and hear the sounds of wind and snow while enjoying the opera from the comfort of their homes.

Wander the City of Angels with the Social and Public Art Resource Center

Wander the streets of Los Angeles, California, and check out the city’s amazing historic murals from anywhere with the “We’ll Bring The Streets To You” initiative from Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC).

For example, watch and learn about the restoration of “Love is for Everyone,” a powerful mural that acknowledges and unites communities of color affected by the AIDS crisis via YouTube, or listen to the story of “The Great Wall of Los Angeles,” one of the country’s most important monuments to inter-racial harmony. You can also relax with SPARC’s donation-based virtual Yoga + Dream Lab classes on Tuesdays mornings.

Deepen Your Knowledge at the Chinese Culture Center in the Bay Area

The Chinese Culture Center in the heart of San Francisco, California’s Chinatown, is working tirelessly to support artists during COVID-19 and share examples of creative work on Facebook and Instagram. Artist Christine Wong Yap recently did an Instagram takeover t0 encourage everyone to practice storytelling as part of the Art, Culture, and Belonging Project, which invites people to discuss how arts and culture contribute to their sense of belonging in Chinatown.

Other posts include the poem, “Today,” by Chun Yu, which serves as an invitation to artists to share their reflections during this challenging time, a history lesson on the Chinese Hospital, and photographs by Gao Ling of people in face masks for a project addressing air pollution, part of the #ProcessWithArtists project that you can follow on social media.

Explore Baltimore’s Port Discovery Children’s Museum

Spark creativity with countless activities from the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. Discover sensory play DIY activities and choose from various educational options for home learning with the whole family while schools are closed.

Budding scientists can follow a how-to video and learn to conduct a bouncy egg experiment, book worms can join story time via YouTube for a chapter-by-chapter read-along, and when it’s time for parents to wind down after a busy day of learning, the museum has even developed a guided meditation script for adults.

We hope you will join us again next week for the second leg of our virtual cross-country culture road trip. In the meantime, follow Bloomberg Philanthropies on Twitter and Facebook for a daily cultural spotlight, and catch up on the previous posts in our virtual arts experience series:

Five Ways to Explore Culture This Weekend with Podcasts, Online Courses, Livestream, and Music

Five Ways to Travel the World Virtually This Weekend

Explore the Outdoors While Indoors This Weekend

The Show Must Go On – Light Up Your Living Room with These Virtual Performances

Tribeca Film Festival: Together, Apart