With the reality of a second lockdown upon us, it's more important than ever to find ways to appreciate the arts from the comfort of our own homes. 

During difficult times such as these, we can look towards the arts and culture to provide us with some respite from the constant bombardment of covid-related news and daily figures. 

With level 5 restrictions shutting down cinemas, theatres, galleries, museums and all other cultural institutions, here are a number of different ways that you can get your culture fix...

VIRTUAL GALLERIES

The National Gallery of Ireland has developed an inventive way for you to still get the full gallery experience without even leaving the front door. Grab a coffee and enjoy a stroll through the Grand Gallery, perusing its paintings at your own leisure. Their virtual tour is accessible through the National Gallery website, allowing you to browse their various collections and reading the descriptions of each work of art.

For those of us more accustomed to an international lifestyle, Google Arts and Culture have also provided virtual tours through some of the most well-renowned galleries in the world, from the MoMA in New York to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam or the Acropolis Museum in Athens. 

LIVESTREAM CONCERTS

Many of us have lost out on the chance to see our favourite acts live this year due to coronavirus restrictions, but that doesn't mean that we have to give them up altogether. Livestream concerts are providing us with the opportunity to see a plethora of performers from the comfort of our own homes and there's something for everyone, from livestream concerts by Wexford Opera Festival and the Irish National Opera to acts such as Niall Horan - you can get tickets for Niall's livestream concert on Ticketmaster, and watch the event on Saturday, November 7th. 

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THEATRE

While Level 5 restrictions have meant that theatres can no longer put on in-house performances for audiences, it is still possible to get the theatre experience through online events and screenings. This year, Dublin Theatre Festival livestreamed Anu'sThe Party to End All Parties live online. The production followed two different personal journeys set on O'Connell Bridge in Dublin's city centre - watch it below. 

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FILM

The Irish Film Institute has provided a means for you to stream the cinematic experience straight into your home with their IFI@Home initiative. This new programme is exclusive to Irish audiences and allows you to rent films from their handpicked, thematically selected collections, bringing the IFI experience directly to you. 

You can also rent films from their IFI Horrorthon event that ran from October 22nd-26th, offering a carefully curated selection of horror films to get you in the Halloween spirit. 

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PODCASTS 

Podcasts are the perfect way to stay entertained and learn something new, possibly whilst working from home, cleaning up the house or just relaxing. This week the top podcasts in the Irish charts include The Tommy and Hector Podcast with Laurita Blewitt, The 2 Johnnies Podcast, The Laughs of Your Life with Doireann Garrihy and The Stand with Eamon Dunphy - all excellent options to cheer you up and keep you entertained over these next few weeks.