Pasadena’s Arts Organizations That Are Embracing the Virtual Culture

When their in-person events and exhibitions were put on pause, these arts-based organizations took the virtual route.

Due to COVID-19, long-standing community events were wiped off the calendar indefinitely and prominent institutions shuttered their doors. Yet despite the unsettling times, the arts served as a beacon of welcome distraction and inspiration as many of Pasadena’s arts-based organizations rallied to create virtual programs and experiences that the community could turn to, making this period less challenging. Here are a few organizations whose artistic initiatives we’ve been indulging in via Wi-Fi.

Pasadena Museum of History

The Pasadena Museum of History’s in-person exhibit, Starting Anew: Transforming Pasadena, 1890-1930, may have been closed to visitors but the museum’s inaugural venture into podcasting is well worth a listen as it offers an in-depth discussion of the exhibit and the history it explores. Broadcast via YouTube (via the username “PasadenaHistory”), listen in as KPFK radio host/journalist Pamela Wilson (“Treasures of the West”) interviews Starting Anew’s curator Brad Macneil in the first—of what we hope is many—PMH podcast.

Pasadena Symphony and POPS

The beat didn’t stop for the Pasadena Symphony and POPS. The organization started several online initiatives that are accessible via various platforms (including Facebook and YouTube), as well as through their website. Listen to unearthed gems of star-studded performances by conductor Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena POPS orchestra. And, don’t forget to tune in to “Pasadena Symphony In Conversation,” the Pasadena Symphony’s video podcast hosted by Music Director David Lockington and violist and composer Brett Banducci. They welcome fellow musicians, conductors, composers, and others who make the music happen in a casual discussion about the evolving classical music landscape, plus special live performances.

Norton Simon Museum

The Norton Simon Museum created a “Museum from Home” feature, which includes a plethora of digital resources to leisurely explore at your Wi-Fi’s disposal. Watch lectures and listen to podcasts all while learning more about the museum’s collections, exhibitions, and history through fascinating stories from staff and specialists. There’s also a variety of DIY kid-friendly art projects (including collage, pattern play, and DIY clay) inspired by the museum’s own vast collection.


In the moving words of MUSE/IQUE Artistic Director Rachael Worby: “Concerts will be postponed. But community will not be postponed.” With community in mind, MUSE/IQUE launched “In A Minute! (…Or Two),” a bite-sized web series curated by Worby. The series features the talents of Worby herself and some of MUSE/IQUE’s favorite musicians, artists, dancers, and vocalists, giving an up-close peek at the magic behind their craft.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
The collections-based educational and research institution offers videos and recorded programs such as “Hear and Now,” a new podcast designed to connect The Huntington with its community and wider world. There’s also a “Learning at Home” web feature for students that includes virtual interactive tours and activities.

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