Virtual San Francisco Arts Events in April

Visit local museums, take in open mic nights and even attend the ballet — all from the comfort of home.

Virtual arts events are no replacement for the real thing, but they seem to be the only option we have while the Bay Area continues sheltering in place. So, if you’re bored at home or miss the feeling of social interaction, take a look at the ongoing calendar we’ve compiled here. We’ll update this weekly — see you in Zoom.

Upcoming and Ongoing

Asian Americans: Identity and History in California
Apr. 28. 6-7:30 p.m. Free.

Preview PBS’s new documentary series, Asian Americans, with KQED host Mina Kim, Race Forward vice president Jeff Chang and Kearny Street Workshop artistic director Jason Bayani.

Jose Antonio Vargas: How Undocumented Immigrants are Being Left Out of the Recovery
Apr. 29. 7-7:30 p.m. Free-$10.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, producer and writer of the memoir Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen Jose Antonio Vargas will be joining Manny’s for a Super Civic Cyber Conversation.

Virtual NightLife with the California Academy of Sciences
Apr. 30. 7-8 p.m.

Learn about sharks with Vicky Vásquez, deputy director of the Ocean Research Foundation, or claymation with local artist Angie Amaro.

QuaranSING Riptide
Every Monday. 7:30-10:30 p.m.

Sunset bar and lounge Riptide is taking its weekly open mics online.

Learn to Cook Vegan Filipino Food
Every Tuesday.

Reina Montenegro, founder of the first vegan Filipino food restaurant in San Francisco, Nick’s on Mission, is hosting weekly cooking classes for those interested in vegan Filipino cuisine.

Solo Jazz Foundations
Every Wednesday. 6 p.m. Every Sunday. 3:15 p.m. Donations welcome.

San Francisco dancer Idalia Ramos teaches you how to dance. “Let’s learn how to feel good in our own bodies, find creativity and musicality, develop good quality of movement and technique that will make your lindy hop shine when we can finally swing out again.”

Quarantine Oscar Comedy
Every Tuesday. 7 p.m.

Hosted by Bay Area comedians Jeff Dean, Hayley Beacon, and Jordan Thewlis, Quarantine Oscar Comedy presents a weekly rotating roundup of comedians from all over the country.

Hump Day Ballet
Every Wednesday through April.
Facebook, Instagram

These Smuin Ballet performances are pre-recorded, and you’ll only have 48 hours to view them. Links and passwords will go out through Facebook, Instagram, and their emailing list.

Premise Comedy
Every Wednesday through shelter-in-place. 8 p.m.

Hosted by Bay Area comedians Jeff Dean, James Mwaura and Andrew Orolfo, this Mission-based underground comedy show is going online.

Smuin’s Virtual Classes
Apr. 13 to May 3.
Enroll here

Learn how to dance from the comfort of your own room — perfect for beginners who may be a little too shy to step into a studio. Smuin Ballet is offering hip hop, ballet, contemporary, jazz, and character classes for beginner and intermediate levels. These classes are pay what you can!


How to Prepare for the End of the World
Apr. 22. 6 p.m. Free-$10.

New York Times tech columnist joins Manny’s Super Civic Conversations for a discussion about surviving during a global crisis. While the world isn’t ending, it’s still good to process that instinctual panic while asking the important question: How do you prepare for the end?

Live Discussion with Uncanny Valley Artist Lynn Hershman
Apr. 23. 1:30 p.m.

DeYoung Museum curator Claudia Schmuckli and Uncanny Valley exhibit artist Lynn Hershman Leeson discuss Leeson’s artmaking process in this online discussion.

Yosakoi Dance Workshop
Apr. 25. 3-5 p.m.

Learn how to dance yosakoi, a style based on energy and traditional Japanese movements. Hosted by local groups Ito and Nakayoshi, this workshop is free.

Hip-Hop to Hamilton: Making Art Work
Apr. 25, 4-5 p.m.

Zoom with Khafre James, executive director of Hip Hop for Change, and Lily Ling, a Hamilton music director and conductor for a webinar on the challenges the arts community is facing during these times.

Baysia: Asian American Culture Rising
Apr. 2 to Apr. 4. 6-8 p.m.

After postponing their slate of March events, Baysia returns with an eclectic virtual weekend. Join them on Thursday for a live set by DJ Bitesize, or join them Friday for a poetry night hosted by local writers Kazumi Chin and Michelle Lin. 

Filipino-Japanese pop-up restaurant Ox & Tiger will be leading a live cooking demo on Saturday, where they’ll teach viewers their pork tonkatsu bicol express recipe. Don’t forget to prepare your ingredients ahead of time if you want to cook along!

Finer Things
Apr. 3. 4 p.m.
Facebook Event, Instagram

Finer Things, a club dedicated to art and fashion, is hosting a night of DJ-ing, false eyelash tips, burlesque, and music in a “super DIY, work with what we got, rebel spirit of San Francisco way.”

Nomadic Press
Apr. 3. 6 p.m.
Facebook Event

Hosted by Oakland poet Nazelah Jamison, Nomadic Press will be hosting an open mic with 30 readers. Sign up to perform yourself, or just stop by to listen.

This list will be updated on a weekly basis.

Litquake on Lockdown
Through Apr. 10. 7 p.m.

So many authors had to cancel their book tours and speaking engagements on account of the pandemic, but they can still make an appearance on your laptop screen thanks to Litquake. Every day through Apr. 10, Litquake hosts book talks, panels about gay romance or the politics of fiction writing — they even have a DIY flash fiction night planned.

Sketchboard’s Figure Drawing Classes
Apr. 11, 2 p.m.

Sketchboard wants to promote a body-positive, safe environment for figure drawing classes. Payment is in form of $5 to $20 sliding scale donations.

Hosted by Bay Area comedians Jeff Dean, James Mwaura and Andrew Orolfo, this Mission-based underground comedy show is going online.

Grace Z. Li covers arts, culture, and food for SF Weekly. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @gracezhali.


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