College of Humanities & Fine Arts

Physically Distant/Socially Connected

Letter from the Dean

Greetings! We hope this message finds you well. We are writing to announce the College of Humanities and Fine Arts’ new #PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected project and asking you to collaborate with us.  

As we stay at home to help “flatten the curve” and slow the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, one of the major dilemmas we find ourselves facing is how do we remain socially connected while being physically distant. Normally, we would turn to theatres, concert halls, libraries, galleries, and museums to provide us with comfort and an avenue of escape. In the absence of physical access to cultural institutions, we have witnessed the emergence of virtual pop-up concerts, performances, museum tours, exhibits, readings, and master classes in their place.  

These virtual activities reiterate not just the value of the arts and humanities but also the critical role they play in our lives. During these times, we are reminded of the ways in which the arts and humanities enable us to transcend time, space, differences, cultures, and borders; they help us stay connected and feel ourselves a part of a larger community. More importantly, these virtual activities are often free or low-cost, thereby ensuring access for most.  

How are you remaining socially connected while practicing physical distancing? Share with us what you are reading, watching, viewing, listening to, writing, studying, contemplating, creating, or making. 

Your submissions may be shared on various College of Humanities and Fine Arts'  Facebook(opens in new window)Instagram(opens in new window), and  Twitter(opens in new window) account as well as the #PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected.

It is our hope that the #PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected project is both informative and educational, perhaps even entertaining at times, but ultimately collaborative.    

Stay safe and we will see you on the internet!

tracy butts signature 

Tracy R. Butts, Ph.D.
Interim Dean
College of Humanities and Fine Arts
California State University, Chico 

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected August 20

1. The Peninsula Open Space Trust hosts California State Parks Archaeologist Mark Hylkema for the lecture "Shipwrecks of the San Mateo Coast." This free lecture takes place online Friday, August 28 at 12 p.m.: 

The ocean by the beach

2. The "Keep Your Distance - A Socially Distanced Comedy Show Vol. 3" takes place Friday, August 28 at 7 p.m. via YouTube Livestream. Tickets are $15: 

Keep Your Distance comedy show poster

3. The San Francisco International Piano Festival will stream live online on Friday, August 28 at 8 p.m. Partnering with Old First Concerts, this program celebrates the chamber music of Beethoven: 

San Francisco International Piano Festival poster

4. Have a virtual family paint party! On August 27 from 3–5 p.m., learn how to paint the below picture at the Original Paint Night. Tickets are $15 each and children should be ages 6 and up: 

Painting of a horse

5. Learn how to make Disneyland’s famous churros at home with step-by-step instructions and a video tutorial:

Churros on a plate  

6. Zoos around the world are livestreaming their most popular attractions. Check out the penguins at Edinburgh Zoo, baboons at San Diego Zoo, snow leopards at Melbourne Zoo and more:

animal in the water

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected August 17

1. The New World Symphony will have their first worldwide video-streamed event on IDAGIO on August 21 at 11:00 a.m. Artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas hosts a reimagined performance of Berlioz’ “Harold in Italy”, featuring Grammy Award-winning composer Steven Mackey and violist Tabea Zimmermann. Following the performance, MTT, Zimmerman and Mackey will participate in a live green room Q&A:

New World Symphony collage

2. Family & Children's Counseling Services Inc. is hosting the Popsicle Parade! on August 22 at 11:00 a.m. in Chico. Decorate your vehicle and join the car parade:

3 people in a red car

3. Social distanced blood donations will be occurring at Chico Marketplace on Sunday, August 23 from 12:00–4:00 p.m. Appointments are requested for social distancing, and donors must wear a face mask or covering: 

Person giving blood

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected August 13

1. Rickie Barnett, a former ceramics student, was featured in a recent issue of Ceramics Monthly magazine. Read about his collaborative work with Lynne Hobaica: 

ceramic piece by Rickie Barnett and Lynne Hobaica

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected August 12

1. Professor Char Prieto (ILLC) shares how she remains #physicallydistantsociallyconnected: "To remain socially connected and physically distant, I share my organic garden produce with friends and neighbors. I tell them to come with a mask and pick up the products keeping the social distance. I have now figs and I can them for the winter months, make fig pizza, fig jam, figs with cheese, fig tart...and share with friends and neighbors when they come to pick up the produce."

Fig pizza  Fig jam

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected August 10

1. The Metropolitan Opera is offering free daily streams. Operas this week include Bizet's "Carmen" and Verdi's "Rigoletto," among others. They are also offering a pay-per-view concert series, presenting opera’s greatest stars performing live via satellite from striking locations across Europe and the U.S.: 

Actors in Carmen opera

2. Take some time to learn a new recipe! The YouTube channel Pasta Grannies puts up a new video every Friday of Italian "nonne" teaching viewers how to make their traditional pasta dishes:

grandmother holding pasta plate

3. Travel across the country in the comfort of your own home! Google Earth offers virtual tours of the 31 national parks:,0,0a,24616863.78602474d,35y,0h,0t,0r/

Lake with rocks in it

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected August 6

1. Paint the below image from home with step-by-step instructions from Sienna Joy via zoom on Thursday, August 13 at 6:30 p.m. Materials kits with zoom meeting info will be available for pick up the day before in Chico:

4 block HOME painting

2. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU, Chico will be having their fall virtual class preview on Wednesday, August 19 at 10 a.m. OLLI is an educational program for lifelong learners age 50 and better who are eager to explore traditional and new areas of knowledge – without exams or grades:

OLLI Virtual Class Preview poster

3. Host a virtual murder mystery party! Red Herring's multilayered games with themes such as Murder in the Alps and Murder at Merkister Hall can now be adapted for virtual gatherings:

rope for murder mystery game

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected August 4

1. Cirque de Soleil is taking the show online with new performances uploaded every Friday on CirqueConnect: Cirque de Soleil poster

2. The Groundlings, the LA-Based improvisation and sketch comedy theatre whose alumni include Melissa McCarthy, Will Ferrell, and Lisa Kudrow, are putting on an online version of the long-form improv show, The Crazy Uncle Joe Show, every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. for $8:

The Crazy Uncle Joe Show poster

3. In order to experience attractions virtually, Disneyland is offering ride-through videos for 25 of their rides, including the Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan's flight, It's a Small World, and more:

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

4. People have gotten creative the last few months with quarantine-themed cakes. Test out your baking and art skills with a quarantine cake of your own!:

collage of quarantine-style cakes

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected July 30

1. Professor Jed Wyrick (CORH) and his brother, Eric, concertmaster for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, perform Beethoven Fest: Violin Sonata No. 1 for the NJSO Couch Concert Series:

2. L. Ash Williams, host committee chair for the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam and a member of the 2013 louderARTS National Poetry Slam team, has her poem "Red Wine Spills" featured on for their Poem-A-Day:

Headshot of poet L. Ash Williams

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected July 27

1. Sherri Mitchell and Brenda Salgado host "Indigenous Wisdom for Healing Trauma," a live online conversation exploring Native American mythology and cosmology as a means of healing our collective wounds on Saturday, August 1 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.:

Night sky

2. Artists Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Gillian Wearing, Michael Landy and others have come together to create a free, downloadable activity book called "Art Is Where the Home Is":

Coloring book page

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected July 23

1. Professor Laird Easton (HIST) had his essay on the history of pandemics and the economy featured in the Washington Post's "Made by History" series:

Laird Easton headshot

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected July 22

1. Do you enjoy writing letters? The residents of the retirement and assisted living community Victorian Senior Care are looking for pen pals:

Senior residents holding whiteboards

2. St. Michal Cinema brought outdoor live music back to Minnesota with social distancing precautions. Attendees were given a pool noodle to measure the space between groups and lawn chairs were placed on marked lines:

People in lawn chairs 6 feet apart

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected July 21

1. Art faculty Rouben Mohiuddin’s design firm, Design SI, is finalizing their first pro bono floor plan in collaboration with Rancho Engineering and Rebuild Paradise Foundation for the town of Paradise: 

Design for Paradise

2. Recent graduate Jory Harms (Sculpture MFA) had his thesis project "Boy Will Be" featured in "Hyperallergenic":

sculpture "Boy Will Be"

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected July 20

1. While spending more time at home, learn Japanese, or another language, online for free:

A laptop computer

2. Sadler's Wells, London's home of dance, is streaming shows and dance workshops for all ages for free: 

Woman stretching for dance class

3. Sir Patrick Stewart is posting a Shakespearian sonnet a day on his twitter @SirPatStew during self-isolation:

Sir Patrick Stewart

4. "John Lewis: Good Trouble" is available now to watch in theaters and on demand. The documentary chronicles Lewis' 60 plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration using interviews and rare archival footage:

Post by Cyndi Lauper on John Lewis documentary

5. Singer/songwriter James Taylor has created a “Songs of Comfort” Facebook page with a weekly link to a video of a song he performs:

Headshot of James Taylor

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected July 15

1. Cornelius Eady, co-founder of Cave Canem, had his poem "Diabolic" featured as's Poem-a-Day: The quote at the top of the poem is from Phillis Wheatley's poem "On Being Brought from Africa to America":

Cornelius Eady headshot

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected July 13

1.Luis Santos, CSU, Chico alumnus (MUTA), has produced a video dedicated to front-line responders called "Frontier Faces (While We Sleep)":

Luis Santos video for front-line responders

2. Audible has made hundreds of its books available for free to encourage students to continue to explore literature while schools are closed:

Audible website

3. In "The Show Must Go Online," a live-streaming reading group is performing all of Shakespeare's plays in order. Visit Rob Myles' YouTube page to view previous readings, or stream "Much Ado About Nothing" live on July 15:

Shakespeare drawing

4. Check out virtual tours offered by museums from around the world including the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, and more:

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

5.Poet, educator, speaker and social advocate Enzo Silon Surin had his poem "When Night Fills with Premature Exits" featured on

Poet Enzo Silon Surin

6. WNYC in collaboration with The Public Theater presents Free Shakespeare on the Radio's production of Richard II. This serialized broadcast airs in four parts on July 13–July 16 starting at 5 p.m. PST:

Richard II logo

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected July 9

1. Sean Hill, award-winning poet, had his poem "Governor's Mansion Hands" featured on

Sean Hill

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected July 7

1. Author Krysten Hill's poem "Nothing" is featured on

Krysten Hill

#PhysicallyDistantSociallyConnected July 6

1. The Great Performances at the Met series continues with Gershwin's folk opera, Porgy and Bess on Friday, July 17 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). This primetime production stars Eric Owens and Angel Blue:

Stars of Porgy and Bess

2. Toi Derricotte, author and co-founder of Cave Canem, had her poem "Why I don't write about George Floyd" featured on poem-a-day:

Toi Derricotte

3. Shudder will be featuring the documentary "Horror Noire." Create an account to watch the documentary for free:

Horror Noire flyer

4. The Show Must Go On! will be streaming "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" on YouTube on Friday, July 10 (available for 48 hours). This is their final weekly musical-theater production until at least mid-August:

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

5. Street artists are expressing their thoughts about COVID-19 and quarantine through their art:

Quarantine street art

6. 10 tourist spots from around the world including the Trevi Fountain in Rome and Old Town Square in Prague are offering live webcams to view their destinations from home:

St. Mark's Square in Venice