Keep up your Vitamin A(rts) intake!

We’ve found some resources that will keep you entertained for your coffee break, the weekend, or maybe longer.

We have chosen art in its many guises so we hope there is something here that you enjoy. We’d be delighted to hear your recommendations too  

  1. For bookworms, we have a selection made by the Editors at Penguin, of books that will cheer you up. 
  2. From The Guggenheim in New York to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, there are over 2,500 you can visit online.
  3. Opera Vision has a wonderful selection of performances from across the globe. 
  4. For younger children, there is Oxford Owl at Home which provides free e-books, learning and activity resources.
  5. If you love singing and want to be part of a choir, The Self Isolation Choir is for you, everything from Mahler to ABBA.
  6. We love ARTE the European Culture Channel, they have everything from Classical to Rock and Pop, Circus to Philosophy.
  7. If you love stage shows and musicals (we do!) What’s On Stage update their list daily with shows you can stream.  
  8. From TedEd enjoy 30 Quests for students around the world to celebrate, explore and connect with nature.
  9. If Jazz is your juice (#nice) then you need who have a great archive of performances, their academy resource, radio shows, videos, and live webcasts.
  10. National Geographic presents a gallery of flower and plant patterns, showing once again that Mother Nature is the best artist.
  11. Philosophy Now has a wide range of podcasts covering subjects as diverse as Quantum Mechanics and Buddhism.
  12. Google Arts and Culture has content from over 2000 museums and archives around the world. There really is something for everyone, including the crazy and addictive ‘Blob Opera’!
  13. Take a tour around one of Oxford’s greatest treasures, The Ashmolean Museum, from the comfort of your own home with Ashmolean At Home.
  14. A wonderful resource for parents, carers and teachers is Activity Village, choc-full of crafts, colouring, puzzles, educational resources, worksheets and printables.

Book recommendations to celebrate World Book Day.

OFA Manager Alexis recommends ‘Entangled Life’ by Merlin Sheldrake. A fascinating journey into the world of fungi – a spectacular and neglected world. Fungi are neither plant nor animal, and are found throughout the earth, air and our bodies and to quote the book’s subtitle they ‘make our worlds, change our minds, and shape our futures’. The writing is engaging and accessible, Sheldrake is a great storyteller. For science aficionados, there are copious notes and references at the back but the book is equally appealing to other readers. It will change the way you look at life.

From Festival Director Dr Michelle Castelletti

I am currently re-reading Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose – “the novel that, became a literary event”(New York Times). I read it many years ago in Italian – but it is wonderful to see the beauty of language, and its ability to conjure up all sorts of imagery (sacred, profane, terrifying and glorious) in our minds, through William Weaver’s translation. The power and extraordinary effervescence of words…

The plot is so intricate, the symbolism so fascinating, the ideologies, and the ‘history’ so present. It juxtaposes reality with the surreal, the physical and the metaphysical. Totally gripping – rather, riveting – from a ‘mystery’ point of view, if you’re into ciphers (as am I), and a touch of wry humour, all shrouded in the shadows of the labyrinth of a fourteenth-century Benedictine Monastery.