The best virtual events in Detroit during the COVI...

The best virtual events in Detroit during the COVID-19 shelter at home quarantine

We hope you’re healthy, safe and keeping your social distance. We hope you’re feeling ready to meet the week with resiliency, generosity and patience. But we also hope you can find time to connect with others and do… something that brings you joy. 

To that end, we’ve got some amazing things you can do this week “in Detroit,” aka with a Zoom video conference, YouTube, Facebook or Instagram live. We’re inspired by all the local artists, chefs, mixologists, musicians and more who are taking their work virtual and sharing it with us. Send ’em donations when you can. 

And if you’re putting together a virtual event, have a volunteer opportunity to suggest, want to shout out your fave fitness instructor’s video classes or just want to share what you’re doing to have fun right now, hit reply and give us the scoop.

🆘 Feeling helpless? Offer some help. If you’re healthy, pick up cleaning supplies for a quarantined neighbor or buy some groceries for a stranger (this Facebook group is a good place to start). Make sure to still follow best social distancing and safety practices — the United Way of Southeast Michigan has some guidelines for being a good neighbor while taking care of your health and others’. They also have volunteer opportunities available, whether donating blood or boxing up meals for seniors. 

🧘 What a time… to get your mind right. Mindful Detroit is hosting free morning meditation on Tuesdays and lunch hour yoga for dealing with anxiety on Wednesdays, via Zoom, for the near future. Teacher Caitlin Brown is great at working across skill levels and has a very calming energy, your editor can attest. Free but donations appreciated. 

Ann Arbor Film Festival

📺 In our golden age of streaming content, finding something to watch isn’t the problem: It’s picking from the overwhelming number of choices. That’s truly something that isn’t worth spending time stressing over right now. So leave it up to the expert curators at the 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival to pick your flick. The annual fest is going virtual March 24-29, with a robust schedule of experimental films streaming online. It’s totally free, though donations are welcome. 

📖 Spend some time reading and thinking about issues related to the current global health crisis, while still disconnecting from the information overload with Planet Detroit’s new environmental book club, in partnership with Book Suey in Hamtramck. The first read is Eric Klinenberg’s “Heatwave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago,” about the 1995 heat wave that killed more than 700 people. Get reading now — you can sign up here, and order a book from a local shop — so you’re ready for Klinenberg’s online Q&A. Details for that are still TBA. Not ready to commit? Klinenberg’s recent op-ed, calling for social solidarity instead of simply social distancing, has us eager to read more. 

Lucy Teardrop

✍️ Watching people get artsy and creative together, not just spectating the pros, has been one of the small joys of this moment. Take those veggie drawing “challenges” you might have seen in IG stories — absurd, pointless and utterly perfect. For more thoughtful inspiration, we’ve been following local artist Lucy Cahill on Instagram. Cahill (@lucyteardrop) has been posting daily drawing prompts, like “Draw someone rad who inspires you,” and the resulting pictures from her followers. Dig out some colored pencils and find 30 minutes in your sched for the chillest drawing class around.  

🎸 One night only: Pretend it’s a legit weekend night out at Willis Show Bar (‘s YouTube channel). They’re hosting a Willis at Home stream this Friday and next, with tutorials to make their signature cocktails, perfect to sip during the live music. The shows are fundraisers for the staff and performers, and you can donate at GoFundMe.  

🍳 If you’re sick of cooking already… Chef Jonathan Kung of Kung Foods in Eastern Market is helping followers battle kitchen fatigue live on Instagram, with recipes designed for quarantine cooking — follow @kung_food for more. And tune in this Wednesday at 4 p.m. for roasted sweet potatoes, cooking with spices and “how to take a bunch of random shit from your pantry and fridge and put it into a fucking fritatta.” Sounds like our energy! 

🕺 And nothing makes you feel freer than a solo dance party in the solace of your own living room. Especially when it’s DJ’d by no less than Lady Fantastic Detroit… aka former Detour Emerging Voices fellow and queen about town Sara Aldridge. Until we meet again for a Nothing Elegant dance party at the Old Miami, tune in on IG — and maybe even get featured in Sara’s live video.
🤯 Blowing off steam: Detour member Amber Hunt’s response to this crisis is utterly relatable — screaming into the void. If you’re gonna scream, might as well make it Celine Dion, and do it in “public.” Join her for a virtual ScreamCeline meetup Friday, belting out lyrics as loud as you can without pissing off your co-quarantiners. And that’s the way it is.  

Kate Abbey-Lambertz is the co-founder and editorial director for Detour Media. She leads editorial strategy for the signature Detour Detroit newsletter, The Blend and special projects, while shaping Detour’s membership program, audience development initiatives and design. Kate was previously a national reporter at HuffPost, where she covered equitable cities and urban issues. She launched HuffPost’s Detroit vertical, serving as reporter and editor, and has reported on Detroit for a decade. Follow her on Twitter: @kabbeyl