Coronavirus: Royal NZ Ballet, NZ Symphony Orchestra cellist perform online concerts during lockdown

New Zealand's art industry is among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with productions and concerts cancelled across the sector.

But some are making the most of the lockdown by bringing free online entertainment to Kiwis across the country.

Wellington has long had a colourful and vibrant art culture, but there's no denying the virus has had a devastating impact.

"We completely rely on live performances with audiences," New Zealand Symphony Orchestra cellist Ken Ichinose told Newshub.

The closure of venues is forcing artists to find new ways to showcase their work.

Ichinose is spending his lockdown performing live concerts from his living room - even using Skype to play a duet.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) is also jumping on board by performing Hansel and Gretel as a Facebook Live, reminding everyone of what there is to enjoy when life returns to normal.

"We're not dead, we're alive, and we're just sitting dormant. We need imagination, we need purpose," RNZB artistic director Patricia Baker says.

Even art galleries are going online. Wellington's McLeavey Gallery is hosting digital exhibitions.

But there are concerns over how long artists can go without work. Wellington City Council is now stepping in and offering financial support to those in need.

"It's incredibly hard. They have to eat, they have to pay their rent, things like that. The council gives grants and we've tried to be as helpful as possible," Wellington Councillor Nicola Young says.

But there is hope from those using online content to reach the public.

"Maybe it will inspire some to go to the theatre once we all go out and enjoy this wonderful city," Baker says.

Online content is no substitute for a night out at the theatre, but perhaps a chance to reach an entirely new audience.