By MARK KENNEDY AP Entertainment Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Win an acting lesson from Patrick Stewart. Record a song with Sting. Hang out with rockers The Strokes. Have a virtual coffee with Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Those are just some of the offerings in an online auction presented by famed auction house Sotheby’s using Google Meet video calls. The auctions will be held May 1-8 and will benefit the International Rescue Committee’s efforts to combat COVID-19. Bidding starts at $50 on each and there are no minimums.
Other experiences being auctioned include a video conversation with Sasha Baron Cohen or Apollo 9 astronaut Russell Schweickart, coffee or tea with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a coaching session with business adviser and author Tim Ferriss and conversations with decorator Jacques Grange and with David Miliband, former British foreign secretary.
“Downton Abbey” fans will be attracted by the offer of a virtual visit to Highclere Castle, where “Downton Abbey” was filmed, with writer and creator Julian Fellowes and actors Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, who played Lord and Lady Grantham.
“We are proud to contribute to pandemic relief at this extraordinary time,” said Charles F. Stewart, CEO of Sotheby’s. “Many of our clients around the world have inquired about supporting COVID-19 relief efforts and, with the partnership of Google and so many leading figures who have pledged to support this unique auction event of virtual experiences, we are looking forward to supporting the efforts of the International Rescue Committee.”