The stories we tell, the art we appreciate, the creativity we admire, all of this is part of the cultural scene that surrounds us. If you’ve ever played with a few band members in an off-mic showcase at a local bar, congratulations, you have contributed to local culture. Culture and creativity such as this is what gives soul to our society, and helps us reflect on ourselves outside the confines of our working or daily survival responsibilities.
When you realize this, getting involved in culture and introducing your children to it may become a priority of yours, provided this is something you enjoy. If so, that’s fantastic. There are many ways you can positively contribute to your local culture and to do so with a smile. There’s almost nothing that helps you build friends more easily, or that can expose you to ideas you may not have been aware of before. This expansive effort can only be a good and healthy thing, and to that end we would certainly recommend this process to anyone.
If this interests you, please consider the following advice:
Attend Local Art Shows
Consider attending local art shows that you find the most interesting. Any local art scene heavily relies on those that are willing to engage, and so it can be that heading to local cafes to see local bands, visiting the nearby art gallery’s latest showpiece, or perhaps heading to enjoy a museum’s new collection and donating to the extent that you can will set you up as a patron of the arts, no matter how humble you may be in this role.
Of course, you needn’t feel this is some kind of hidden chore or obligation you need to follow. You can find a great deal of talent in the smaller communities of artists, perhaps even those that go on to do great things. It can feel humbling and not small amount of exciting to see a band you care about now touring across the country thanks to people like you spreading the word and getting involved. This process can also be much cheaper than heading to see already established artists, and it can also make you further aware of the diversity of artistic vision. For anyone with even the slightest interest in the creative space, that can be an incredibly promising thing to experience.
Support Local Theatre
Local theatre is, of course, to be defined as a kind of art show, but it has a primacy of talent that can often be even more appreciated should you attend it. There are many theatre practitioners such as Artaud, Brecht and more that only sometimes have their seminal works or philosophies displayed on the main stage, and when they do, it’s likely in smaller, more humble productions. Supporting local theatre can help you support a scene that unfortunately struggles to compete with the prevalence of on-demand streaming entertainment in all its forms.
Theatre takes talent, risk-taking, and the willingness to bring stories that may seem old or outdated to new audiences willing to suspend what they know and appreciate them. Again, supporting this scene is not a chore or hardship - you can have an amazing time at the theatre and it can serve as a true visceral memory you hold - sometimes much more than seeing and discussing the latest blockbuster to that degree.
Why not get involved in culture yourself? You may have a talent for painting and wish to give a local newly-opened cafe some of your prints to help decorate their space. Perhaps you have a real interest in history and have studied it all of your life, only to find that excellent history course are available at Norwich University, one of the most prestigious learning institutions in the UK.
Never assume that your interest in art history or culture can only remain a hobby. There are thriving industries out there, and much government subsidy aimed at keeping the most appreciated aspects of society, namely its culture, thriving and well. Only sitting at the sidelines and wishing you were more involved can leave you feeling a little put-out and disconnected. But remember - you never have to accept this as a stagnant fact.
Try Something New
Try something new! Culture is not a refined tool that you should look at behind a glass case, never interacting with it. If you wish to join a local art exhibition or perhaps pose as a still life model for a local art class, or perhaps pick up an instrument such as the violin to potentially play for a small crowd next year - feel free to! Art is expression, and expression is culture. You are part of the culture, which also means you have permission to express yourself, and do so through artistic means.
Why pretend you’re not able? Sure you may never have applied your creative interest before, and yes perhaps this is the first time you’ve ever decided to go for it. But just know that if you do, you’re likely to feel much more confident in your abilities, and you’ll make friends that hold positivity in their hearts through this effort. To us, that sounds like a wonderful thing.
Support School Initiatives
Of course, the children will influence and be influenced by the culture of tomorrow and today, respectively. This means that supporting school initiatives (most appropriate if you have children, of course), will help. If you have to volunteer a payment for a school trip to a local museum, pay if you can. Maybe volunteer to help arrange the school trip and guide them around if necessary. Always turn up to your child’s theatre or band practice. If your child shows an interest in these arts, always encourage them. Schools, for all of the bad reputation they can get, do try to introduce children to culture in a myriad of ways, even if that means contributing to a local community gardening effort. Remaining positive about this can help support said initiatives in no small manner.
With this advice, we hope you, yourself, can contribute to culture in the best manner possible - and moreover, have a great time doing so.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.