In American society, there’s often a large emphasis placed on math and science, while less importance is placed on the arts and culture. While math and science are certainly important, the arts should receive equal recognition. If you and your family are interested in learning more about art history and culture, follow these tips.
Enroll in Art Classes
Art classes can be beneficial for the entire family. For children, participating in the pursuit of arts for several hours each week can lead to increased levels of happiness and improved academic performance. For adults, participating in art classes provides an escape from a stressful workday and the opportunity to work towards self-improvement. Whether you’re interested in a certain type of art or you’re simply in it for the fun, art classes can be fun and educational for the whole family. Depending on your interests and your budget, consider group or private art classes.
Learn a Second Language
Many Americans are only able to speak English, but this isn’t the norm in most other countries. If you’re hoping to branch out and learn more about other cultures, learning a new language is one of the best ways to do this. If you have a trip scheduled to visit another country, it’s never too late to start learning the language. While it’s true that it’s easier to learn a new language as a child, adults can learn another language through hard work and dedication. Whether you choose to use a program like Duolingo or enroll in a foreign language class at a local college, you’ll benefit from becoming bilingual.
Travel As Often As Possible
If you’ve never been outside your home state, let alone out of the country, it’s time to start setting aside travel funds. For inexperienced travelers, start small and visit a state that’s much different from your own. You might be amazed by how different the culture is just a few miles away. For example, if you live in a small town in a midwestern state, you’ll likely be surprised by the diverse culture in New York City. Once you’ve experienced different cultures within your own country, traveling to other countries should be next on your to-do list.
Try Different Foods
To learn more about other cultures and break out of your comfort zone, start learning about and trying different cuisines. This is especially important for families with young children, and it’s a good idea to start exposing children to new foods as early as possible. If you’re interested in learning more about new foods, start small by researching different options online and finding something that sounds intriguing. Even if the dish doesn’t sound particularly appetizing, it’s always worth a try. You never know—you might be surprised by how much you enjoy cuisine from another country.
Visit Art Galleries
To encourage art appreciation and increase your knowledge of art from different eras and countries, visit art galleries whenever time allows. Research popular art galleries in your area and overseas and write down a list of those that are most appealing. For example, if you know that you’d like to take a trip to Zurich to study Russian art, Galerie Gmurzynska should definitely be on your to-do list. This famous art gallery is a must-see if you’re in the area of its three locations in Zurich, St. Moritz, or Zug.
Study the Arts at Home
Are you interested in contemporary art, or are you fascinated by architecture in different cities? No matter where your interests lie, there are countless books available for you to engage in and share with your friends and family. Spend some time browsing your favorite bookstore or library and take home a new book that interests you each week. To immerse yourself in arts and history, start by picking up a good book. By the time you’re ready to visit a new country or walk into an art gallery, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of where you’d be without the aid of educational books.
Take College Classes
The truly educated never stop learning. If you’re committed to learning more about arts and culture, it’s never too late to attend college classes. Several prestigious schools offer free online classes for busy adults, so you’ll be able to enjoy the rigorous and enlightening courses without the hassle of driving to a local college. However, if you’re interested in going back to school to earn a degree in the arts, your local community college can be a great place to start.
Increased knowledge of arts and culture is something that we should all strive for. Sadly, many Americans live in a culture bubble and take a closed minded approach towards learning a new language or even trying new food. To lead a rich and fulfilling life, it’s important to push your comfort zone and explore new places. This can be achieved by something as simple as trying a new restaurant, or a bit more bold like taking a month off work to travel extensively and visit revered art galleries and museums.