By Catherine Lang-Cline
I have often said that when I visit art museums, experience dance, hear people sing, my soul gets filled. Apparently, there is some truth to that.
Researchers in London who followed thousands of people 50 and older for 14 years discovered that those who went to a museum or attended a concert just once or twice a year were 14% less likely to die during that period than those who didn’t. The chances of living longer only went up the more frequently people engaged with the arts, according to the study, which was published last month in The BMJ, formerly The British Medical Journal. People who went to a museum or the theater once a month or even every few months had a 31% reduced risk of dying in that period, according to the study.
This is fantastic news because it is a relatively easy thing to do. Here in Ohio, and probably fairly close to you, there are a wonderful amount of art museums.
These are just the ones in the 3 major cities, there are lots more found on Trip Advisor. This does not even include all of the hundreds of galleries that are tucked in all around us. Stop in! I know that the Greater Columbus Art Council lists tons of things to do throughout the year and I am guessing that a city near you also has a place that lists your local events.
Feeling inspired after looking at all of that art? How about taking a class and making something? Many cities and towns offer a variety of art classes. Because it’s cold, how about working around a hot kiln and taking a glass blowing class with Glass Axis in Columbus? Cleveland has Ohio City Glass and Cincinnati has Neusole Glassworks. Not your thing? Maybe it is a painting glass? Maybe you can stay home and learn to knit with a YouTube video? There really isn’t anything that is stopping you.
Doing a search you can find more creative things to brighten your cloudy days. Dance performances or even dance classes. It’s the new year, maybe it is time that you learned how to rumba? Maybe you just turn on some music and make up your own dances. Dance with your kids, dance with your dog, and while the music plays sing as loud as you can. If you are like me, you are probably terrible at both, but oddly, the soul begins to fill regardless.
Take advantage of your local library and enjoy some great writing in the form of poetry or fiction. The best part, the library is completely free. And while it is cold and gloomy, one of the best places to find art is in nature. Take a walk. Look around at the perfection that is the world around us. Sometimes on those walks, we find public art, too. One of the advantages is that you won’t have to deal with the crowds.
For what many people consider to be a “fly-over-State” this state has a lot going for it. Enjoy it before it is discovered. Enjoy it because it is good for your health. Enjoy it because you are worth it.