6 Benefits of Local Arts and Culture

Why should you turn off the TV for once and get out there to take in some culture? The benefits are not as tangible as how exercising will help you drop 10 pounds, but the rewards are undeniable.

Art and culture enhances every part of our lives. They bring us joy, and help us to make sense of our own experiences and to empathize with others. And frankly, it’s often just plain fun.

Family at Sound of Nature, Sound of Art
A family creates art as part of an audience participation activity during the Sound of Nature, Sound of Art performance.

Why should you turn off the TV for once and get out there to take in some culture? The benefits are not as tangible as, say, how exercising will help you drop 10 pounds, but the rewards are undeniable.

Art and culture also benefit us economically, socially, and educationally – from the future prospects of our children, to the vibrancy of our cities, to the contribution made to economic growth.

Here are a few ways that art and culture positively impacts you, your family, and your community.

Culture Helps You Express Yourself

By participating in culture and being exposed to different forms of art, you broaden the ways in which you can express yourself. It frees and opens up your way of thinking so even if you’re not actively creating art, your ability to convey information and communicate with others is enriched.

Art Reduces Stress Levels

Regardless of your income level or education, taking in the arts is linked to being more satisfied with your life, says a study published last year in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

However, the study revealed differences when it came to men and women. Men experience greater boosts in mood and health when partaking in culture passively, for example going to a museum or a concert. Women, on the other hand, experienced a rise in mood when participating in culture in a more active way (by creating art or playing a musical instrument).

Kids raising hands in gallery
A group of school-age children participate in art activities at the PJ Chessman Gallery.

Culture Especially Important for Youth

Exposure to the arts produces well-rounded adults, who contribute as empathetic citizens and creative workers.

There is evidence that doing art activities and studying creative subjects at school helps children and young people improve in other areas too:

  • employability of students who study arts subjects is higher and they are more likely to stay in employment
  • students who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer than students who do not engage in arts and are 20 percent more likely to vote as young adults
  • engagement in structured art and culture improves the cognitive abilities of children and young people
  • students from low-income families who take part in art activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree than children from low-income families who do not

Art Improves Quality-of-life for Seniors

For seniors and retirees, there is a heap evidence of the positive impact that the arts can have on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of older people.

Alongside the physical benefits of more overtly active art forms such as drama and dance, increased levels of general activity gained through activities such as storytelling and visual arts also had positive impacts on the overall health of participants. There are also connections between involvement in community arts and mental wellbeing.

Among its other effects, there is evidence that demonstrates:

  • frequent engagement with art and culture is associated with a higher level of subjective wellbeing
  • people who had attended a cultural place or event in the previous 12 months were almost 60 percent more likely to report good health compared to those who had not
  • studies have shown that specially-designed art activities can have a positive impact on health conditions like dementia, depression and Parkinson’s disease
  • art activities enable people in social care to pursue creative interests, reducing loneliness and alleviating depression and anxiety among people in these environments

Culture Contributes to the Local Economy

Arts and culture can have a number of economic impacts on our local economy, especially one that relies on tourism like Lincoln City. There are five key ways that arts and culture can boost local economies:

  • attracting visitors
  • creating jobs and developing skills
  • attracting and retaining businesses
  • revitalizing places
  • developing talent

People who engage in the arts are the ones who help communities thrive, says a 2006 study conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts in the U.S. It seems that folks with an interest in the arts are more likely to volunteer and attend sporting activities, and that it’s a reflection of being a civic- and socially-minded citizen.

group of people with wine
Attendees enjoy wine and festivities during the 2018 Culture, Of Course! benefit dinner and gala.

Art Connects You To Humanity — and the Community You Live In

By taking in culture (in any form, whether it be music, art, or writing, to name just a few mediums) that focuses on the elements we contend with — poverty, sexuality, racism, etc. — we gain a better understanding of humanity as a whole and of the groups we live amongst.

And because of this, culture can help break down boundaries. Think about it: learning about the struggles of a group that’s often been pushed to the outer fringes of society will broaden your awareness and grow your tolerance and compassion.

Want more art and culture in your life?

Become a member of the Lincoln City Cultural Center! People of all ages and income levels are enjoying visual and performing arts, more often, because Lincoln City has its own center for creativity and community.

Did you know that EVERY STUDENT in north Lincoln County sees live, professional theatre and music every school year? All thanks to the Lincoln City Cultural Center and support from members like you.

Plus, you’ll receive access to member-only events, special discounts, free-tickets to shows, vouchers for concessions, and more including:

  • 10% off all purchases in the PJ Chessman Gallery – NEW BENEFIT
  • 10% off New Moon Yoga passes – NEW BENEFIT
  • $2 off all tickets for LCCC sponsored events
  • Automatic entry into the annual Members Show (held in July)
  • Quarterly Members E-Newsletter & more frequent calendar updates
  • Opportunity to show and sell in the juried Members Gift Shop

Live a Creative Life