| QUE JONES
While we ring in the new year, resolutions abound. But how many of us actually follow through? Whether we are losing weight, making personal changes or even helping others, we all strive to better ourselves. My challenge to you in 2014 is to enrich your life culturally. While I know this is hard, below is a list of six things (that’s only one every two months) that will challenge and enrich your sense of culture.
SEE AN OPERA
Yes, most are in a foreign language, and even if it is in English, who can understand what they are saying? The music is not what most of us listen to on the radio, yet it serves as a window into our pop music past. At a time when there wasn’t mass entertainment, operas served as an escape from reality. Even if you don’t enjoy the overly dramatic story lines and over-the-top acting, you will learn something about our heritage.
ATTEND A GALLERY OPENING
Gallery openings are hotbeds for mixtures of people. You will have the moochers who are looking for a free meal, the rich who are looking for a new work of art to adorn their mantle and students who are looking to learn and be inspired. There will be countless people there from different walks of life, and the conversations alone will make the event worth it.
SEE A BALLET
Seeing an entire story told without words is an amazing experience. The way those athletes move on the stage is inspiring. Plus, who can resist perfectly in-shape people dancing in tights?
LISTEN TO ALL NINE BEETHOVEN SYMPHONIES
Beethoven was one of the greatest masters of form ever to grace the musical world. He was also extremely emotional and passionate. Listening to his symphonies in order (not all at once of course) will give you a glimpse into his life. From youth to maturity, hearing to deafness, the music will inspire and is something everyone needs to experience once in their lifetime.
GO TO A JAZZ CONCERT OR BAR
Whether you hear a swinging big band or a small jazz combo in a small bar, jazz is truly American music that can communicate in a unique language. Not bound by the rules of classical music and rooted in folk and armature traditions, this form will speak in so many ways.
LISTEN TO OR LOOK AT SOMETHING NEW ONCE A WEEK
It is so easy to find what we like in the world and tune everything else out. These pleasant blinders hide so many wonderful things from us. Be adventurous and try new things. Go to the library and pick up a book of photographs, a CD of some unknown music, an anthology of paintings, anything! You may or may not like what you find, but either way, you will experience something from it.
Happy New Year!