The beneficial effects of engaging in cultural pursuits are far reaching and even a small amount of time relaxing with an artistic hobby or pastime can significantly brighten your outlook. What’s more, the advent of easy online access for everyone has brought a wealth of new cultural opportunities right to your doorstep.
Discover new ways to bring a little culture into your life in a few simple steps and feel your horizons expanding.
Becoming more keyed in to culture
A recent study commissioned by the Scottish government found that activities such as reading and dancing can have a positive effect on your health. Additionally, research from Standford has also shown that engaging in cultural activities can reduce prejudices and bring people together, so why wait?
Reading is the natural place to start when you’re experimenting with increasing your cultural knowledge online and there are many resources to help you along the way. If you’ve always meant to read the classics but have never found the time before, Read Print and Project Gutenburg are perfect for you. Both sites offer access to thousands of classic books that you can read on your computer, Kindle or alternative eReader. Other fun places to browse that can help you line up your next read are Lovereading and Goodreads, both of which are great for sharing your opinion on books or making connections with other literature lovers.
Music is also extremely accessible online and it’s possible to find rare or unusual performances at the press of a button. Classical.com is an excellent resource for anyone who loves classical music, thanks to its free albums, forums and shared playlists. Spotify is a good site if you simply want to find music to listen to but if you’re hoping for a more interactive way to indulge your passion, have a look at Daily Tekk’s 100 ways to enjoy music online.
Exploring the world’s wonderful cultural offerings online
Advances in photography and visual imaging software have also made it possible for people all around the world to see iconic works of art from the comfort of their own homes. The Rijks Museum in Amsterdam allows you to explore its stunning collection online and include high quality images of masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer. America’s Metropolitan Museum of Art also has an extensive presence online, allowing you many happy hours of browsing. For a great guide to the many more museums and art galleries who are happy to share their treasures online, turn to this list from The Guardian.
You can also find a huge selection of contemporary art online with Artspan, a site dedicated to art and artists and featuring more than 4,000 artist websites. The BBC also has a lovely section focused on the nation’s favourite art, containing everything from information about local galleries and collections to a section devoted to guided tours. With just a few clicks of your mouse, you can see the world’s finest works of art for yourself.
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