We know that sometimes, our supporters are inspired to make the world a bit more kind – but aren’t sure about the next steps. What’s the best way to help? What should I be doing? The #GetKind program is here to help! Each month, we will have a new theme to inspire your kindness quotient. Please use the hashtag #GetKind so we can share these great ideas, all year long!
“The world is a complicated place, and there’s a lot of division between people. [The arts] tend to unify people in a way nothing else does.”
There’s something peculiar about the way a great piece of music or a poem can bring together a group of people that otherwise would never meet. Just as good deeds connect us, so do the arts—which is why we decided on them for this month’s #GetKind theme. No matter the situation, everyone can support and get involved in their community; both performing and fine arts are the universal language of love and hope and kindness. Young and old anywhere in the world can be a part of this challenge to #GetKind—and if you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few ideas:
- It’s important to start building a habit from a young age. How can little ones get involved in the arts early on in life? Most communities offer music programs and art classes for toddlers and preschoolers—why not take advantage of that and let your children start making art of their own?
- Speaking of art, most schools these days could always use fresh supplies. You can donate paints, brushes, clay, colored paper and paint boards, brush cleaner, photography supplies, jewelry and metal-working tools, and various craft supplies depending on the age group that will be using them. With worldwide education funding shortages and lackluster support for these programs, students and teachers alike can never accumulate too much.
- Don’t forget– schools aren’t the only ones in need of art supplies: you can donate items you find around your own home, such as paper towel rolls, cardboard, scrapbook paper, wire, and markers to local museums and public art centers. And homeless shelters can always use donations of drawing pads, pens, and colored pencils.
- Not sure what to purchase? Certain organizations provide support for children and young adults to pursue and develop creativity in the arts. Supplies are then distributed to participating schools.
- Donate your used musical instruments (anything from recorders to violins to pianos) to a local music program or school. Students who are unable to afford their own instrument will be given the option of using these instead.
- In Honolulu, local artists have been turning crumbling sculptures and buildings into murals and modern statues in an effort to bring beauty back into their neighborhoods. Why not write your city council and ask for access to local buildings where you can proudly display colorful street art?
- Create your own personal art crawl! Leave your work around town for folks to take home with them for free if you are able.
- Put together “art packs” (you can tie together crayons, drawing pads, pencils, stamps or stickers for the little ones) and leave them in public places for people to get creative.
- Can you play an instrument or sing? Start teaching free music classes from your home if you can—studies show that developing a musical skill can help keep the mind alert and sharpen memory, especially in children. But don’t worry— older participants benefit just as much: according to a report, in people over the age of 65, just four months of playing a musical instrument triggers powerful changes in the brain, improving hearing and memory and possibly even raising IQ. Plus, playing music together with your community is a great way to develop new friendships and spread kindness.
- Purchase pieces from indie artists and local artisans if you can! In today’s age of instant gratification, buying a poster online is the simple option. But the next time you come across a really beautiful photograph at a local art show, consider spending your allotted funds on the picture rather than another poster of the Backstreet Boys (er… I mean… One Direction?) Sites like Etsy also allow small-time artisans to sell their jewelry, drawings, and photographs to consumers that they would normally be unable to reach.
- Make a trip to a local theatre show or dance performance—dance companies and theatre troupes rely on patronage from local citizens to continue their annual productions and are constantly looking for sponsors and supporters. Supernatural’s own Jim Beaver recently organized a Kickstarter campaign to help fund Los Angeles’ acclaimed Theatre West in its 2014-2015 season and provide lessons to 2,200 children. Take a cue from Bobby Singer himself and get involved for your local performers.
- Support a music program at a local school or academy—music programs in the United States in particular have been hit hard by budget shortages. Children who are involved in band, orchestra, or choir often have better grades and a higher ability to organize their time outside of school. Lend them a hand and attend or organize a fundraiser on their behalf!
There are a myriad of ways to get involved in support of the arts in your community! Here at Random Acts, we can’t wait to see what you do, so don’t forget to document your efforts and tag them #GetKind on social media!
Need more inspiration? Check out the Random Acts forums. You can contact your local Regional Representative, find areas of the forum dedicated to your home region, and view proposals and requests for help.