Regardless of your personal living situation, existing here in New York can be stressful. The high cost of living, extended working hours, long commutes on crowded subways, buses and trains all contribute to high levels of stress in New York, number two on Forbes ‘America’s Most Stressful Cities’ list1.
And the effects of stress on New Yorkers are becoming more severe – a recent study found that over ten years, New Yorkers reported increased sleeplessness, depression, and obesity; all health problems associated with stress2.
Stress reduction can come in many forms: common recommendations include self-care, meditation, exercise, or therapy. However, do not overlook the positive effects of how participating in the fine arts – either as an audience member or a community volunteer – can help to relieve stress for New York City residents.
Engaging with the fine arts – even as an audience member - can reduce stress, improve memory, empathy, and critical thinking skills. Volunteering has also been found to reduce stress, decreasing levels of depression, hypertension and other stress-related health issues while improving longevity and self-confidence3.
Combining participation in the arts with volunteering can help not only your community but also your health.
Where to Find Stress Relief in NYC
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater was founded in 1958 to bring African American culture and modern dance to the world. Attend a performance, volunteer your time, or take a dance or fitness class at the Ailey Extension.
American Institute of Graphic Arts
The largest design organization in the United States with over 25,000 members, the AIGA is a professional membership organization that seeks to promote design as a cultural force.
Art Students League
The Art Students League is a community of artists with the mission to make art accessible to everyone, shaping American art since 1875. The Art Students League holds exhibitions and offers affordable instruction in a variety of fine arts including painting, drawing, and sculpture.
BRIC provides free cultural programming in Brooklyn, balancing the presentation of exceptional cultural experiences while supporting the expression of artistic individuality. BRIC offers events and performances, art exhibitions, and online resources including videos on a variety of art-related topics.
Calpulli Mexican Dance Company
Calpulli Mexican Dance Company offers high-quality artistic narratives and productions to extend Latin American cultural influence while supporting underserved Mexican-American communities through outreach and education. Attend a performance, or educational workshop, or get involved with Capulli.
Irish Arts Center
The IAC is a cultural center focused on promoting a dynamic image of Ireland and Irish America, forging cross-cultural partnerships, and preserving Irish culture for future generations. Attend an event, or take a class in the Irish language, dance, writing or music, or volunteer your time with the IAC.
If comedy is more your interest, the Magnet Theater offers a variety of performances, and improvisational comedy classes almost every day.
Museum of the City of New York
The Museum of the City of New York was created to promote a unique understanding of urban life in NYC. Visit the museum and view over 750,000 collected artifacts, or learn more about volunteer opportunities.
National Academy of Design
The National Academy of Design is a group of artists, students, art lovers and supporters dedicated to promoting the arts through instruction and exhibition. Attend an event, subscribe to the newsletter for information on upcoming exhibits or discover other ways to support the NAD.
Urban Arts Partnership
The Urban Arts Partnership is dedicated to implementing arts integration programs in public schools, to promote social learning, community engagement, and improved academic outcomes for NYC students. Learn more about Urban Arts Partnership programs, and explore other opportunities to get involved.
Combat the stress of living in New York City by taking advantage of the many fine arts programs that have blossomed here. Consider getting involved with one of the many arts organizations New York to benefit not only your community but for yourself.
If you are interested in more ways to get involved in your community, subscribe to NYXT for monthly updates on community engagement opportunities in New York City.
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