Never too late

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Sometimes it seems like the more options we have, the easier it is to dig in to what we already know. We decide that we are people who like _____fill in the blank___ and so we gravitate toward more of the same. 

Yet, for me, exposure to something different (not necessarily something new), is a vital and exciting part of the human experience.

This morning, I clicked over to Slate.com for a story that I believed was about that very subject—about how we find new things we end up liking. 

The story turned out to be more about Internet marketing strategies. But, nonetheless, it got me thinking more about the subject of how we do and don't allow ourselves to explore new territories.

One of the reasons I feature a weekly ticket giveaway on the IBJ A&E e-mail blast is a hope that winners will be exposed to something they haven't tried before—whether that's live dance, an unfamiliar musical genre or, as with this week's prize, storytelling. I could just try to secure giveaway tickets to the best known and hottest shows in town (which I sometimes do), but I think having an interesting mix is more valuable.

Converts to religion can sometimes be the most passionate advocates for a faith. And I think the same can be true in the arts. Whether it's opera, pop art, or Mellencamp music, lifelong lovers may have the greater depth of knowledge, but not necessarily a greater sense of joy.

Long-time fans may feel any initial resistance to these come-latelies but, to me, seeing a 50-plus couple going to their first show at the Indy Fringe Building can hold as much hope for the future as seeing a teenager's first infatuation with Shakespeare. Exploration shouldn't stop when you get your first job with benefits. Take inspiration from a beloved aunt, who took up piano shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer. 

My question: What new arts worlds have you exposed yourself to in the past few years?

Your thoughts?

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