Be honest: When you go to an art museum, you’re not just checking out the paintings are you? Good! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with mixing a little culture and cruising. Start looking for love in some of these creative places, and you just might paint yourself a more interesting romantic picture.
Be a drama queen (or king)
Sitting in the dark with total strangers may not sound like a great way to mingle, but imagine if you could stick around for an exclusive private party after the show? More and more theater companies are offering “incentive” parties for their regulars to mix with other theater fans. The Roundabout Theatre in New York City (www.roundabouttheatre.org
) now offers a special “Social Series” where TheatrePlus subscribers are invited to post-performance cocktail parties with the cast and other subscribers. “It’s a low-pressure way to talk about theater with people who share your interests,” says Stefanie Schussel, marketing assistant for the Roundabout Theatre Company.
The Roundabout also has a gay/lesbian series, a wine-tasting series and a young adult program called Hiptix, where 18- to 35-year-olds can enjoy a DJ dance party afterwards. “There have been two marriages that came out of the Social Series and countless relationships,” says Schussel, who notes that other performing arts groups around the country — including the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, IL and the Seattle Repertory Theatre in Seattle, WA — now feature similar programs. Check with your local arts groups, because you never know who you’ll meet across a crowded lobby some enchanted evening.
Go on a scavenger hunt
Get to know your city in the most fun way possible: by racing through it trying to decipher clues and complete a scavenger hunt. “Before every hunt we ask people if they’d like to meet others and then we form teams with kindred spirits,” says Bret Watson, founder of Watson Adventures (www.watsonadventures.com
), which runs these grown-up hunts in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and other cities. You can narrow the field by choosing a tour that matches your interests (offerings range from The Gangsters’ New York Scavenger Hunt to The Wild, Wild Life Scavenger Hunt at the San Francisco Zoo). And hey, if you do make a love connection, you two just might be back for another night to remember, notes Watson: “One guy booked a private hunt for a group of his friends so that he could propose to his girlfriend at the end.”
When was the last time you created your own masterpiece? If your answer is: “Age 10 in elementary art class,” it’s high time you return to your creative roots. Joining a class to learn painting, photo editing, etc. is a hands-on way of connecting with others. “People come together with a desire to create something,” says Bob Gereke, owner of Mud, Sweat & Tears
, a pottery studio in New York City, “but what often happens in the process is that they create relationships and friendships as well.” But before signing on, strategize: If you’re looking to meet men, consider joining a photography, filmmaking, or landscape design class rather than a knitting circle. And guys: You’ll probably meet more ladies studying watercolor or pottery than woodworking. At the very least you’ll come out of the experience with something cool you made yourself.
Share your story
Love to read, write or rap? Storytelling events (including poetry jams and book readings) are a fresh way to connect with like-minded souls. At The Moth (www.themoth.org
), bi-monthly storytelling forums called StorySLAMS — currently happening regularly in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Louisville, KY and Ann Arbor, MI in addition to storytelling tours nationwide — 10 randomly selected people per night each get five minutes on stage to share their story on a pre-selected topic. At the end of the night, a StorySLAM winner is selected to compete in a future StorySLAM final. “These events are very rowdy, fun and all-inclusive,” says Sarah Jenness, a senior producer at The Moth. “You’ll often end up sitting at a table with someone you didn’t know before the night started but people always end up talking and sharing stories before or after the show and during intermission… it’s just a very open environment.” Nowhere near a Moth event? Check your local area bookstore for readings and discussion groups, because wordplay can be quite the turn-on.
Pull an “art-nighter”
Ever been to an art museum after dark? More and more art museums keep their doors open late to encourage mingling while admiring their master works. The de Young Museum in San Francisco
has a “Friday Nights at the de Young” series (free admission on Friday nights from 5-8:45 p.m. between March 29 and November 29, 2013), which is usually jam-packed with single professionals. The Dallas Museum of Art
has combined forces with the nearby Nasher Sculpture Garden and Crow Collection of Asian Art to offer a “Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art” series of social events one Friday each month through September 20, 2013. These gatherings often include themed evenings tied to current exhibits and feature happy hours, repertory film showings, live music and DJ performances, and even a Twitter-driven scavenger hunt. (Single parents, there are activities for the kids here, too.) And the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) hosts an annual late-night party running from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. that includes live performances, DJ sets and free admission to the museum. “If two people are viewing the same piece of art on the wall, it’s an excellent conversation-starter and a non-invasive way to break the ice and meet someone,” says Heidi Simonian, media relations manager for LACMA.
Shake your groove thing
Suddenly, ballroom dancing is all the rage again. And social dancing classes will definitely bring you into close proximity with other “eligible” dance partners. “When you ballroom dance, you automatically get to have fun and interact with someone of the opposite sex,” says Jonathon Roberts, a Dancing with the Stars
professional and United States Ballroom Dance Champion. Roberts suggests that singles attend a group class or go out dancing (think swing, country/western line dancing or salsa at a local club). “Guys are always afraid to look like idiots on the dance floor, but for single men, there is no better place to pick up women,” says Roberts. One place to start? Check out the United States Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association (www.usabda.org
) for social dance options and classes in your area.
Act like a starving artist
If you’re lacking the funds to become an arts supporter, check out www.goldstarevents.com
, which offers cheap tickets to performing arts events nationwide (including many reduced-price artistic adventures for singles). Recent bargain offerings included photography trips, art tours, and theater tickets. “These events have a tendency to bring people together to connect and share — key ingredients in a budding romance,” says Goldstar Events CEO Jim McCarthy. “And because we offer tickets at half-price, people can experience a great night out inexpensively and often.” Who says you have to suffer for your art... or for your social life?
Kimberly Dawn Neumann is a New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in such publications as
Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook, Quick & Simple, and frequently online for Match.com. She is also an artist who has performed on Broadway and in numerous national tours.
Article courtesy of Match.com