The visual and performing arts bring beauty, creativity and meaning into human life. If you’ve always wanted to support the arts but are not sure how to go about doing so, read on for five ways to give the visual and performing arts a boost in your community.

Shop

One of the best ways you can support the arts is to purchase works of art created by local artists. Visit local galleries frequently, and buy some inexpensive items for yourself or as gifts. Mugs from a pottery artist, for instance, or creative necklaces or bracelets made by a jewelry artist go a long way to brightening your home and your outfits. Consider investing in a larger work of art as well, a painting or a sculpture, if you can afford it.

Donate

You can also support the arts by donating to arts groups. If your community has a theater group, an art center or a community orchestra, consider making a generous contribution to one or more of these organizations. You might even pledge a monthly donation if you are able. Non-profit groups supporting the arts are notoriously underfunded, so even a small donation can make a big difference.

Attend

Your presence at visual and performing arts events shows your support for the arts. Watch your local newspaper, and check arts groups’ websites and social media pages to find about dates and times of plays, concerts, receptions and exhibit openings. Then plan to attend if you can. Bring a group if possible, or at least tell friends, family members and coworkers so they, too, can purchase tickets. At the event, watch and listen attentively. If you have a chance to meet artists and performers, congratulate them, and take an active interest in their work. Ask questions, or comment on something that especially strikes you. Even if you are not especially excited about the show, refrain from negative comments. You are there to encourage, not tear down.

Promote

Even if you cannot afford to purchase artwork, donate to art groups or attend many events, you can show your support for the arts by promoting them online or by word of mouth. Link to artists’ pages on your social media accounts, for instance, or email friends about an upcoming play or concert that might interest them. If you own or manage a business, allow arts groups to put up posters or hand out fliers. You can even become a promotion partner for an artist or organization as banker Julio Herrera Velutini is.

Participate

Finally, one of the best ways to support the arts is to participate in the arts. If you are interested in acting, try out for a role in a community theater play. Even if you don’t get the part, you could still work back stage on sets or costumes, or you could sell tickets or serve as an usher for performances. If you sing or play an instrument, get involved in community choir or orchestra. If you want to learn more about the visual arts, take some classes to develop your appreciation and skills.

The arts are central to life and to the community, so support them generously and enthusiastically.