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Arts & Culture

From artistic collaborations to creative problem solving, the arts have the power to lift us up and transform our future. These stories celebrate art, creativity, and culture in all its forms.

Image: Artist Andrew Meyers painting the portrait of George Wurtzel that's made of nails.

What if Art Was Meant to be Touched?

Ever wanted to touch the art in a museum? Artists like these fellows are encouraging all of us to! Here's a touching story about the power that tactile art can have across many communities. 
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Image: A rice paddy mural in Inakadate, depicting Buddhist diety Acala surrounded by clouds and lightning

How Rice Paddy Murals Saved this Japanese Village

Each year the town of Inakadate, Japan is flooded with tourists who come to see something incredibly special: their annual murals. What’s so special about these murals? They aren’t sketched or painted on a wall, they are planted in epic proportions in the town’s rice paddies. And these massive starchy masterpieces aren’t just breathtaking... over the past three decades they have revived a once struggling town!
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Image: A valedictorian at commencement, facing the crowd of graduates the way this non-speaking valedictorian did in her speech.

Non-Speaking Valedictorian Gives College Commencement Speech

College commencement ceremonies highlight the transition from being a student to going out into the real world. The moving speech at Rollins College – a private college in Winter Park, Florida – on May 8, 2022, admonished the graduates to use their own voices and serve others. It was especially poignant because the valedictorian is a non-speaking autistic woman who never said a word.
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Image: A man walking down a side walk in front of an orange mural with blue writing that says "Good", using street wisdom practices.

Turn off Autopilot: See the World with Fresh Eyes Using Street Wisdom

How often are we on autopilot when we are on our routine commutes? When was the last time you really noticed your surroundings as you walked through downtown? Did you really notice the sounds of the birds when you walked into your backyard to tend the garden? We spend so much time getting from one place to another to “do things” that we hardly ever look at the spaces between those tasks and see their richness. Here's how we can change that with Street Wisdom.
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Image: A woman hanging from a slackline while slacklining

What is Slacklining? These Fearless Women Defy Gravity and Stereotypes

Have you heard of slacklining? This daredevil sport has historically been very male dominated, but things are starting to change. Walking almost on air, four fearless women have become pioneers of  the open space, finding mental calm while harnessing their physical strength. By being open and vulnerable high in the air, they display brave feats that we all might just be able to learn from.
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Image: A boy staring wide-eyed at a candy bar

Why do Swedes only Eat Sweets on Saturday?

Got sugar? The Swedes are on to something…We’re exploring the history behind a Swedish cultural tradition called lördagsgodis. Let’s learn how to enjoy the sweeter things in life without sacrificing our health and happiness!
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Image: A film assistant holding a clapperback.

CODA Wins Three Oscars, ‘Unmuting’ the Deaf World

A sweet coming-of-age film has captivated audiences, including the judges at the Academy Awards. Following Ruby, a hearing teenage girl with deaf parents and a deaf brother, CODA is shining a wonderful light on the deaf community and sweeping this year's awards season.
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Image: A cat laying on a blanket, looking at the camera. The same type of cat who guards artwork at this Russian museum

These Cats Take Care of This Iconic Museum’s Art!

Does your cat think it rules the house? Does it expect to be treated like royalty? Don't worry, you aren’t alone. These crafty cats in Russia secured a gig from Empress Elizabeth herself, who welcomed a handful of cats to work in the museum keeping it free of mice and rats. These "guardians of the gallery" are "paid" in room and board, and have been protecting the museum for the last 250 years.
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