Paper, Fiber, Concrete

April 27, 2018


Hi Mom,

I've just returned from a intense week of work, art and friends in Miami. The sunshine really helped recharge my batteries. All the long days has helped pave the way for some big moves at work. We are fine-t our approach to technology and the arts, which is reflected in my first piece of news this week.

  1. Museum Jobs This week an initiative that I've been working on for six-months was announced, funding for museums around the country to hire technology staff. The first eight grants are going to museums in cities like Charlotte and Philadelphia. These positions will help build museums figure out how to build to use technology to engage their audiences.
  2. Big Time It's not everyday that local efforts to solve big problems gets national attention. But seeing Jan Rader, the fire chief in Huntington, WV, get recognized on the 2018 Time 100 list made me proud of the resilience of West Virginians. She and two other amazing women are profiled in a Academy Award nominated documentary called Heroin(e), about the opiod epidemic. It's a really great documentary, and less than an hour-long.
  3. Trucker Safety Net When a man threatened to commit suicide by jumping off an overpass, a group of truckers responded to a police call out to re-route trucks. They all coordinated to shorten the fall by lining up under the bridge. The really touching tweet and picture shared by the Michigan State Police shows what it looks like to work together to provide care. The person was saved and is now receiving help.
  4. Brutal Chicago Chicago is know for its architecture and have lots of tours including one on the river. A new mapping project highlights those that may not receive the most love--the city's Brutalist buildings. The Brutalist architectural movement is known for fortress-like concrete structures that were popular for government buildings from the 50s to the 70s. Think concrete and small windows.
  5. Visual Aid The New York Times shared a memorial this week to many of the brilliant artists, designers and creative minds who were lost to the AIDS epidemic.
  6. Paper Problems As if newspapers need more money problems, new tariffs on Canadian paper are likely to make printing the news more expensive. This opinion piece in the Washington Post argues that to stay alive, newpapers should stop giving news away for free online.
  7. Sengin' in the Woods Back home and throughout Appalachia, Ginseng grows wild in the woods and harvesting it can be a big money-maker. These two pieces from 100 Days in Appalachia and Planet Money look at the economics, cultivation and even theft of the crop.
  8. Fiber Figure A crafty art history lover shared images and a pattern for this crocheted replica of the Venus of Willendorf. The famous prehistoric sculpture was found in 1908 and is one of the oldest and most famous works of art. It's one of the first examples of art students learn about in art history class and is kind of beloved.
  9. Spread Success Recently I visited a friend at the Chicago office of the global design firm IDEO. They help companies be better designers for people. On the tour of the office this guy showed me a wall where their company values were posted. One of the seven values especially captured my imagination: "Make Others Successful." Despite being someone who is very achievment focused, it made me reflect on my choices to work in academia and philanthropy. I wonder how I could live that value more intentionally. This article and podcast look at the full set of IDEO's values and how they identified them.

Have a great weekend!

I love you, Chris

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