Culture, the arts, and the ways people live.

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Libraries are in demand as the pandemic spreads — but are they prepared?

May 5, 2020

Public libraries are community institutions essential to the free flow of information in American society — and they were shuttered abruptly at the beginning of the pandemic. Now, however, libraries across the country have become more essential than ever thanks to the multitude of online services they offer. Yet in most cases, they’re struggling. In […]

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Across Africa, musicians (and the occasional president) battle COVID-19 with song

April 7, 2020

Across a continent where Internet access isn’t always easy to come by, messages about the COVID-19 pandemic are passed along through pop music. Popular musicians in Africa are recording new songs with public-health messages, as well as videos for Youtube, for those who can access it. Liberia’s singing president And a surprising number of presidents […]

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Grow a little hope in your coronavirus ‘victory garden’

March 23, 2020

Call it a “victory garden” after the World War II phenomenon, or a “living pantry,” but whatever you do — grow vegetables. Gardening is psychologically rewarding as well as physically challenging, and the rewards are obvious. If your space is reduced, websites such as homestead.org can get you started on ideas for French intensive gardening, […]

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Social isolation got you down? Try writing a letter.

March 23, 2020

Faced with months of isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, an Australian mom has encouraged her children to write letters to elderly neighbors. She told The Age that “returning to letter writing and finding pen pals [helps] children learn kindness and compassion.” The pandemic-age idea of engaging children to write to seniors has been taken […]

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This is how music keeps us connected amidst the coronavirus pandemic

March 13, 2020

Amidst the fear, uncertainty and social distancing of the coronavirus pandemic, communities everywhere are finding ways to stay humane and connected. The Internet — which has over the past few years been recognized more for its powers of fomenting social division and political partisanship — is also proving a powerful tool for sharing the uplifting […]

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New attitudes, and maybe a new law, are changing cultural appropriation in fashion design

November 20, 2019

What do luxury designers Max Mara, Carolina Herrera, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton all have in common? They have all been accused of plagiarism — or, more specifically, cultural appropriation of intricate designs that have emerged from indigenous cultures in Mexico, Laos, Thailand, Africa, Romania and elsewhere. Fashion and its discontents Indigenous groups across the […]

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