+
upworthy
Most Shared

When was the last time you paid art forward?

It's not just fun. It's the right thing to do.

When was the last time you paid for art?

Anything — a dance concert. A movie. A painting to hang in your bathroom.

And was that at the direct-to-artist level? A print from a limited run? A play with real-life actors in the same space, breathing the same air as you? A street performer?


And when was the last time you paid art forward?

What if the next time you paid for a theater ticket, someone who worked at that theater didn't go out and spend that money on beer (not that beer isn't an art form) but instead took it and bought a handcrafted necklace? And then the person who made the necklace paid the cover to hear a local musician and picked up their CD?


See how happy this street performer is making people? Image via Thinkstock.

Art and culture generate a lot more money than you might think.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and National Endowment for the Arts did a study to figure out how much arts and culture really matter in the U.S. economy. The result? Arts and culture make up about 3.2% of GDP. That's half a trillion dollars.

That's more than travel and tourism.


These white-hot grease fires of entertainment are fueling the national economy. Image via Thinkstock.

And this is even with most of us not spending that much, individually, on art. Sure, maybe you went to the multiplex to catch "The Fast and the Furious: 18"or whatever number they're on now. Maybe you downloaded some music from iTunes and paid actual money for it.

But in our day-to-day, most of us don't spend that much money on art.

And very, very few of us are dropping Benjamins on small-scale or locally-produced art. Money that you spend at a local level has a much bigger effect than money that goes to a massive corporation.

She is not paying for art. Not cool, lady. Image via Thinkstock.

About $48 out of every $100 that you spend at a local gallery stays in your community.

For comparison, only $14 out of $100 you drop picking up a mass-produced decorative piece at a big-box store sticks around. Money staying in your community is a good thing. It generates jobs and prosperity as well as that unique local flavor.

Photos by Audrey Busta-Peck. Used with permission.

My friends Christopher and Audrey are amazing supporters of local art. They take their kids to gallery openings and actually buy paintings instead of just mooching on the free wine and cheese. They even commissioned some house numbers from local neon sculptor Jeff Chiplis. They integrate art into their daily lives.

The good folks at The Seeing Place Theater challenge you (and me) to be like Christopher and Audrey: Spend $20 on art and encourage everyone else who handles that bill after you to do the same.

All you have to do is write, "Use this for art," on a $20 and then go ... do that. Support a local orchestra. Buy a CD the next time you see a musician in a downtown dive. Heck, go commission something. That Jackson will circulate and maybe the next person who touches it will think, "Hm. Actually, I will spend this on art."

And make your community, and your economy, better.

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

Keep ReadingShow less
Kevin Parry / Twitter

Toronto-based animator and video wizard Kevin Parry has gone mega-viral for his mind-boggling collection of videos where he turns himself into random objects.

In a series of quick clips he changes into everything from a pumpkin to a bright yellow banana and in most of the videos, he appears to suffer a ridiculous death. The videos combine studio trickery with a magician's flair.

Keep ReadingShow less

It's rare enough to capture one antler being shed

For those not well versed in moose facts, the shedding of antlers is normally a fairly lengthy process. It happens only once a year after mating season and usually consists of a moose losing one antler at a time.

It’s incredibly rare for a bull moose to lose both at the same time—and even more rare that someone would actually catch it on film.

That’s why shed hunter (yes, that’s a real term) and woodsman Derek Burgoyne calls his footage of the phenomenon a “one-in-a-million” shot.

Keep ReadingShow less
OriginalAll photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

Chloé was born at 32 weeks.


Every single day, babies across the world are born prematurely, which means that they're born before 37 weeks of gestation.

In Canada, about 29,000 infants are born prematurely each year, roughly 1 in every 13. But in the United States, around 400,000 to 500,000 are born early. That's about 1 in every 8 to 10 babies born in the U.S.!

Red Méthot, a Canadian photographer and student, decided to capture the resilience of many of these kids for a school photography project.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

Teacher tries to simulate a dictatorship in her classroom, but the students crushed her

"I’ve done this experiment numerous times, and each year I have similar results. This year, however, was different."

Each year that I teach the book "1984" I turn my classroom into a totalitarian regime under the guise of the "common good."

I run a simulation in which I become a dictator. I tell my students that in order to battle "Senioritis," the teachers and admin have adapted an evidence-based strategy, a strategy that has "been implemented in many schools throughout the country and has had immense success." I hang posters with motivational quotes and falsified statistics, and provide a false narrative for the problem that is "Senioritis."

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

The MC Hammer dance though.

Father and daughter dances are a traditional staple of weddings. They tend to range somewhere between tearfully sweet and hilariously cringey. But sometimes, as was the case of Brittany Revell and her dad Kelly, they can be so freakin’ cool that millions of people become captivated.

Brittany and Kelly’s video, which amassed, I kid you not, more than 40 million views on TikTok, shows the pair grooving in sneakers (Brittany’s were white because, hello, wedding dress) to their “dance through the decades.”

It all began with Young MC’s “Bust a Move,” to give you a clear picture. And bust a move, they did.

Though the duo did a handful of iconic moves—the tootsie roll, the MC Hammer dance, the Carlton, just to name a few—“the dougie,” made famous by Cali Swag District, was the obvious fan favorite.
Keep ReadingShow less