+
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.

Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

Keep ReadingShow less
All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
Keep ReadingShow less