Maryland Food Bank’s mission to end hunger goes beyond providing food—MFB also helps low-income people to get good-paying jobs in the food-service industry. MFB’s FoodWorks program teaches low-income students how to prepare food professionally, with a two-fold goal: cut down on food waste, and help these students get good jobs. FoodWorks students learn to cook with 95 percent donated food—creating delicious dishes every day that get sent through a network of food outlets like the Salvation Army grocery store. A win/win situation, in which MFB can distribute more prepared food (which limits waste), and its students can gain valuable real-world experience in food prep. Read more about it on MFB’s website.
Native Americans have served in the US Armed Forces since the Revolutionary War, but have never been singled out for recognition—until now. Next year, a $15-million memorial will open on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall. The Warriors’ Circle of Honor will be a steel and stone structure honoring the more than 156,000 active military service members and veterans who are Native Americans and Alaska Natives. According to a story in the Washington Post, “Harvey Pratt, a Cheyenne and Arapaho, was selected to design the memorial after a nationwide competition. Pratt, who served three years in Vietnam as a Marine and is a traditional Peace Chief — the Cheyenne Nation’s highest honor — said the memorial is meant to be a place of ‘gathering, remembrance, healing and reflection.’”
Lots of talk these days about when women will reach parity in Hollywood. Turns out they almost did, way back when. The American Film Institute just received a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct a landmark study of gender parity in the history of American film. According to AFI’s blog American Film, “[T]he initiative seeks to explore how gender parity was nearly achieved in the early decades of film — an era in which more women held positions of power than at any other time in the U.S. motion picture industry.” Read more about this unprecedented study at AFI’s website.
Annie Riker, illustrator and former creative director at the National Parks Conservation Association, had the tremendous honor of designing NPCA’s magazine cover that celebrates the national parks’ 100th anniversary. In a post on NPCA’s website, Annie takes us behind the scenes—or Behind the Cover, as her piece is entitled—for a fascinating sneak peek at her creative process as she designed a colorful collage of badges highlighting what’s special about various national parks.
Residents of Washington, DC have been watching the progress of a huge (soon-to-be-completed) construction project at the Kennedy Center: the REACH. This incredible expansion aims to make the arts accessible for the entire community as it breaks down boundaries between audience and artists. With flexible rehearsal and performance spaces, the REACH will change how people experience art—encouraging participation and collaboration. The Washington Post’s detailed article highlights the planning that went into these ever-changing and evolving spaces that make up the REACH, and includes a Kennedy Center video explaining what the REACH is all about.
Harriet Tubman has always captured our hearts and imagination, as we picture her harrowing journeys as she led fellow slaves to freedom. And now, the National Museum of African American History and Culture adds another piece to the puzzle of just who this brave woman was. A rare portrait of a young Harriet Tubman is on view now at the Museum. Museum Director Lonnie Bunch told Smithsonian: “All of us had only seen images of her at the end of her life. She seemed frail. She seemed bent over, and it was hard to reconcile the images of Moses [one of Tubman’s nicknames] leading people to freedom. But then when you see this picture of her, probably in her early forties….there’s a stylishness about her…” Visit Mental Floss’s website for a write-up on the photo and its origins.
This year’s John F. Kennedy Library Foundation’s Profile in Courage Award honors Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for, as the JFKLF website put it, “…putting the national interest above her party’s interest to expand access to health care for all Americans and then, against a wave of political attacks, leading the effort to retake the majority and elect the most diverse Congress in our nation’s history.” Visit the Library’s website for more on this prestigious award to a deserving honoree!
We all heard about the recent photograph that somehow captured an actual black hole—but the more you think about it, the more confusing it gets. How can you take a picture of a hole? Thankfully, National Geographic is here to break it all down, with pictures, diagrams, and narrative that makes it all crystal clear. Visit NatGeo’s website so you can explain it to your friends and sound like a real rocket scientist.