It’s a bit of a strange time to be sending out an email newsletter that carries the humble goal of beaming doses of positivity and creativity out into the world (and don’t worry, there will be positivity and creativity) … but on the other hand — maybe it’s the perfect time to also have a newsletter that doesn’t shy away from reality.
America’s original sin has always been racism … so why is this all boiling over now? (I think we all know the answer.) If the travesty this country is currently enduring is in any way “surprising” to you, then you haven’t been paying attention. From “banning Muslims” to “Mexicans are rapists and murderers” to “build the wall” to “separating children from their parents and throwing them into cages” to “caravans” to “shithole countries” to “Charlottesville” — the man currently defiling our Oval Office ran his entire campaign on a platform fueled by hate, racism, bigotry, xenophobia and a fear of “the other”.
No ink that I spill here will blot out the blood of those who have died only due to the color of their skin, who they decided to worship, who they decided to love, what country they happened to be from … In the spirit of this email newsletter, however, I do want to point you to a remarkable story (also linked below) that reminds us why this experiment in democracy is all worthwhile: the story of a homeless refuge from Nigeria who found solace and opportunity in America’s open arms — and in turn — America gets to benefit from his ingenuity and inspiration for years to come.
America only grows stronger with diversity.
📸 Pics Or It Didn’t Happen
Exploring Pasadena’s architectural history: “The Gamble House” (built 1908)
🧠 Muse From Around The Way
Tani Adewumi and his family fled Nigeria and Boko Haram before settling in a New York City homeless shelter. They never could have guessed that chess would open doors — for their family and others — in the United States.
From Giotto to Instagram influencers, centuries of artists have used this technique to inspire desire and unease in their viewers.
Mikko Koskinen, co-founder and head of brand for Kyrö distillery set in an old dairy farm in a rural village in Western Finland, on how his team turned an idea spurred during a night in the sauna to a globally recognized brand.
🎧 On Repeat
Slinky, layered & infectious — the latest album by Phantogram might burrow under your skin (you know, in a good way).
🍿 Popcorn Break
In the studio with Grammy-nominated music producer Oak Felder (6:49)
🖋 Parting Words
Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation. — Coretta Scott King, Civil Rights Activist & Author