Essays

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Page 7
Why does Philadelphia get a zero in the arts and culture column? (Image courtesy of Philly Culture United.)

Philly Culture United urges City Council not to defund the arts

Philly artists rally against defunding

Suzanne Cloud spotlights Philly Culture United, an action campaign to save the city’s funding for arts and culture.
Suzanne Cloud

Suzanne Cloud

Essays 4 minute read
Before Penn, Villanova, and Cornell: An Nichols at summer camp. (Image courtesy of the author.)

Racism is a lifetime of tiny cuts. They won’t stop unless we all speak up.

“The Good Black”

The George Floyd protests helped An Nichols to reflect on her past in a white-dominated culture.
An Nichols

An Nichols

Essays 4 minute read
Capturing the magical moment: it took three performances for the photographer to land the ending of ‘Serenade.’ (Photo by Alexander Izilieav.)

How Alexander Iziliaev went from dancer to photographer at the PA Ballet

After dancing, another shot at ballet

Photographer Alexander Iziliaev put one passion aside when he became a dancer. Now that he’s stepped off the stage, he can bring something to his art form that others behind the camera cannot. He talks with Camille Bacon-Smith.
Camille Bacon-Smith

Camille Bacon-Smith

Essays 5 minute read
A class of distance-learning youngsters enjoy a virtual session with Mighty Writers. (Image courtesy of Mighty Writers.)

When conspiracies aren’t theories: what is COVID teaching the next generation?

Living conspiracies, teaching truth

In a class on combatting conspiracy theories and misinformation in the era of COVID-19, I teach teenagers to recognize dangerous distractions from reality. But what about the conspiracies that materially affect their lives?
Michelle Chikaonda

Michelle Chikaonda

Essays 5 minute read
More and more people across the country are saying it: Black lives matter. (Photo by Frankie Cordoba via Unsplash.)

As protests against police brutality ignite, what can Black officers tell us?

Protests are not enough

America is reckoning with its racist institutions, including police forces that disproportionately target Black people and people of color. But what about the officers working inside this system while also experiencing systemic racism? Daralyse Lyons considers.

Daralyse Lyons

Essays 7 minute read
How long will the library be closed? Until it's safe to go back. (Photo by Roz Warren.)

I’m one of those people who’s making more money now that I’m unemployed

You got a problem with that?

Roz Warren is grateful for her CARES Act-boosted unemployment check since she was furloughed from her job at her local library. But there’s something else she wants even more.
Roz Warren

Roz Warren

Essays 3 minute read
How will your reading stack look after poets, playwrights, and novelists tackle the coronavirus? (Photo by Anndee Hochman.)

Even in a pandemic, there are some questions only storytellers can answer

Surviving on stories; stories on surviving

Stephen King wrote ‘The Stand’ and Camus wrote ‘The Plague.’ They’re not the first or the last to mine rampant sickness for human meaning. Anndee Hochman wonders how our storytellers will make sense of COVID-19.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Essays 4 minute read

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A comfortable home for conspiracies…especially if you don’t remember the days before a polio vaccine. (Photo by Paul Becker, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Surviving the coronavirus conspiracy kickoff

Get a grip, friends

Suzanne Cloud was getting more messages than usual—and the contents were worrying. Instead of inhaling vinegar, she’s talking with her friends about some critical thinking in the age of COVID.
Suzanne Cloud

Suzanne Cloud

Essays 4 minute read
Roz Warren is ready to follow the rules—and make sure you do, too. (Photo courtesy of the author.)

An open letter to unmasked runners and bikers who won’t stay six feet away

Behold the Distance Noodle

When you push by Roz Warren without a mask on during your workout, she's tempted to trip you. But she's decided on something a little safer.
Roz Warren

Roz Warren

Essays 3 minute read
What would you have done if you had known the moment before the 1986 Challenger disaster? (Image courtesy of NASA, via Wikimedia Commons.)

When disaster is about to strike, is it a gift not to know?

The moment before

What were you doing in mid-March, when the realization hit you that this pandemic was going to derail the world? Was it like other moments before disaster struck? Anndee Hochman considers.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Essays 5 minute read