The Legacy of Spongebob Squarepants

SpongeBob SquarePants has been around my entire childhood and adulthood. I spent many evenings watching SpongeBob reruns while babysitting the kids in my neighborhood, watching their faces light up when he outsmarted Plankton’s latest scheme. It seemed no matter how many times they saw the same episode, they could still find something new to giggle at. Throughout my high school years, he became more of a symbol, and I watched him show up on peers’ clothes, backpacks and cars... Read more

The Beats And Rhymes Of Hip-Hop Are Changing How We Design Our Cities

From Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five rapping in their 1982 classic “New York New York” about “Staring at a skyscraper reaching into heaven / When over in the ghetto I’m livin’ in hell,” to Jay Z rhyming on 2017’s “Marcy Me” that “I’m from Marcy Houses, where the boys die by the thousand,” hip-hop has always had an intimate relationship with the architecture of cities. But what if the low-income youth of color who live in the ghettos and housing projects of Gotham — or Los Angeles or Detroit — had the technical know-how to redesign their hometowns and create buildings that serve their communities?

Real Teacher, Fake Dinosaur Quarry

In the year that I worked at the Bonehunter’s Quarry, I learned that with a great vest comes great power, that most kids just want someone to listen to them, and most importantly, that when giving a presentation people don’t usually notice if you mess up. With a chisel in hand and a smile on my face, I could have made up completely new dinosaur species, and 99% of my audience wouldn’t have had a clue. These realizations, humorous as they were, proved to me that with enough repetition I didn’t have to be a shy teacher– I only had to be funny...

These Artist in Residence Programs Will Help You Reconnect With Nature

For artists, new experiences can be key to getting creativity flowing and launching new projects. The National Park Service Artist Residencies can be the perfect opportunity to draw inspiration from the unique landscapes that the National Parks protect... Let’s take a look at five of the most intriguing upcoming residencies.

Adventure Time Islands explores gnarly concepts

With the show’s scheduled 2018 departure, I knew Adventure Time: Islands would have to provide some of the biggest answers the show had concealed for years. Adventure Time, a postapocalyptic, surrealist Cartoon Network series, follows the adventures of Finn, a teenage boy who for most of the show believes he’s the last human on Earth, and his brother Jake, a talking dog who can stretch into any shape he wants... 

Black Panther Youtube Series Inspires Kids to Create

INSPIRED BY WAKANDA, EDUCATOR AND MAKER NETIA MCCRAY ENGAGES THE NEXT GENERATION OF DESIGNERS WITH FREE SOFTWARE AND A DYNAMIC BLACK PANTHER SERIES. For many young students, STEM careers might sound like a boring nine-to-five in a stale office environment. However, MIT grad Netia McCray has been working for the past eight years to motivate and connect young students with STEM and design. In early 2018 she and Erica Nwankwo launched a four-part Black Panther–inspired series on YouTube.

The Lakota Artist Who Went Viral

WHEN LAKOTA ARTIST CHARLENE HOLY BEAR POSTED A PICTURE OF THE BEADED SHOES SHE MADE FOR HER SON, SHE HAD NO IDEA THEY’D GO VIRAL OR BE FEATURED IN ‘VOGUE.’
Charlene Holy Bear first learned how to bead when she was five years old. Her older sister taught her how in an effort to keep her away from messier paints. Three decades later, Holy Bear is a full-time artist, selling her beaded creations through her website, art shows and markets.

Engineers may earn fat paychecks– but not every kid is meant to be one

You may have heard about how, year after year, engineering majors lay claim to the highest average starting salaries for recent college graduates. But as a former assistant director of admissions at an elite university, and as a former first year English instructor at a state university, I can tell you that doesn’t mean every teenager should be pushed into the field. 

When Applying for Visual Art Grants, Bigger Isn’t Always Better

While competitive visual art grants at the national and international levels are enticing, artists who focus their grant application efforts only on the biggest prizes may be missing out on reachable opportunities in their home state.

South Park Angers Everyone Sometimes but Teaches Us To Think

When I was growing up in a suburban conservative home, anytime South Park’s theme song started playing on our TV, one of my parents would grab the remote and change the channel. Naturally, when I got to college in 2006, I assigned myself the entire series, determined to see what I’d missed. 

This Curriculum Could Help Students Compete In A Global World. So Why Aren’t More Schools Adopting It?

Still, with the resurgence of sentiments like “America first,” teaching a global perspective in schools is crucial for American students entering an increasingly connected world. Educators at every level are responsible for preparing students for the world that is and the world that will be, and the idea that restricting national borders, the right to protest, or decreasing global humanitarian involvement will somehow “Make America Great Again” is flawed logic that erases the infinite ways the U.S. has benefitted from serving as the melting pot for ideas, cultures, and people from all over the planet.

Summer Camp Island Continues the Magic at Cartoon Network

In a world of reboots and prequels, Cartoon Network's new original show 'Summer Camp Island' is a wonderfully odd series full of animals, magic, and parents who won't listen to their kids.

Creative Teachers Help Teens Thrive, But We Keep Cutting Arts Classes Anyway

Funding for arts education is once again on the chopping block, but that doesn’t mean teachers have stopped encouraging students to develop their creativity. Some of the most expressive work produced this school year by the nation’s middle and high school students was recently recognized at the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards—the nation's longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. The awards ceremony and accompanying gallery reveals inspiring and inventive arts education from around the country and the importance of arts educators in the lives of students... 

Starting Your U.S. University Adventure

Most of your college search factors can be placed into one of three categories: academic, practical, and social. Your success in your time as an undergraduate hinges on your knowledge that your university of choice is going to fulfill your expectations, from majors to student life. One of the biggest benefits of studying at a U.S. university is the variety of things to study... Read more

Not a poem, not a story

If I am being honest, I wasn’t even sure I knew what a lyric essay was. To me, it looked like an essay open to emotional tangents with a loose interpretation of sentence structure. The lyric essays I stumbled upon in online literary journals seemed to borrow from poetry, following rhythm and aiming for a feeling rather than a clear narrative...  Read more

Navigating the first summer of my MFA

This past May marked the end of my first year in Boise State’s MFA program. In a whirlwind of moving twice, losing a relationship, cautiously starting another, searching for my voice as a writer, and of course, figuring out the best place to buy groceries, the summer loomed ahead of me. In the past few years, summer hadn’t meant much with full-time jobs and responsibilities... Read more

Distractions in satire

In October 2016, after finishing a string of documentaries on cults, I imagined a world of Trump TV. I don’t know how much credit should go to the documentaries– I have always had a weird fascination with cults and insulated lifestyles. Maybe it was the huge uptick in the political commentary I’d been watching... Read more