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Inspiring: Power of Art News Stories

Art makes the revolution irresistible. — Toni Cade Bambara

Below are key excerpts of inspiring news articles on the power of art from reliable news media sources. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.

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Sort articles by: Article Date | Date Posted on WantToKnow.info | Importance

Artist Transforms Guns To Make Music - Literally
2014-01-25, NPR
Posted: 2016-06-20 13:21:48
http://www.npr.org/2014/01/25/265794611/artist-transforms-guns-to-make-music-...

Pedro Reyes says being Mexican is like living in an apartment where an upstairs neighbor has a leaking swimming pool. "Just what is leaking," says Reyes, "is hundreds of thousands of guns." Reyes believes art should address social issues like gun violence, even when they're difficult and controversial. "We have to be allowed to ask questions," he says. "If you are not allowed to ask questions, you are not free." Reyes also addresses the issue of gun violence in another way, by using guns themselves. His first project began in 2007 in the Mexican city of Culiacan. As part of a campaign to curb shootings, the city collected 1,527 guns. He used them to create art. "Those 1,527 guns were melted and made into the same number of shovels," he says. "So for every gun now, there's a shovel. And with every shovel, we planted a tree." Now Reyes is working on a new project. It is one that transforms guns into something more musical. An exhibition of the work is on display at the University of South Florida's Contemporary Art Museum. It's called "Disarm," and consists of guns that have been turned into musical instruments." To me at least," Pedigo says, "the concept is about taking weapons that are destructive in nature and chaotic and trying to make them for something else. So, instead of objects of destruction, they become objects of creation." That's exactly Reyes' point. Art, he says, is about transformation. "It's the same metal," he says, "but it is no longer a gun. It's now a flute or a guitar."

Note: Don't miss the pictures of Reyes' latest inspiring project at the link above.


Hans Rosling: the man who makes statistics sing
2013-11-07, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-02-07 10:50:39
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10431350/Hans-Rosling-the-man-w...

The concept of a celebrity statistician might sound as though it must be - and should forever remain - an oxymoron. But watch Prof Hans Rosling ... and you may change your mind. After showcasing his unique approach at a conference organised by TED, [he] garnered a reputation as the Jedi master of data visualisation and the man in whose hands data sings. What Rosling does, in a nutshell, is animate graphs. One dot showing, for example, life expectancy in Britain, is quite unremarkable, but apply Roslings software, and, at the click of a mouse, that dot will move, showing ... how it has changed every year. Add other dots, representing other countries, from France to China, and suddenly you have a moving stream ... that puts each countrys life expectancy into perspective and shows how the figures have changed over the last 65 years. Combine all this with the professors hyperactive presentation style ... and a potentially dry subject suddenly has a [compelling] narrative. Not that Rosling would ever describe statistics as dry. No! he says. Statistics take up four pages in most daily newspapers. People dont find these boring at all, but they dont think of them as statistics. If you support Man United or Arsenal, or if your stock falling means you cant go on holiday, you are interested. Its only boring if you get data you didnt ask for, or if you dont realise its link with the real world.

Note: Rosling has some incredibly hopeful and inspiring data, including that the global population of humans is leveling off. Don't miss his incredibly inspiring TED talk titled "The Best Stats You've Ever Seen."


These paintings were created by a blind man
2015-03-23, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-11-30 14:44:30
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/these-paintings-were...

John Bramblitt of Denton, Texas, lost his vision 13 years ago due to complications with epilepsy and plunged into a deep depression, feeling disconnected from the world around him. He found a new way to express his experience of the world around him in painting however. Bramblitt learned to distinguish between different coloured paints by feeling their textures with his fingers, taught himself how to paint using raised lines and harnessed haptic visualization, enabling him to "see" his subjects through touch. While many of his portraits are taken from events in his life he experienced while sighted, he has also produced life-like paintings of people he's never actually seen, including his wife and son. Art was always a big part of his life but took on a new importance following his blindness. "Art reshaped my life," he said. Whilst continuing to create new works, Bramblitt teaches art workshops focusing on adaptive techniques for young artists with disabilities, for which he has received three Presidential Service Awards. You can buy originals and prints of John's work here.

Note: Don't miss the incredibly inspiring one-minute video of this inspiring blind artist.


Piano inspires 17-year-old to invent land-mine detector
2012-04-03, NBC News
Posted: 2013-10-29 08:47:23
http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/piano-inspires-17-year-old-invent-land-mine...

17-year-old Marian Bechtel might live in Pennsylvania, where land mines are not a common occurrence, but she has still managed to invent the prototype for a brand-new minesweeper. The device, [with a] cost far lower than current technology, uses sound waves to figure out where the deadly devices are. The combination of sensitive microphones and a seismic vibrator connected to a standard metal detector was tested, successfully, on mock plastic and metal land mines. It was a finalist in the recently concluded 2012 Intel Science Talent Search. The project was inspired by family connections and a lucky flash of inspiration. "My parents are both geologists," she says. "Years ago they got connected with an international group of scientists working on a project called RASCAN, developing a holographic radar device for detecting land mines. During the summer before eighth grade, I met all of these scientists and talked with them about their work and the land mine issue. I was really touched and inspired by what they had to say, and wanted to get involved in science and possibly land mine detection. I noticed that when I played certain chords or notes on the piano, the strings on a nearby banjo would resonate," says Bechtel. "I heard this, and it was almost like the story of the apple falling on Newtons head -- I thought that maybe I could use the same principle to find landmines. So, I began doing research and talking with scientists in humanitarian de-mining and acoustics; three years later I had built a prototype."

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.


'A way out of the landfill': Paraguay kids play Mozart with violins made from trash
2012-12-17, NBC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-07-09 08:12:16
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/17/15965768-a-way-out-of-the-landf...

The sounds of a classical guitar come from two big jelly cans. Used X-rays serve as the skins of a thumping drum set. A battered aluminum salad bowl and strings tuned with forks from what must have been an elegant table make a violin. Bottle caps work perfectly well as keys for a saxophone. A chamber orchestra of 20 children uses these and other instruments fashioned out of recycled materials from a landfill where their parents eke out livings as trash-pickers, regularly performing the music of Beethoven and Mozart, Henry Mancini and the Beatles. Word is spreading about these kids from Cateura, a vast landfill outside Paraguay's capital where some 25,000 families live alongside reeking garbage in abject poverty. The youngsters of "The Orchestra of Instruments Recycled From Cateura" performed in Brazil, Panama and Colombia this year, and hope to play at an exhibit opening next year in their honor at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Ariz. "We want to provide a way out of the landfill for these kids and their families. So we're doing the impossible so that they can travel outside Paraguay, to become renowned and admired," said Favio Chavez, a social worker and music teacher who started the orchestra. Paraguayan documentary filmmaker, Alejandra Amarilla Nash ... and film producer Juliana Penaranda-Loftus have followed the orchestra for years, joining Chavez in his social work while making their film "Landfill Harmonic" on a shoestring budget. The documentary is far from complete. But last month, the filmmakers created a Facebook page and posted a short trailer on YouTube and Vimeo that has gone viral, quickly getting more than a million views altogether.

Note: For an inspiring 12-minute video of the amazing landfill harmonic orchestra, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.


How to sing like a planet: Scientists say the Earth is humming
2008-04-23, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-04-02 08:57:58
http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/morford/article/How-to-sing-like-a-planet...

The Earth is humming. Singing. Its song is ethereal and mystifying and very, very weird a rather astonishing, newly discovered phenomen[on] that's not easily analyzed, but which, if you really let it sink into your consciousness, can change the way you look at everything. Scientists now say the planet itself is generating a constant, deep thrum of noise. No mere cacophony, but actually a kind of music huge, swirling loops of sound, a song so ... low it can't be heard by human ears, [roars] churning from the very water and wind and rock themselves, countless notes of varying vibration creating all sorts of curious tonal phrases that bounce around the mountains and spin over the oceans and penetrate the tectonic plates and gurgle in the magma and careen off the clouds and smack into trees and bounce off your ribcage and spin over the surface of the planet in strange circular loops. It all makes for a very quiet, otherworldly symphony so odd and mysterious, scientists still can't figure out exactly what's causing it or why [it's] happening. Sure, sensitive instruments are getting better at picking up what's been dubbed "Earth's hum," but no one's any closer to understanding what ... it all might mean. Mystics and poets and theorists have pondered the "music of the spheres" (or musica universalis) for eons; it is the stuff of cosmic philosophy, linking sacred geometry, mathematics, cosmology, harmonics, astrology and music into one big cosmological poetry slam.

Note: Not only does the Earth hum, but the Sun sings! Listen here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the nature of reality, click here.


Learning His Body, Learning to Dance
2009-11-25, New York Times
Posted: 2009-11-28 22:18:54
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/25/arts/dance/25palsy.html

Gregg Mozgala, a 31-year-old actor with cerebral palsy, had 12 years of physical therapy while he was growing up. But in the last eight months, a determined choreographer with an unconventional rsum has done what all those therapists could not: She has dramatically changed the way Mr. Mozgala walks. In the process, she has changed his view of himself and of his possibilities. Mr. Mozgala and the choreographer, Tamar Rogoff, have been working since last winter on a dance piece called Diagnosis of a Faun. It is to have its premiere on Dec. 3 at La MaMa Annex in the East Village, but the more important work of art may be what Ms. Rogoff has done to transform Mr. Mozgalas body. I have felt things that I felt were completely closed off to me for the last 30 years, he said. The amount of sensation that comes through the work has been totally unexpected and is really quite wonderful. Ms. Rogoff has often worked outside normal dance parameters with prison inmates, for instance and knew immediately that she wanted to try to create a piece for Mr. Mozgala. I didnt know what I was going to do for him, she said, but I just knew he was inspiring to me. She introduced Mr. Mozgala to a tension-releasing shaking technique, and it was immediately revelatory. My body just really took to it, Mr. Mozgala said. I did that for about 20 or 30 minutes, and when I stood up, I was walking completely differently. My feet were flat on the ground. They knew they were onto something.


Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.