LIVE ART.

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TLDRLIVE ART is a community-oriented, inclusive, extraordinary, and moving art project that is based in Richmond, Virginia. Sponsored by SPARC (School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community), local community members came together through this idea to create a public art project that encourages students of all abilities to explore themselves through artistic expression and provide a safe, inclusive, and social space for students of all backgrounds and developmental abilities to interact.

Use this post to learn more about LIVE ART, donate here, and most importantly learn about the great students and the work they are empowered to do in this obviously amazing community. If you would like to learn more about the private screening and film that inspired the post, please click here. Can’t wait to see how this film performs as it has been submitted to the Sundance Film Festival as of late September 2014.

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Apple & Steve Jobs.

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After writing a bit about my favorite coffee corporation last week, I started thinking about other brands that I am particularly loyal to. I am a proud consumer** (I always think of it as doing my little piece of helping our economy chug along here ;)) and although I feel it to be terribly cliché, I’m going to draw the line in the sand. Android fans, eat your heart out.

I sincerely, totally, and completely respect and admire the innovation that has been produced by Apple. 

The reason I considered this post is because today marks 3 years to the day since Steve Jobs passed away from respiratory arrest that was at least partially caused by a pancreas neuroendocrine tumor. I remember being terribly shocked by the news of his passing. I always remember him as an intensely private person because there was always speculation about his health in the media, but no one ever really knew what was going on. As with many great people, after his death, many suddenly and more openly acknowledged how much of a visionary they thought he was. Before his death, I didn’t know much about him as a person, businessman, presenter, innovator, or anything. I just knew that he was THE guy at Apple.

Therefore, I guess I should preface the remainder of this post by admitting: I actually used to absolutely despise Apple. I didn’t think their software was intuitive; I actually thought it too difficult to learn/different from the Windows OS I was used to. I thought their hardware was too trendy and “out there,” I felt like they didn’t treat their customers well and only as numbers and opportunities for profit, and I couldn’t stand the aesthetics of many of their products. In fact, I also thought that people who would take the time to broadcast their love for a brand or company were senseless. How do you even develop such loyalty – unless you’re crazy and way too into it? And, too, why does that loyalty matter and why would anyone care?

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Maranyundo Girls School [Opportunity to serve for a year in Rwanda].

For the past year, my best friend has been serving as an educator at the Marayundo Girls School in Rwanda. When she was preparing to leave for the trip last winter, it was pretty hard to believe that she would be gone for most of an entire year. It’s been quite the experience for her, and I’ve felt very fortunate to be able to hear about her successes, her shortcomings, and everything in between. As she makes plans for her next endeavor, she has been interested in finding someone to take over her position at the school.

Learn more about the Maranyundo Initiative here.

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College Football Loyalties.

I’m a huuuuuuuge college football fan. Over the years, though, I’ve grown to realize how much of an American sport it is. As in, no one outside of the United States really gives a crap about college football. But, in the fall, you better not ask me too many questions or send too many text messages…unless it’s a Virginia Tech bye week. Sorry. Not sorry.

Anyways, I found this graphic in a recent New York Post article. Click the link to head to the article for a more in-depth analysis of the map itself; it’s pretty interesting to see a state-by-state-ish breakdown of where college football fans’ loyalties are. The data is based on Facebook likes, I SEE YOU DUCKS!

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Some of the many reasons I respect Starbucks Corporation.

It’s no secret – I am a big fan of Starbucks. One of my most memorable days last year was probably the moment when I finally got my gold card. Am I kidding? I’m not really sure. But I absolutely love my Starbucks gold card (a perk of being a loyal Starbucks customer where you earn a star with each individual purchase and soon are entitled to numerous freebies throughout the year).

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