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Ballet in the kitchen? What arts majors learned during lockdown.

If there is anything that Camille Sokk learned this spring, it’s that she can practice pliés and rond de jambes in the kitchen. The dance major at San Jose State University simply cleared off a spot on the counter to use as her ballet barre when classes transitioned online. There were other adjustments, too: Checking her technique without looking in a dance studio mirror, and turning in a choreographed video using TikTok – the app popular among teens – as a final exam.

'Put this on the news': Powerful moments from Floyd protests

Anti-racism protests that started in Minneapolis quickly spread throughout the country, and the world, demanding justice for the killing of George Floyd, and for greater police accountability. Images of violence and looting dominated the news of the protests, even though most have been peaceful. The hyperfocus on the violent actions during protests fuels negative feelings toward protesters and African Americans, says Danielle Kilgo, a University of Minnesota professor who researches social move

Boston’s car-free streets offer glimpse of low-carbon future

“Transit is key to carbon neutrality and moving people out of cars onto bicycles and other carbon-free modes is very important,” says Vineet Gupta, the director of planning and engineering at the Boston Transportation Department. “That comes first.” This pandemic-driven automotive vanishing act has not just reduced pollution in the city, it has also offered a potential vision of the future. Like many other cities around the globe, Boston has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. To

Pandemic prom: John Krasinski meets a high school need

Sparkling dresses, perfect bow ties, polished shoes, and shiny jewelry – the class of 2020 was ready for prom. But as the pandemic swept across the globe, cancelling everything from sporting events to wedding parties, many teens were also deprived of this major high school milestone. That is, until actor John Krasinski decided to host his own online prom party. In the fourth episode of his positive video series, “Some Good News,” Mr. Krasinski put on his black tie, blew up gold balloons, and h

What if curators were teens? Museums try it.

“This institution is 150 years old. And so what does that mean for young people? Where do young people belong in such an old institution?” says Layla Bermeo, an associate curator at the MFA. “This project really tried to argue that young people belong in the center.” “Black Histories, Black Futures” is the museum’s first exhibition curated entirely by high school students. It is the culmination of a partnership with local youth empowerment organizations, and reflects a growing trend, one that h

No sports on TV? Sportscasters share play by play of confinement.

The race is tight. The two contestants are head to head, not even feet away from each other, almost making contact. "Here they come they have completed lap number 5," the sportscaster announces. "You've got Lexi in the lead, Louie trying to track her down...." It almost sounds like NASCAR has returned. But alas, most sports events are still on hold. Since March, college and professional sports have canceled, temporarily suspended, or delayed their seasons – the National Basketball Association,

#ClapBecauseWeCare: World cheers for frontline workers

It began with one clap, then two, then three – then dozens resonated in unison above the streets of Boston on April 3, 2020 as part of the #ClapBecauseWeCare initiative encouraging people around the globe to pause and show appreciation and encouragement for essential workers helping to fight the coronavirus outbreak. While some people simply clap as others sing, cheer, or bang pots, the intention is clear: a "thank you" to those tirelessly working to care for the ill, keep grocery stores open,

Reminder from an Italian videographer: Beauty is all around us

Since March 9, 2020, the paved streets of Italy have been deserted as the 60 million residents remain on total lockdown. The imposing Colosseum, the spectacular Pantheon, and the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa are now surrounded by silence. With 35% of the global population willingly staying indoors to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the world is getting quieter. From college abroad programs to adult learning trips, to family vacations to solo journeys, plans for exploring the world h

Junior raises money to help homeless men secure winter housing

Editor’s note: Continued coverage on this story can be found here. Junior Karigan Wright, like many students, walks by the 2 Boylston Place alley everyday when hustling through the crowded sidewalks to get to class. A couple of weeks ago, Wright noticed a homeless man standing by the alley entrance, telling every passerby to have a good day. “I had, like, passed by him a couple of times,” Wright said. “And every time he was like, ‘Have a good day.’ And I just thought that he was so sweet. So I

Sophomore brings victory to St. Louis team at international poetry competition

Sophomore Zack Lesmeister and the St. Louis team won the 2019 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, bringing home a brand new title for the city. Photo by Jakob Menendez / Beacon Staff Six teens sat cowered in a compact dorm room in Las Vegas, whispering poetry to each other for hours at a time so their competitors would not overhear. It’s a vital part of the St. Louis team’s strategy for the 2019 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival that led them to vi

Stuck between two homes: The reality of living under TPS in America – Covering Immigration

Nirva sat on the hot sidewalk, overwhelmed by the stench of dead bodies surrounding her. She stayed there for an entire day, without food or water, waiting outside a medical tent. Inside, her sister attempted to save those pulled from the rubble. Nirva sat among the bodies, powerless. It was Jan. 12, 2010 when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, killing more than 250,000 people. “That’s where they put a lot of people who were sick with no legs, no arms, whatever,” Nirva said. “They were al

Alumni ‘No Whites Allowed’ documentary exposes Emerson’s lack of diversity

Evan McDonald (left) and Jeru Berry (right) created 'No Whites Allowed' and the documentary won the Audience Award at Emerson's Film Festival. - Photo by Thomas Bloxham / Beacon Correspondent Evan McDonald ’18 joined comedy troupe Emerson Comedy Workshop in January 2016 as the first black man to ever join in its 40 years of existence. After acknowledging the lack of inclusion in comedy troupes at Emerson, McDonald said he needed to create a space for comedians of color. In fall 2016, McDonald

Artificial Intelligence takes over Media Art Gallery

Nonsensical sounds, intriguing oil paintings, and ambiguous misfortunes such as, “Your dreams are worth your best pants when you wish you’d given love a chance,” filled the Emerson Urban Arts Gallery on Feb. 14. But what surprised visitors entering the gallery is the artist—or artists—behind the pieces. The new exhibit, “Creative Work as Adversary: The AI and Machine Art,” was created by roboticist and artist Alexander Reben and an artificial intelligence computer. This collaboration between h

Former PA chair makes history at Hartford Stage

Former Department of Performing Arts Chair Melia Bensussen received an unexpected interview at Hartford Stage the day before she left for Barcelona, Spain on sabbatical. Three months later, she flew back to the United States, and the following morning she walked in for her second interview with the Hartford Stage’s Search Committee. The committee chose Bensussen over 84 other candidates, and the choice made history for Hartford Stage. In June, Bensussen will start as the first female artistic
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