Creativity is an expansive, all-encompassing word whose definition is different for everyone. It means problem-solving, a unique perspective, expression, inspiration, translating ideas into tangible solutions, and nonlinear thinking. Creativity doesn’t have an allegiance to a particular medium: It's art, culture, and design; ultimately it's advancement. And creativity is not insular—it grows exponentially through community. So it was an especially exciting task to look back at what the year 2013 brought in terms of creativity from the GOOD community. Everyone from artists, activists, designers, architects, chefs, athletes, technologists, etc. contributed to the larger conversation of creativity in the year 2013. Below are some of the highlights from this year. And as we move forward into 2014, I'm excited to keep the conversation going with all of you.
Revered performance artist Marina Abramovic (who sat for 736 hours across from anyone who wanted to sit with her at MOMA, NYC) asked the GOOD community to help her realize her dream of building a center for "Long durational" performance art. The Marina Abramovic Institute will be a meeting place for art, science, technology, spirituality, and education, "where people from all races, social backgrounds, and religions can participate in, and interact with, new long durational projects."
After seeing a video on GOOD about Beat Making Lab's sustainable music studio in the Democratic Republic of Congo, PBS partnered up with the North Carolina team to help them travel around the world and teach marginalized communities hip-hop beat-making, songwriting, sampling, and entrepreneurship. They also donated laptops and microphones to cultural centers. During 2013, Pierce Freelon and his partner Apple Juice Kid brought us these stories from the road.
In May, the world was shocked and saddened when a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh, where brands including Walmart had their clothes made. The tragedy raised awareness with consumers and those in the industry about the deplorable conditions in factories that produce "fast fashion." Community member Nathan Rothstein called for an end to these damaging practices. Unfortunately, six months later reparations still haven't been made to victims' families.
The gun control debate raged on this year, with few legal resolutions made in the United States. Many people spoke out about the importance of gun control, including Snoop Lion, who penned this piece for us, urging everyone to "end the violence and move forward in peace and love."
We celebrated our first-ever Neighborday, an international holiday created by GOOD to encourage everyone to get to know their neighbors. Our community members inspired us during the On My Block Films challenge, which encouraged amateur filmmakers to film the interesting personalities of their block. Patrick McDonnell, a proud resident of Dallas, Texas, showed how his neighbors got together to create interesting urban interventions.
Afghanistan might seem like an unlikely place to skateboard, but not for Oliver Percovich, who founded Skateistan to teach the sport and creative arts to girls and boys in Kabul. This year they brought us stories about how their students collaborated with Lakota kids in South Dakota on a skate art project, and we met Faranaz who went from being a 13 year old student at Skateistan to being a 14-year-old bride, demonstrating what many girls go through in the country. And Percovich himself talked about how Skateistan all began. As the year winds to a close, they are asking for our help to meet their fundraising goals in order to continue providing education and enrichment to students in 2014.
Architecture was big on GOOD this year, and Architizer explored the future of green architecture, edible offices and showed us the 10 coolest chairs for booklovers. And Shelly Hornstein explored Morocco's answer to New York's High Line, in this informative post.
And finally, as we prepare to take a little time off for the holidays, many will be cooking, spending time with their families, and decorating the tree. Last year, artist Michael Neff had a hard time seeing so many discarded trees go to waste after the holidays were over, so he created the stunning installation "Suspended Forest" under the BQE in Brooklyn. Here's hoping will see something equally impressive from him this year.
And, of course, here's hoping for another equally creative 2014.