Spring is Here

When I was little, my dad would tell me about what it was like to be a child during China's Great Famine. He told me that he would eat ants off the ground for a brief sensation of what food tasted like, and laugh because in America I didn't have to do that. He always served me first when he cooked, and I wondered if I could ever do that, if being grown-up meant feeding other people first.

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Art, an Ecosystem Indicator

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If we want to talk about an economy as an ecosystem, then consider the arts and humanities as an "indicator." The US arts industry is 88% white, 12% people of color, and almost entirely men regardless of race. Women of color represent half of one percent of arts representation. The arts and humanities are where culture-making happens. So is it much of a surprise that we struggle with a diverse business ecosystem, the same way we struggle with biodiversity in nature when the primary infrastructure is centered on supporting a monoculture lawn?

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Uncommon Ground
Solo show by Jenie Gao, Diane Endres Ballweg Gallery at Madison Central Library.

Uncommon Ground

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From personal to professional to political spaces, I have paid attention to disputes between people who plead for common ground yet gloss over perspectives and leave issues unresolved. I have wondered that if instead of common ground, we should advocate and claim space for identities and representations that are rare.

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Spiders, Feminism, and Unlearning Irrational Fears

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As a child, I was afraid of spiders. I was one of those girls who ran away at the sight of any creepy crawly bug that was not either a ladybug, butterfly, or roly poly. I didn't see the irony or hypocrisy of my fear, as a girl who got called boyish, called out for being too rough, too temperamental, too strong, too aggressive for my sex.

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Landmarks Through the Seasons
Rest and Rejuvenation, Private Mural Commission for Mary Burke. Photo by Jenie Gao.

Landmarks Through the Seasons

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Maybe the most magical thing about outdoor works of art is how they not only change their environments, but also transform with the seasons. Though the Midwest got hit with…

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