Posts tagged with "education"

The Gnarled Branch illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Q×A with The Gnarled Branch

Q&A with David Irvine from The Gnarled Branch

David Irvine is the multi-talented artist behind the Gnarled Branch. He is known for his imaginative ‘Re-Directed Paintings’, whimsical furniture, original paintings, painted burnt out light bulb ornaments, salvaged record paintings, and so much more. You can visit his Etsy shop here! You can see throughout his work that there is an interest with popular characters which brings life to the rural paintings he often re-directs. Irvine will match the original artist’s style within the painting or counter it intentionally, but he always leaves the original signature clear to see. There’s a story behind each of his works, including the painting “The Last Trick or Treater” which is one of Irvine’s favorites. Read on to learn more about David’s work, inspiration, and so much more.

What is your background – in addition, did your upbringing prompt a specific reference point within your work? Is your work informed by certain concepts or themes from your childhood, background, socioeconomic status, where you lived or were raised?

DI: I was fortunate to be raised by parents who appreciated all the arts. Going to see theatre shows, music performances, and gallery exhibits were always exciting. I was encouraged to develop with the visual arts and musically as well with regular music lessons and art lessons. They were at first concerned when I decided to pursue a career in the visual arts, as they knew it can be a real struggle – but were fully supportive and excited that I was accepted into art college to study illustration.

How does this impact how you see the world and create art?

DI: It’s no secret the art world can be very snooty, takes itself far too seriously and that is a real shame. In a lot of the genres that I do- I am always considering humor and fun as elements in a piece. Especially during these difficult pandemic times, art needs to uplift and provide smiles and not be staunch, same old -same old themes that have been done over and over.

Do you have an educational background or experiences that have contributed to your evolution as an artist?

DI: I studied illustration at Sheridan College, and throughout my childhood would occasionally take art lessons. The rest was experimenting and being self-taught with various mediums and medium combinations. I taught visual art to a wide range of ages through community night school and was an art tutor to a terrific student with special needs. Those were very memorable years.

What does your work aim to say?

DI: I do so many different genres of art, I think there’s a spectrum of what I want to communicate…. from making people laugh and feel good — to the darker, macabre work to scare and bring the viewer into a world that they may not feel comfortable being in… I guess I make art to get a reaction… not just creating something for its sole purpose is to look pretty and match the sofa.

Is there a particular artist that inspired you to pursue art?

DI: My grandfather was an accomplished amateur painter and I’d watch him work and see the pieces he did… maybe that was the first seed…Other than that I would always sign out art books from the library and soak in everything from master painters to illustrators and cartoonists who worked presently.

Whose techniques do you study or admire?

DI: There are so many — but in high school, I always enjoyed Ralph Steadman ink illustrations, Van Gogh for his boldness, Rene Magritte for the unique and surreal visuals … Currently I’ll search through websites like Tumblr or magazines like Juxtapoz and discover artists both old and new who mix unusual mediums or have their own unique style.

How do you cultivate a collector base?

DI: When I first started as a fine artist, I didn’t have a computer- the internet wasn’t a thing yet, so I was reliant on physically going to galleries and public places to show my work. From little gift or record shops to restaurants and cafes. Now with technology, it’s just a matter of updating and refreshing social media, submitting articles to websites, or being lucky and being featured by a blog, website, or podcast…it all helps and a lot more convenient to be able to post an instructional video from home, or post new work in progress photos to a website, than to lug workaround or mail promo packages out to land a show. Once a collector is on board, having top-notch customer service skills and excellent communication is key…

What inspires you to paint?

DI: I’ll have a lot of eureka moments as I’m sketching or planning out new works or series….and I have to then see that eureka image come to fruition. It would drive me bananas having a good idea sitting there on a page and going nowhere. As well it is my chosen job- so those bills must get paid.

How do you look for new ways to challenge yourself?

DI: I get bored very easily… so challenges are always put in place to not get bored. Every artist has a spectrum of color they usually gravitate to when creating a piece…I like to switch things up and use the colors I don’t normally use or come up with different color combinations/ mixing. I’ll even wear tinted sunglasses so the colors I think I’m using wind up making happy accidents when I look at the piece without the sunglasses. Using oil pastels with acrylic paint… various types of inks and papers …are many variables that can be used to break away from regular tendencies when approaching a piece.

Do you have a favorite painting that you have completed? If so, can you tell us the story behind it?

DI: I did a solo show a few years ago with Halloween as the main theme. A few favorite paintings came out of that show including one called the Last Trick or Treater. It showed a bird’s eye view looking down onto an old tyme small hamlet, and one child in a ghost costume running down a street with a lantern. I think I captured the quiet of the night, and the bit of panic the boy was having as he was quickly trying to get home.

What inspired Re-Directed painting for you?

DI: When I first started as a fine artist, I had very little money and art supplies and framing was expensive. I would frequent yard sales and thrift shops to purchase old frames, lithographs on board, and existing canvas prints to paint over and frame. Around 2009 I started to paint weird imagery in an existing piece and then later one piece my Mom was getting rid of was a seascape -where I had the immediate vision of two reapers playing with a beachball. I painted them in, shared them on social media and things snowballed rather quickly from there. I came up with the term re-directed as I used that as a tag and hoped people would begin to associate it with me…and it worked! Other people now use that term – which is fine… I prefer that to ‘Improved Painting’…as I never meant to demean the original artist. All these redirected pieces were salvaged and unwanted and quite likely wind up as landfill. I hate waste and seeing potential thrown away. This was just another method to upcycle. I’ll spend considerable time touching up the piece from scratches, buffs or sun/ water damage then I’ll add in my own visions. ..never covering the signature of the original artist. Research is always done prior to any painting to insure it’s not of significant value. I rarely work on originals, always lithographs, canvas prints, or anonymous paint by numbers.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

DI: Even though most know my work through my ongoing Re-Directed thrift art series, I look forward to continuing my upcycling work (hand-painted ornaments using salvaged burnt-out light bulbs, pop art paintings on discarded, damaged vinyl records, beer cap pins, and redoing/painting discarded wooden furniture…) and preventing landfill.

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Photo Credit: David Irvine
Photo Credit: David Irvine
Photo Credit: David Irvine
Photo Credit: David Irvine
Sean and Myra Anderson illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Big Sean × Myra Anderson

BIG SEAN & HIS MOTHER MYRA ANDERSON LAUNCH WELLNESS VIDEO SERIES PRESENTED BY THE SEAN ANDERSON FOUNDATION TO COMMEMORATE MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

Today, multi-platinum artist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Big Sean, and his mother, Myra Anderson, have announced the launch of their wellness video series presented by their non-profit, the Sean Anderson Foundation. Beginning May 1st, a new video will be released every Saturday during the month of May at 12pm EST/9am PST to commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month. The videos will live on the Sean Anderson Foundation’s IGTV HERE and will also be featured on the Sean Anderson Foundation website HERE.

In each episode, Sean and Myra will have a 10 – 15-minute candid conversation surrounding a specific area of wellness. Topics include mindset, sleep/circadian rhythms, meditation, diet/exercise and the emotional freedom technique (EFT).

“I feel that Mental Health Awareness Month is the perfect time to talk with my mom about some of the things I have learned from her that have helped me along the way, and I hope will help others,” says Big Sean.

“Sean and I wanted to share some of the no or low-cost techniques that we have used over the years to help us attain and maintain emotional balance. In the future, we may do a deeper dive into some of these techniques and other tools that we use,” says Myra Anderson.

The Sean Anderson Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for underserved youth and their families. Previously, the foundation hosted a Mental Health Awareness panel, which explored the narrative and stigma around mental health in the Black community. Throughout the past year, Sean and the foundation have engaged in a variety of initiatives to help those in need during these unprecedented times. Sean hosted virtual fundraisers to benefit COVID-19 response efforts, as well as partnered with McDonalds for their Black & Positively Golden Mentors Program. The Detroit native was recently appointed Creative Director of Innovation for the Detroit Pistons, where he and the foundation work with the team to create opportunities and programs in the Detroit area.

About the Sean Anderson Foundation


The mission of the Sean Anderson Foundation is to assist in the education, health, safety and well-being of school aged youth in underserved communities across the country.

Sean is a living example of what can be accomplished through focus, determination and hard work. He strives to serve as an instrument of encouragement for us to help support ourselves and to support one another.

The Sean Anderson Foundation’s signature program is “Mogul Prep”, a digital and live event curriculum that focuses on developing entrepreneurial skills, preparing students for college and/or the workforce, and ultimately for a successful life. In addition, the Foundation partners with a number of existing charitable programs whose objectives are consistent with the objectives of the Foundation. 

For more information about SAF, visit the Sean Anderson Foundation.

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OZY Fest illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Virtual Ozy Fest

OZY MEDIA ANNOUNCES VIRTUAL OZY FEST FOR MAY 15-16 IN PARTNERSHIP WITH HBCUs, CLUBHOUSE

Headliners at the May festival include Chance the Rapper, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Condoleezza Rice, Mark Cuban, Malcolm Gladwell, Sevyn Streeter and Marc Rebillet

OZY Media announced that OZY Fest, its one-of-a-kind festival of great entertainment, interactive experiences and big conversations, will return on May 15-16 as a virtual event, after the 2020 festival was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Headliners include musicians Chance the Rapper, Sevyn Streeter, Big Freedia, Marc Rebillet and Kat Cunning; comedians Tig Notaro, Maz Jobrani and Aida Rodriguez; chefs Marcus Samuelsson, Tom Colicchio and Ming Tsai; thought leaders Dr. Anthony Fauci, Mark Cuban, Condoleezza Rice, Malcolm Gladwell, Jim Cramer, Revd. Al Sharpton, Deepak Chopra, Rep. Maxine Waters, Sunny Hostin, Alicia Garza, Marcus Scribner, Sophia Chang, DeRay Mckesson, Carmen Yulín Cruz, Adam Grant, Katty Kay, Matt James, Valerie Jarrett, Dr. Michael Lomax, Mariana van Zeller, Dr. Danielle Moss, Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr., Angela Benton and Carlos Watson; and sports figures Michael Vick, Stephen A Smith and CC Sabathia. The festival will be livestreamed to the Carlos Watson Show YouTube Channel, presented by OZY Media.

OZY Fest brings together the game-changers and change-makers who are ahead of their time and worthy of yours for a virtual celebration of bold change and big ideas. The festival has previously been held in New York City’s Central Park with guests including John Legend, Trevor Noah, Issa Rae, Padma Lakshmi and Joe Biden, and has been described as “TED meets Coachella” and “New York’s answer to SXSW” for its unmatched blend of thought leadership and entertainment.

The virtual festival will be streamed live, with two simultaneous virtual stages between 5pm and 9pm ET offering a combination of live music and comedy performance, thought leadership, and interactive programming. VIP tickets are available for purchase allowing access to exclusive interactive virtual offerings. OZY Fest’s partnership with new live social media platform Clubhouse will break new ground, employing the app’s private chat functionality to host VIP meet-and-greets in an intimate audio-only setting.

“We are so excited to be bringing OZY Fest back,” says OZY COO and co-founder Samir Rao. “Virtual events and festivals have been hit and miss over the trying past year, but OZY Fest is going to take things to the next level, with the most interactive virtual experience of all time. OZY Fest won’t disappoint if you’re as tired of Zoom as we are.”

The theme of OZY Fest 2021 is “Reset America,” with organizers saying that it hopes to host conversations to reimagine how democracy, racial justice, education and more should work in the 21st century. OZY Media is partnering with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to provide free access to all current students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and to donate proceeds from VIP ticket sales to UNCF. UNCF CEO, Dr. Michael Lomax, is featured among OZY Fest headliners.

“It’s a privilege to be partnering with UNCF to make an impact with OZY Fest this year,” says Carlos Watson, OZY CEO and co-founder, and host of The Carlos Watson Show. “I have said before that the 2020s will be the new 1960s, and OZY will play its role in facilitating some of the most important conversations about where we turn next as a society.”

OZY Fest is brought to you by Chevrolet and American Family Insurance. It is produced by OZY Media in partnership with YouTube, Twitter, Clubhouse and iHeartRadio.

For a full list of headliners and information about how to register for tickets or purchase VIP passes, head to OZY Fest.

OZY Fest 2021
business brief case illustration by sara davidson for use by 360 Magazine

Celebrity-Designed Bag Auction for Chema Vision Children’s Center

Big Hearted Celebrities Act Fast to Help Children from Kibera Slum Go to School

Naomi Campbell, Halle Berry, Lenny Kravitz, Zoe Kravitz, Usher, Lionel Richie, Eddie Murphy, Evan Ross, Maggie Q, Raquel Bitton, Chrome Hearts and more come together using art and fashion so that students at Kibera’s Chema Vision Children’s Center can receive a quality education and a daily meal.

LA’s art and luxury fashion retailer to the stars Church Boutique and the eco-fashion house Ministry of Tomorrow (MOT) have teamed up with Christie’s and their charity auction partner Charitybuzz to produce “Art for Education”– the inaugural celebrity art auction fundraiser to benefit the Chema Vision Children’s Center (Chema) in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Chema School is situated in the midst of Kibera, Africa’s largest urban slum. The Chema School was established to provide quality education for some of Kibera’s most vulnerable children. Many of the students are orphans or children of single parents without income to pay for school fees.

Just before the pandemic, Chema was forced to relocate because the school structure was not up to code.  MOT’s vegan bag production facility is located near the school and Julian Prolman, president of MOT heard about the school’s dilemma. Through an initial fundraiser orchestrated by MOT, Chema was able to relocate to a safe building. However, Chema is currently lacking much needed funds to pay its teachers and cover its operational expenses that includes a daily meal for the students.

When Church Boutique’s founders Rodney Burns and David Malvaney learned about the urgent need at Chema from their supply partner MOT, whose branded bags are featured at The Church Boutique, they quickly reached out to their celebrity friends to request their support. Celebrities will be painting their artistic expressions on MOT’s new organic canvas tote bags that will be auctioned online through Christie’s auction partner, Charitybuzz, starting June 1, 2021 with the final bid accepted on June 16.

Prior to the auction launch, the bags will be on display from May 19– 26 at Church Boutique in Hollywood, CA, and then brought to New York where the bags will be on display at Christie’s during the auction.

Without hesitation, Rodney and David’s luminary friends offered to help including Naomi Campbell, Halle Berry, Lenny Kravitz, Zoe Kravitz, Usher, Lionel Richie, Eddie Murphy, Maggie Q, Evan Ross and Raquel Bitton, with more mega stars soon to be announced. In addition, Laurie Lynn Stark, the creator of the international jewelry and clothing brand Chrome Hearts, has joined in to create her own unique MOT tote.

“We believe that luxury is a privilege that comes with the responsibility to care for others in need and therefore we are thrilled to collaborate with MOT to do what we can to make a difference in the lives of children born into challenging circumstances” said Rodney Burns.

The opening minimum bid for each one-of-a-kind celebrity designed bag will begin at $1,000.

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to Chema to help fund the schools operating budget with a goal to raise $100k.

“Chema is a Swahili word meaning something good, and that is what we are trying to do with Art for Education” said Julian Prolman.

About Chema

At the heart of Kibera, Africa’s largest urban slum in Nairobi, Kenya, is the Chema Vision Children’s Center, a school that offers quality education to some of Kibera’s most vulnerable children. Learn more at Chema Vision’s website.

About the Church Boutique

The Church Boutique, located in West Hollywood, offers mid-century modern home décor, exclusive high-end avant-garde fashion, fine art photography, art, jewelry, and more. Visit The Church Boutique’s website here.

About the Ministry of Tomorrow

MOT is a for-profit social enterprise that designs and produces high quality, eco-luxury, vegan bags and accessories that are sold directly to consumers on their website.

About Christie’s  

Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie’s has conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries, providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewelry, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s also has a long and successful history conducting Private Sales for clients and online sales are offered year-round across all categories. Christie’s global presence is spread across a network of international sale rooms and 61 representatives and offices. Christie’s website provides detailed articles and videos on the objects offered for sale alongside the latest advances in digital viewing tools to make Christie’s accessible to all.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price – see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue. 

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees. 

Spark Press image by Amateur Films, LLC for use by 360 Magazine

Spark: A Systemic Racism Story

Documentary Explores Racism’s Roots and Remedies, Offers Free Educational Access

The tragic death of George Floyd sparked the largest global protest in the history of the world, a nationwide discussion, and a more profound look at deep-seated, systemic racism in America. With the Derek Chauvin trial underway and the unsettled fate of police reform, Amateur Films’ 30-minute non-commercial documentary — Spark: A Systemic Racism Story — is available as a complimentary resource to explore racism’s roots and remedies. Since the film’s release in December 2020, individuals, teachers, professors, CEOs, and diversity equity and inclusion (DE&I) leaders began utilizing Spark as a resource for racial justice, equity, and sensitivity.

Created by white allies for all allies, the documentary is an aggregator of interviews and clips of prominent racial justice advocates, providing historical context of policies and procedures that led to the oppression of the Black community. Spark also proposes pragmatic, creative remedies in policing, criminal justice, and society in both full-length and condensed forms.

The producers’ participation in a local demonstration sparked by the death of Mr. Floyd inspired the creation of a non-commercial educational documentary to encourage recognition of unconscious bias and show a path to unlearning the historical narrative that redefined an entire race, supporting authentic and effective white allies.

“The trial of Derek Chauvin illustrates a driving point: being white in America is not needing to state that your life matters. When your life matters, you have power. Some use it for good and some very clearly (as in the case of George Floyd’s murder) do not,” said associate producer Julie Manriquez. “We hope our film helps to provide space for those looking to listen and learn and do the work.”

The documentary is presented in complete, abbreviated, and mini versions and can be viewed at this website. Companies, academic institutions, and organizations are encouraged to utilize Spark as a tool and share within and beyond their circles to further the cause of creating a more equitable society designed for the success of all.

About Amateur Films, LLC

Amateur Films, LLC is based in Minneapolis, MN, created in 2020 by Tom Gegax and Mary Wescott of the Gegax Family Foundation. The production team is made up of volunteers and includes talented and passionate neighbors in addition to the retention of top Hollywood writers, editors, composers, and sound and color experts. Amateur Films was inspired by the June 2020 Black Lives Matter protests as well as Gegax’s personal experience during the late 60s civil rights uprisings when, working in Chicago with 14 Black service station owners in his territory, he developed deeply personal and business relationships as they protected him from harm during these uprisings and their aftermath.

 

Child with phone illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Children and Screens Announces Grant

­CHILDREN AND SCREENS ANNOUNCES $100,000 GRANT SUPPORTING NEW RESEARCH INTO DIGITAL MEDIA USE AND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development is pleased to announce that it has awarded a grant of $100,000 to Marc Potenza, Ph.D., MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University, Yihong Zhao, Ph.D., member of the Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies at Rutgers University, and their interdisciplinary, interinstitutional team, in support of their research exploring the associations between screen media activity and brain development in school-aged children. 
 
“It is vital to investigate what ever-increasing digital media engagement means for developing brains, especially in middle childhood when children’s devices and brains are working on overdrive. Technology is advancing rapidly, and we hope to do our part to help science keep up; we are delighted to create opportunities to advance scientific research on this topic through the Institute, which I founded 13 years ago.” Dr. Pam Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development 
 
Drawing on longitudinal data from the NIH’s landmark Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, Dr. Potenza, Dr. Zhao, and their associates intend to utilize state-of-the-art statistical methodology and predictive modeling to investigate the relationships between digital media use and changes in brain structure and function, as well as the associated clinically relevant behaviors. The study, which was proposed following the Institute’s March 2020 Digital Media and Developing Brain Research Retreat, will examine the effects of a variety of specific media-based activities and will focus on children from ages 9-12. The results of this research will yield benefits and insight not only for the research community, but also for families, clinicians, and policymakers.
 
“The advances in ‘big data’ approaches have led to an unprecedented increase in our understanding of how brain structure and function relate to specific behaviors. With the support of Children and Screens, we aim to apply novel and innovative big data approaches to ABCD data to understand how brain structure and function relate to, and importantly may be impacted by, types and patterns of screen media activity. Dr. Martin Paulus and colleagues used a portion of the first wave of ABCD data to identify patterns of cortical thinning associated with screen media activity. We hope to build off and extend this work by examining the full initial sample and subsequent waves of ABCD data to determine brain-behavior relationships with respect to youth screen media activity. We hope to communicate these findings in order to advance prevention and policy efforts that promote healthy childhood development in environments increasingly involving digital technologies.” – Dr. Marc Potenza, Grant Recipient
 
Bridging the medical, neuroscientific, social scientific, education, and academic communities, the Children and Screens’ interdisciplinary scientific research grants program was conceived as part of a larger research program to advance and support study, knowledge, and scientific collaboration. Developed in 2017, the grants program provides researchers with access to the early-stage financial support necessary to pilot worthy new projects studying the impact of children’s engagement with current and evolving technologies.
 
In addition to the research funds awarded as part of the retreat program and those granted to explore the impacts of digital media during the current health crisis, Children and Screens’ regular Tips for Parents newsletter provides evidence-based, practical advice for families coping with the unprecedented realities of the pandemic, including changed economic circumstances, health concerns, lockdowns, social distancing, remote learning, and working from home. Each newsletter features insights from world-renowned experts, who share tips and advice about managing screen time, social media use, gaming, technology addiction, privacy, parenting, and more.
 
In addition, our popular, bi-weekly Ask the Experts virtual workshop series features dynamic conversations among international, interdisciplinary experts in the field of digital media and child development. Each discussion explores a different digital media challenge associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and presents families with current scientific research, clinical advice, and practical, evidence-based advice. Panelists include leading parenting experts, former AAP Presidents, top child and adolescent psychiatrists, high-impact journal editors, leading researchers, well-known authors, and others. To date, the series has reached parents, researchers, educators, clinicians, government agencies, and public health professionals in over 30 countries and all 50 states.
 
About Children and Screens:
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness.

College Student illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Tutors Not Just for Kids

Tutors Are Not Just for Kids: They Help People Get Through College, Too!

Tutoring community, The Oxford Method, offers up tips to help people get through college

Many people tend to think of tutoring as being something for kids. Yet there are millions of college students who struggle and need help, too. In fact, according to EducationData.org, around 40% of undergraduate college students drop out before earning a degree. The website also reports that 30% of freshmen don’t make it to their second year of college. One of the main reasons that people drop out of college is that they struggle to keep up academically, followed by the stress, financial situations, and lack of campus connections. The good news is that there are things that can be done to help address the issues and keep on going.

“Millions of people dream of earning a degree, but when they begin struggling, they tend to leave,” explains David Florence, professor and founder of The Oxford Method, a community that offers tutoring services around the country. “The help is readily available, but many people are not aware of it. We want to change that, so we can help more people see their goals through.”

The Oxford Method is on a mission to share with the world that education is the great equalizer and an essential gift to the next generation. Its goal is to help more people stick with finishing their academic goals. Here are some tips it offers to college students to help them get through:

  • Stay organized. One of the most important things you can do is to organize your schedule. This way you won’t fall behind or feel as much stress. Use a good planner, plan ahead, make lists, set goals, and do things that will help keep you on the right path.
  • Become involved. Rather than feel that you are not connected at college, make a goal to connect. Choose at least one thing to become involved in, whether it’s a fun group, study group, club, or something else. Make the connection so you feel that you are not there struggling alone. This is especially important during this time when so many people are isolated with online education.
  • De-stress. When the stress of juggling everything becomes too much, that’s when many college students want to walk away. Make a commitment to yourself to reduce stress every week. To do this, you can take up hiking, meditation, yoga, or whatever it is that will help you to de-stress in a healthy way.
  • Get help. Those who are struggling academically should get the help they need, rather than fall behind, which will make them drop out. A tutor can help give you the one-on-one assistance you need to gain a better understanding of the subject or lesson and will help keep you on pace.
  • Be gentle on yourself. Many people get upset if they are struggling a little, and they beat themselves up over it. Learn to take things easy, go with the flow, and give yourself a break. Treat yourself how you would treat your best friend if they were in the same position.

“When you are struggling in college, it’s so important to know that there is help available,” added Florence. “No matter what subject you are having difficulties with, there’s a good chance that you can get the assistance you need and keep going. We are happy to be help college students around the nation continue meeting their educational goals.”

There’s good reason to finish college and earn the degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the more you learn, the more you tend to earn. Those with the highest educational attainment tend to make triple of those who just have a high school education. The average weekly earnings for someone with only a high school diploma is $712, compared to the average for someone with a bachelor’s degree being $1,173. Plus, the bureau reports that the unemployment rate is lower for those who have more higher education.

The Oxford Method has over 100 tutors around the country, covering all subject areas. They offer online tutoring, as well as in-person and in-classroom options. Their tutoring services are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Instructors have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with many of them having a master’s degree, PhD, and at least four years of teaching experience. The Oxford Method works with their nonprofit, Social Actualization, Inc., by giving them 10% of all profits. The funds are used to provide free computers, high-speed internet, and instruction to underprivileged families in urban and rural America. Plus, 40% of their instructors are PhDs, 40% have a master’s degree, and 20% have only a bachelor’s degree.

Subject areas include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as business, social studies, psychology, English, history, public speaking, study methods, test taking, and more. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the website.

About The Oxford Method

Started in 2020, The Oxford Method has over 100 instructors who provide access to tutoring 24/7. It also has a nonprofit sector of its community, which offers tutoring services and computers to underprivileged students. Its relationship-based education helps everyone, including those who need financial assistance and those with special needs. It donates 10% of its profits to social organizations that help those in urban areas. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the website.

Piggy Bank illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Future Fax Filing Tips

Tips for Tax Filing in the Future

Tax time is near, and soon everyone will be rushing to get their taxes filed. Last year, Americans were met with quite a few delays in getting their refunds with the onset of the pandemic.

If you have a refund coming, the sooner you file, the sooner that refund will make its way into your bank account.

If you’re like most tax filers, you probably want to do everything you can to reduce your overall tax bill. We know that taxes are needed to run the government, but there’s no need for you as an individual to pay more than you need to.

Here are a few areas to consider or understand for future tax filing years:

  • Funding tax-preferenced accounts. One way to save on taxes is by putting money in various tax-preferenced savings accounts such as an IRA, a 401(k), and others. Depending on the account type, you can deduct your contribution each year, defer paying taxes on growth or take withdrawals tax-free. In health savings accounts (HSA), you can do all three. There are eligibility requirements you need to meet. An HSA can only be used for medical expenses.  With a traditional IRA, you don’t pay taxes on your contributions, and you defer taxes on the account’s growth. You do pay taxes on withdrawals you make in retirement. A Roth IRA has different advantages. You can’t deduct your contributions now, but your money grows tax-free, and you aren’t taxed when you make withdrawals.
  • Using a 529 for K-12 private or college education. Many people are familiar with 529 plans, but they often think of these solely to save for a college education fund. But a 529 can also be used to pay for a private school in elementary and high school. The significant tax advantage with a 529 is that you don’t pay federal income taxes on the account’s growth. However, you must spend the money on qualified educational expenses and nothing else. This is essential to remember and understand because if you use the money for other reasons, you will pay taxes on that withdrawal, and you will also pay the penalty. A 529 account is something to consider if you have children or grandchildren and want a tax-efficient way to save for K-12 or college education.
  • Making charitable donations. Charitable donations are a great tool for reducing your tax bill. They come with the bonus of allowing you to make a positive impact in your community. Through charitable donations, you can reduce your income tax, capital gains tax, and estate tax. Some people view this most straightforwardly – you choose an organization that qualifies under the tax rules to donate to. There are other ways to contribute as well: You can establish a donor-advised fund, which is a personal charitable account opened in the name of the donors and held by a nonprofit organization. For example, let’s say you sell a stock and, instead of paying the capital gains tax, you choose to place the proceeds in a donor-advised fund. You can claim the total amount as a charitable deduction, although you don’t have to donate the money in one lump sum. The money remains in the fund and can be donated in small amounts over a period of years while drawing interest.

These are just a few things you can consider as you look for ways to reduce your tax bill. Your financial professional will be able to help you work your way through the process and find what works best for you and your situation.

Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Education Tips For Children

7 Ways to Ensure Your Child Gets a Good Education

The Oxford Method, a tutoring community, offers tips to help your child be successful in school

Over the last year, during the pandemic, there have been many kids who have struggled academically. This is in part due to the millions who have had to do online learning and find the setup difficult. Whether children are learning online, in person, via classroom, or through a combination of the three, there are things that parents can do to help them be more successful. Knowing what to do can help make a world a difference and reduce the struggling.

“Many parents are aware of the way their kids are struggling with school over this school year,” explains David Florence, professor and founder of The Oxford Method, a community that offers tutoring services around the country. “Rather than let them fall behind, it’s a good idea to take action and do what you can to help them keep up and even pull ahead.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 93% of households with school-age children report that their kids have engaged in some sort of distance learning during the pandemic. They also report that the vast shift in the way kids are learning has also caused digital inequality because some kids don’t have access to computers and/or the Internet. Whether students are learning online or in class, there are things parents can do to help them get a good education.

Here 7 ways to help ensure your child gets a good education:

  1. Sleep. It’s crucial for a child to get enough sleep each night, which will help them to be more focused, as well as improve their behavior, quality of life, and mental and physical health. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that children ages 6-12 should get 9-12 hours of sleep per night, and teens ages 13-18 should get 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Teach value. It usually starts at home whether or not a child values an education. Parents who want their kids to get a good education should instill a love of learning in their children and teach them to value the education they are getting.
  3. Get them help. If your child is struggling, you may be able to help them, but there also comes a time when kids need a tutor to step in. A good tutor can make a world of difference in ensuring that a child gets a good education. They can help ensure that students will not fall behind and that they will get the foundation they need to move on in a subject.
  4. Show them how. Oftentimes, kids don’t know how to effectively study for a test or to take notes when they are in class. Take the time to show them how to do it effectively, as well as how to stay organized with their schooling. When students are organized, they are more likely to succeed.
  5. Ask them questions. Be sure to ask your kids how it is going, if they got their homework done, if they need any help, or if there’s anything they need to be more successful. They like to know that you are interested in how they are doing, so it’s good to show an active interest.
  6. Get involved. It’s always a good idea if you can get involved with the school and have good communication with the teacher. That way you will be aware of what is going on and know how to help your child more. Teachers love it when parents take an active interest in their child’s education.
  7. Praise your kids. Help kids to know what they are doing is right or what they are doing is wrong. Praising and encouraging the kids builds their confidence and helps them to succeed as they grow.

“Just about every parent has the ability to help kids succeed with their academics, even if it’s ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed,” added Florence. “We help parents be successful, even those who don’t have the funds to pay for a tutor. Our mission is to help as many students to achieve as we can.”

The Oxford Method has over 100 tutors around the country, covering all subject areas. They offer online tutoring, as well as in-person and in-classroom options. Their tutoring services are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Instructors have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with many of them having a master’s degree, Ph.D., and at least four years of teaching experience. The Oxford Method works with their nonprofit, Social Actualization, Inc., by giving them 10% of all profits. The funds are used to provide free computers, high-speed internet, and instruction to underprivileged families in urban and rural America. Plus, 40% of their instructors are PhDs, 40% have a master’s degree, and 20% have only a bachelor’s degree.

The Oxford Method believes that education is the great equalizer and the best gift you can give the next generation. Subject areas include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as business, social studies, psychology, English, history, public speaking, study methods, test-taking, and more. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the website.

Award illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

NYC Scholastic Art × Writing Awards

New York City Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Exhibition

Now on View at The Met

Art and Writing by 2021 Gold Key Winners on Display in The Met’s Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education

The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and The Metropolitan Museum of Art have announced the opening of the seventh annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition at The Met’s Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. This special exhibition is now on view and is free to the public through May 21, 2021.

The exhibition features more than 200 works of art and writing by New York City based Gold Key recipients participating in the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teens. This year, students from all five boroughs in grades 7-12 submitted more than 10,000 works in 28 categories to the New York City regional program of the Awards, representing more than 300 schools.

Education has been at the heart of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s mission since our founding in 1870, said Heidi Holder, the Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chair of Education at The Met. Now, more than ever, we are committed to investing in education and supporting the creativity of New York City’s young people. It is an honor to present the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition in partnership with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This annual exhibition demonstrates the power of art to transform, uplift, and challenge us.

All works were blindly adjudicated by accomplished creative and literary professionals based on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal vision or voice. This year, the exhibition will present framed prints of students’ work, due to ongoing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure equitable access for all the student artists.

The artworks on display at The Met received top regional awards and were eligible to receive national honors through a second round of judging, which can open further opportunities for exhibition and publication, as well as access to scholarships. The Awards have honored distinguished artists since 1923, including Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Kay WalkingStick, John Baldessari, Luis Jimenez, and Catherine Murphy, whose works are in The Met collection.

Chris Wisniewski, Executive Director, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, said: The creativity of our city’s teens has continued to flourish despite a year of unprecedented challenges. It has never been more important to celebrate diverse student voices and encourage the artistic expression of a generation of rising leaders. The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is thrilled to partner with The Met to showcase the exceptional young winners of the 2021 New York City Scholastic Awards.

The Alliance partners with Parsons School of Design at The New School and Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School to present the regional New York City Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition at The Met is presented with generous support from The New York Times, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, and Scholastic Inc.

To learn more about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, visit the Scholastic Media Room online.

About the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, identifies teenagers with exceptional creative talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Founded in 1923, the Awards program is the longest-running, most prestigious initiative of its kind, having fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships.

About The Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens, businessmen and financiers as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day, who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. Today, The Met displays tens of thousands of objects covering 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City: The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. Since its founding, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.