Posts by Danielle Braff

latest album

Ben Thomas Turns His Latest Album into Opportunities

When Ben Thomas produced his latest album, ‘Bring Forth,’ he didn’t know it would lead him here. In the middle of creating his latest album of repurposed hymns, Ben Thomas had a revelation: art is inside everyone and, given the proper tools, everyone can create it. For a man whose entire career had led to this moment, it meant changing direction entirely to help others let their inner artist escape. “What if I could create        …read more

mentoring programs

Triple Threat Mentoring Programs Launch At-Risk Kids into Amazing Futures

A couple gave up their jobs and everything they owned to create mentoring programs that help kids reach their fullest potential. Originally Caleb Luper was living day to day as many people do, and mentoring programs didn’t cross his mind. Out of college, he worked for a developer and was super excited to receive his first paycheck. One paycheck led to the next, and he found himself eight years in, married and the not-so-proud owner of lots        …read more

mindfulness meditation

What Happens When Mindfulness Meditation Replaces School Detention?

Teachers and parents are discovering the surprising effects of providing mindfulness meditation at school. Many of the young students at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore lead chaotic lives. Some of their parents are in prison, many don’t eat outside of school, and the clothes on their backs are all they own. But as soon as they enter their school, they’re in an oasis of calm. The day begins with 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation.        …read more

help animals

How 6 Artists Focused Their Skills to Help Dogs Find Furever Homes

Concerned for displaced and abandoned pets, these artists help dogs by photographing, drawing and painting them to open hearts and homes. With a needle in one hand, a veterinary technician was about to euthanize a dog, when she glanced at a photo that Nanette Martin had taken of him in the photographer’s effort to help dogs find homes. The technician put the needle away and later told Martin, cofounder and executive director of Shelter Me Photography, that he simply        …read more

monster drawing

The Monster Drawing Mash: 6 Artists Crushing It

Monster drawing is making a comeback, and we’re gobbling up the kooky designs of these 6 artists. Most people who grew up anytime after 1971 are familiar with Jon Stone’s beloved bedtime story The Monster at the End of This Book. And for some, listening to that book time after time, night after night, that lovable Grover monster drawing just may have gotten into their heads. And remained there. Grover and his other monster friends are partly        …read more

internet troll

Women in Media vs. the Internet Troll

What compels the internet troll to target women in media? In recent days, Leslie Jones’ website became a target of hackers who, in addition to exposing her driver’s license and passport photos, juxtaposed nude images of the Saturday Night Live star with photos of Harambe, the silverback gorilla who was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo this summer. The cyber-attack on Jones brings to mind the memorable words of her Ghostbusters character: “I don’t know if it was a race        …read more

scout trooper helmet

Scout Trooper Helmet Designs Raise Massive Donation for Make-A-Wish

When you give an artist a blank scout trooper helmet and total freedom, the results are brilliant. It was a dream assignment for Tom Spina, owner of Tom Spina Designs in New York. The owner of a company known for restoring original movie props, among other things, received an unfinished scout trooper helmet. You know, the one from Star Wars? He was told to decorate it any way he wanted, no boundaries. “The instructions were        …read more


VR: openFrameworks Enables a New Dimension in Filmmaking

Meet the openFrameworks programmer and artist bringing VR to live-action filmmaking. James George, the openFrameworks author of DepthKit, had the seeds of art in his mind from childhood. He always had images floating around in his head, but when he put pencil to paper, he couldn’t execute those images properly. It was only when he was 14 and discovered Photoshop that he was finally able to create the art he’d always envisioned. “It was my        …read more


Meet Jody Steel, Master of Body Paint Art

With body paint art and a camera, she draws in millions of views. Every time Jody Steel doodles, she creates a time-lapse video of her work and pops it onto Facebook. She typically gets about 20,000 likes from her 2.7 million Facebook fans. These aren’t your typical doodles. The 22-year-old artist hailing from Hollywood, Florida, who now resides in Hollywood, California, draws on people, though she’s not a tattoo artist. Steel has hundreds of markers and hundreds of pens, and        …read more

‘Temple of Art’ — Get Ready for One of the Most Inspiring Documentary Films about Art

Among documentary films, this is the one we can’t wait to get our hands on. Barron Storey, an artist featured in one of the most anticipated documentary films, is addicted to his art. Storey — illustrator, graphic novelist and teacher — is at the top of his game. And yet, he says in a soon-to-be-released documentary, Temple of Art, he sometimes struggles. He must proceed, though, because as an artist, he simply cannot stop. “I am absolutely dedicated and addicted        …read more

Children in Need Program

The ABC’s of Serving NYC’s Children in Need

How one organization saved thousands of homeless youth. Victor Reyes and his brother were born HIV-positive. Reyes, along with his two brothers and sister (two out of the four children were HIV-positive) went from their mother’s arms to their grandmother’s home through foster care, until they were finally adopted by a foster parent after a few years. Sometimes they were short on food, money and love. But through it all, one thing in their lives stayed constant:        …read more

portraits performing arts

Mozawa Spotlights Millennials in Performing Arts & Mixed Media Masterpieces

Performing arts & mixed media take the stage in Chicago. In a Chicago art gallery last summer, a group of more than 55 international visual and performing artists from diverse artistic mediums took to the stage. A Chicago harp quartet, a New York sculptor, an Australian sound artist, a Japanese drummer and many others met for three intense nights under the direction of Matthew Ozawa in order to change the way people view millennials. “We        …read more