More than skin deep: Dr. Rada Shakov, MD & Dr. Emil Shakov, MD of The Youth Fountain wellness center

Entering the second year of pandemic-living has left people all around the world wilting under the pressure to adapt to what is now being considered “the new normal.” For most, it feels anything but normal. To combat the virus, countless spaces in the health and wellness world had to be shut down for public safety, leaving many people unable to gain the help and relief they need. These unprecedented times are tough and mentally challenging. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and there is a deep two-way connection between the brain and skin that can cause issues for both what shows up on our body’s largest organ and how we react to it.

Failure is an integral part of any creative person’s life: An interview with Steven D. Lavine

In Steven D. Lavine — Failure is What It’s All About, award-winning German author and journalist Jörn Jacob Rohwer explores the story of the California Institute of the Arts and its legendary twenty-nine year president Dr. Steven D. Lavine. 

“From 1988 until 2017, I served as President of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). During this time, CalArts distinguished itself as a progressive and internationally influential leader in each of the arts taught at the college—art, dance, theater, music, film/video, and writing—and became a pace-setter in domestic diversity, community engagement, international linkage, and in the production and presentation of cutting edge professional work.”

Bokyung Byun​ is pushing boundaries as a female guitarist

In an industry that is typically male-dominated and favors Western music sensibilities, many of today’s finest instrumentalists are women of Asian descent. Artists like Bokyung Byun are changing the game and marching to her own beat.

Bokyung Byun​ is a classical guitarist who enjoys a reputation as one of the most sought-after guitarists of her generation. Born in Seoul, Korea, Bokyung began playing guitar at the age of six. At eleven, she took the stage for her first solo recital, leading to an early start in her teen years performing numerous concert tours around Korea, to enthusiastic response, including millions of views on YouTube.

Photographer Emmanuel Whajah captures the heart and pain of the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests

Protests erupted around the world after the death of George Floyd on May 25th, and the threat of a global pandemic calmly took a backseat. A rush of justifiable rage flowed against ongoing racial injustice. There’s so much pain and anger. Regardless of face masks, the agony spilled from peoples’ eyes, unable to remain hidden.

Les Twins perform a powerful street dance to My Mind

Larry Bourgeois, one half of the legendary French dance duo Les Twins, performed a poignant dance to “My Mind” by YEBBA that will move you to tears. The raw, yet controlled riffs and runs of the Grammy-nominated singer’s soulful vocals are equally matched by Larry’s precise movements. He feels, interprets and communicates every aspect of the music including the emotional weight of the lyrics YEBBA’s breathtaking voice sings. Watch the moving freestyle above, it will touch your soul.  

Les Twins (Larry & Laurent Bourgeois) are continually proving they are more then just amazing dancers, they are amazing performers.

A Private View: Prince through the lens of his personal photographer Afshin Shahidi

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Iranian born photographer and filmmaker Afshin Shahidi first met Prince in 1993. After working as his cinematographer on numerous video projects he was invited to document his 2002 One Night Alone Tour, and would become Prince’s personal photographer for a decade. This unexpected journey led to a close friendship, sleepless nights, frantic last-minute flights, and the distinction of being the only photographer granted access to Prince’s private 3121 parties.

Prince: A Private View takes you behind the lens on an intimate trip through the extraordinary life of the legendary musician through never-before-seen photos and personal recollections.

The dark side: Anis Maknojia on filming horror short “Jack” amidst pandemic

The line crossing art and reality blurred during what felt like a real life horror movie, the pandemic of 2020. Amidst the Coronavirus, in order to relieve anxiety and cope with fears many people gravitated towards watching thrillers. 2011’s Contagion quickly became one of the most streamed films due to the eerie parallels mirrored onscreen with the global virus playing out in real time offscreen. A new subgenre even emerged called ‘quar-horror’ that probed at what is scary about staying home. For Actor and producer Anis Maknojia, he was able to cope with the pandemic through creating the horror short Jack.

Army Veteran and author Dee Bryant empowers young girls to be anything they want to be in Girls Wear Combat Boots Too

We all have moments where we are faced with challenges. How we face those challenges and move past them is an important process in growing as an individual. This is hard enough as adults, but children may not have the maturity or tools to move beyond their struggles. So, what can they do? This is where Dee Bryant comes in.

Dee Bryant is retired military leader, a motivational speaker, and a two-time published author, with one goal in mind—helping to inspire children towards positive change. Dee is determined to help kids tackle the issues before them, while getting them to understand, that they can move past their fear consisting of self-doubt, fear of failure, or fear of making mistakes. 

Self-Love & Rebuilding Confidence: Monica Luisi

Everybody gets stuck somewhere along the way, but when you can free yourself to be your true self, you’ll have a beacon that leads you where you need to go. By letting go of the judgement, you embrace positivity and let go of the past. It is a sense of loving yourself, a desire for new experiences and a driving ambition that leads you to make the most of every opportunity that life has to offer. Monica Luisi’s story will inspire you to have self-confidence and faith in yourself despite what others might say.

Armand Peri on how to develop a success mindset

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In order to accomplish what you want in life, the path to success must begin by implementing the right mindset. Through his twenty years of experience in personal development and business, Armand Peri is an expert when it comes to developing a success-orientated mindset. He is dedicated to helping others find their true hidden potential and motivate them to start their lifelong journey towards greatness.

Armand has proven himself in more than one professional field. As his companies and portfolio continue to grow, so does he.

Spreading her wings: Lili Liu on breaking free from her fixed identity as a pianist

We often identify ourselves based on what we do, believing it is our identity. This fixed identity is often tied to the core of our sense of self when defining who we are. Sometimes we are seen as being one thing, when we have more to offer. Renown classical pianist Lili Liu knows this dilemma all too well. Her identity reaches far beyond the practice room or the global stage. Lili is constantly on a mission to reinvent herself, to grow and seek out new ways for self-expression.

Paul Lamar Hunter’s story will inspire you to never give up

Paul Lamar Hunter grew up in a two-bedroom house with twenty-one siblings, often without enough food, clothes or space to sleep to go around. Despite this, he’s overcome the perils of poverty, neglect, abuse and family dysfunction to become the first in his family to earn a college degree. His story is proof that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. The proud father of four shows that neither limits nor lineage determines the quality of one’s life. Though adversity changed the trajectory of his life, his touching story about personal triumph and beating the odds will inspire you to persevere.