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04.14.22 | Arts & Culture

Literary Art: Our Favorite Picks This Spring

With a new season comes an endless list of exciting refreshing reads. As we continue to spotlight the importance of family connection, identity and storytelling through our Vibrant Living Program, we’re thrilled to spotlight some of the latest works of literacy art that celebrate each of those themes. Here are our picks: 

The Trayvon Generation, Elizabeth Alexander

Author Elizabeth Alexander reflects on the traumas of racism and racial violence in this passionate literature mix. Pulling soulful works from Lucille Clifton and Gwendolyn Brooks and a blend of expressive visual art, Alexander spotlights both the tragedies and hopes for what she refers to as the Trayvon Generation. Named one of New York Times’ and TIME Magazine’s most anticipated works of the year, The Trayvon Generation is an essential pick filled with eye-opening short stories and powerful lyricism. 

Because Our Fathers Lied, Craig McNamara

Families often consist of complicated relationships built from years of conflict and confusion. In his latest book, Craig McNamara shares the roots of his estranged relationship with his father, Robert S. McNamara, one of the architects of the Vietnam War. Through this courageous telling of love and neglect, McNamara captures a tale of multigenerational friction, sure to make any reader reflect on their own kindred connections.

12 Notes: On Life and Creativity, Quincy Jones

Known for his legendary music, Chicago native Quincy Jones explores literacy art with his latest project, 12 Notes: On Life and Creativity. The self-reflective novel features Jones sharing his wisdom on discovering a creative muse and using it to uplift yourself and those around you. Jones unveils his intimate creative process and shares a personal guide filled with lessons intended to embolden readers.

Finding Me: A Memoir, Viola Davis

Acclaimed actress Viola Davis finds a refreshing way to share her heartening life story in her first memoir, Finding Me. Davis, who believes that sharing stories “is the most powerful empathetic tool we have,” courageously documents her journey from living in poverty and turmoil to becoming one of the biggest stars in the world. Finding Me is more than just a deep reflection of life; it’s also an empowering story of expressing oneself and discovering identity.  

Whether you prefer reading alone, with a companion or in a book club, don’t hesitate to pick one or two of these books up for yourself this spring. And as with all good reads, spread the word to friends and family when you finish a book you really love!

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03.16.21 | Community

Our Guide to Spring Cleaning

With spring just around the corner, it’s time to talk about that dreaded annual task: spring cleaning. Luckily, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be something you dread. With the right planning and strategy — and the right people to help lend a hand and brighten the task — spring cleaning can be a breeze. To get you started on the right path, we present: Sage Collective’s guide to spring cleaning.

Partner Up and Plan

Spring cleaning is a much easier — and much more fun — task when you have someone else to do it with you. Whether it’s a neighbor, friend or family member, invite someone over to take on the job with you. Start off by boiling a fresh kettle of tea and putting on a favorite record to set the mood. Together, work to create a checklist of everything that has to be done and to dole out responsibilities accordingly. That way, you can tackle the challenge together, and maybe even sing along as you go.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Supplies

First and foremost, you should always consider your safety when going about cleaning the house. That’s why choosing the right cleaning supplies is essential to getting the job done right, and done without incident. Things like long-handled brooms and stand-up dust pans ensure that you won’t have to constantly bend down when sweeping. Meanwhile, when it comes to those hard-to-reach places, an extendable duster will help make getting to every nook and cranny much easier!

Not Just Cleaning — But Decluttering

In addition to getting your home spotless, sparkling and shining, spring cleaning is the perfect time to tackle decluttering. From cleaning out the medicine cabinet to remove clutter and the safety hazards posed by expired medications, to cleaning out the pantry and refrigerator of any expired or unused food objects, to tackling those piled up stacks of bills, you’ll thank yourself later! These things stack up throughout the year, but by tackling declutter each spring, you can ensure a home where what you want and need most is easy to store and find later. 

Thinking About Safety

Spring cleaning is also a great time to check-in on the safety initiatives you have in place in your home. Plan to check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure their batteries are still good and everything is in working order. And did you know fire extinguishers have an expiration date? Be sure to add checking those to the list! Because checking these things often requires climbing a ladder, consider enlisting a younger neighbor, caregiver or loved one to traverse the ladder for you in order to avoid fall risks. 

Other safety considerations to add to your spring cleaning checklist: check in on, or put together, a simple emergency kit. This can include first-aid kits, flashlights with spare batteries, and an easily-accessible list of numbers to call in case of an emergency. 

With these tips in mind, and with the right helping hands, spring cleaning might even become something you look forward to each year! 

A clear plastic spray bottle filled with yellow fluid. Lemons sit on the countertop next to the bottle
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