• July 2015

The Business of History

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn,” said Benjamin Franklin, whose undeniable genius, ingenuity, and wisdom helped shape the nation we live in today.

This month, we say cheers to the courage and determination of all of America’s Founding Fathers and Mothers, whom we also have the privilege of honoring and promoting through David Bruce Smith’s Grateful American™ Foundation — an organization for which Inkandescent Public Relations has been the executive producer since 2013.

Dedicated to restoring enthusiasm in American history, the Grateful American™ Foundation uses multimedia tools — including an online magazine, a TV channel featuring videos for kids and adults, a monthly radio program, and books — to shine a spotlight on the nation’s top presidential and historic homes, whose programs and tours aim to raise the nation’s history IQ.

“The Grateful American™ Foundation is the hub in the middle of the wheel of the nation’s top organizations that celebrate American history,” says Smith, an author and publisher based in Washington, DC. Since July 4, 2014, Smith has taken his audience inside such national treasures as George Washington’s Mount Vernon and President Lincoln’s Cottage, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the New-York Historical Society, and dozens more.

The inspiration for the title of the Grateful American™ Foundation came from his father, Robert H. Smith. “He always referred to himself that way, and I admired that. The DC community and this country have been good to my family, and he never forgot it. I haven’t either. This is my way of giving back.”

As our way of giving back, we celebrate the Independence Day issue of Be Inkandescent magazine with a Q&A with one of the great American sculptors of our age — Ivan Schwartz of StudioEIS. The art that he and his family create grace the grounds of nearly every presidential and historic home in the country.

From the statue of Honest Abe and his horse, Old Bob, standing proud at President Lincoln’s Cottage in DC (shown here), to the much-touched bronze of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, and the iconic statue of George and Martha Washington at Mt. Vernon, Schwartz and his team are prolific and talented. It was a pleasure for David Bruce Smith and me to interview him last month at his studio in Brooklyn, NY.

Scroll down for our Q&A, and click Play to watch our video below.

Also in this issue:

  • Historian Dr. Allida Black shares Eleanor Roosevelt’s belief that “Tomorrow Is Now” by letting us run the essay she wrote for the introduction of Roosevelt’s book — a page-turner that is as relevant today as it was when it was published in 1962. Don’t miss their Leadership lessons.
  • George Washington University professor Dr. Faye Moskowitz shares her take on Cokie Roberts’ new book, Capital Dames.
  • We introduce you to Nick Bunker, winner of the 2015 Washington Book Prize for his original take on the Boston Tea Party in the new tome, Empire on the Edge.

  • And our newest columnist, Chef Ann Butler, offers four recipes to cook up with your kids on July 4 — including two tasty creations courtesy of the James Beard Foundation’s Better Burger Project, as well as a side of easy-to-make sweet potato fries, and a beautiful Fruity American Flag. Find out how Chef Ann teaches kids to cook — so they will be well-fed, heart-smart, and healthy for life.

In celebration of all of our gifts and freedoms as Americans, the editorial staff at Be Inkandescent magazine leaves you with this parting thought from Thomas Jefferson, who said: No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free, no one ever will.

Happy Birthday, America! — Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine • Founder, Inkandescent Public Relations

Ivan Schwartz Is Sculpting History

JULY 2015: THE FACE OF AMERICA

For years, sculptor Ivan Schwartz and his team have been carving 3-D replicas of the nation’s most famous figures. Now, we shine a light on the man who brings the legends to life.

By Hope Katz Gibbs, Publisher, Be Inkandescent and
David Bruce Smith, Founder Grateful American™ Foundation

American sculptor Ivan Schwartz is a painter and inventor who has always been interested in what lies in his peripheral vision. That perspective is incredibly clear when you’re here in his fantastic Brooklyn studio, StudioEIS.

The initials reflect the fact that StudioEIS is a family affair (the E is for Ivan’s brother, Elliot Schwartz (pictured above, left). They also work with their sister, Debra Schwartz, whom they credit with keeping the studio running smoothly.

Last month, we toured StudioEIS and talked with the sculptor about his past and what he envisions for his future. Scroll down for our interview.

And click here to watch the video of our day at StudioEIS.


David Bruce Smith: Tell us what you mean when you refer to looking at the world from a peripheral point of view.

Ivan Schwartz: What we try to do here is differentiate between what is real and what people hold in their imagination. For example, if we were commissioned to do a sculpture of George Washington, the visual information that we would be given for background would be very limited. We would quickly see a huge difference between what has been written about Washington — extensive descriptions of his personality, how he smiled a lot and had a great sense of humor, and even liked to dance — and the images we see of him. Washington always looks like he’s not a very happy guy. So the question we ask ourselves is how can we find the real person that is not the construct of those painters, sculptors, and photographers. And that’s what I consider to be peripheral vision: It exists, but you have to mine it.

Hope Katz Gibbs: What made you decide to become a sculptor?

Ivan Schwartz: I think a lot of artists become artists because they were influenced by others. In my case, it was a high school art teacher. He knew I had no interest in all the regular studies that would have pointed me in the direction of a premed degree, which was one part of it. The other is that I think artists are speculators, and risk takers. They want to challenge themselves with ideas and the possibility of creating something that never existed before. The confluence of those two things was important for me.

David Bruce Smith: The result has been a very diverse portfolio, including sculptures of icons ranging from James and Dolley Madison to Andy Taylor from “The Andy Griffith Show” and Samantha Stephens from “Bewitched.” How did you make the shift from one genre to another?

Ivan Schwartz: We are able to make the transition, I think, because we started the business years ago making portraits. The first set was for the Richard Nixon Library, which was creating a portrait gallery of world leaders. We worked on Soviet leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev, and Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong, which was cool because all of these peoples were enemies during the Cold War. Those who did work in public spaces took note, and we started getting hired by entertainment venues, architects, and designers whose work is not limited to the literal or allegorical. Soon, our portraits and sculptures began appearing anywhere people wanted to tell a human story. That’s how we’ve changed the landscape of what is possible when it comes to creating art in public places.

Don’t stop now! Click here to read more of the Q&A on the Grateful American™ Foundation. And if you want to improve your History IQ, click here for tips from David Bruce Smith.

How Much US History Do Americans Actually Know? Less Than You Think. The Smithsonian asks David Bruce Smith how we can fix this problem

How much do you know about American history?

A 2008 study by the Intercollegiate
Studies Institute,
which surveyed more than 2,500 Americans, found that only half of US adults could name the country’s three branches of government.

The 2014 National Assessment of Educational Progress
(NAEP) report
found that only 18 percent of 8th graders were proficient or above in US history, and only 23 percent were proficient in civics.

To help you increase your history IQ, below you’ll find some insights from David Bruce Smith, an American author and editor, and founder of the Grateful American™
Foundation.

The interactive educational series aims to restore a passion for history in kids and adults. We interviewed Smith about his program and his thoughts on how teachers can make American history enjoyable to learn.


Be Inkandescent: How did you develop a passion for American History?

David Bruce Smith: I was born loving history. When I was a little boy, my grandfather said I should read biographies — especially about great people like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. He believed that knowledge would flow into my young mind and pool into a reservoir of wisdom that I would be able to tap in the future. It was good advice. My mother was also a bibliophile. She kept me supplied with books about everyone from Madame Curie and Winston Churchill to Catherine the Great and Joseph Lister.

Be Inkandescent: You started the Grateful American™ Foundation in 2014 and the Grateful American™ Book Prize in 2015. What was your inspiration for these, and what do you hope to achieve through the projects?

David Bruce Smith: The Grateful American™ Book Prize for authors of kid-friendly books based on factual events and people in American history was created partially because I was becoming more aware of the multigenerational historical illiteracy in our country. The prize, and our Grateful American™ Foundation, also honors my father, Robert H. Smith, who often referred to himself as a “grateful American.” We are a fortunate family, and because of that, he felt very strongly about giving back. During the last 20 years of his life, he devoted himself to education, and nothing excited him more than to see a child excited about learning — particularly history.

Hopefully, the prize and the Foundation will move kids — and adults — to become more enthusiastic about history via videos, games, and interactive activities.

Be Inkandescent: What can schools and parents do to foster interest in history for their kids? What are some innovative techniques you suggest?

David Bruce Smith: The onus of making an appreciable shift is — unfortunately — on the teachers, because often, parents have as little historical literacy as their kids. Most importantly: The teacher has to be interesting and imaginative, and he or she should have an educational credential. Class materials should be fun and exciting; all history is, after all, is story-telling. Primary and secondary sources should also be included; they would give immediacy to whatever is being studied. And, because funds are scarce almost everywhere, why haven’t more businesses pitched in with resources? The students are their future employees. Better to have an informed workplace than not.

Be Inkandescent: Do you see this lack of interest in history among kids as a problem in just the United States, or is it a problem worldwide?

David Bruce Smith: I don’t know if history malaise is a worldwide problem. Though it is a prickly issue, it is solvable. It might take 25 years to fix, but slow progress is better than none.

Be Inkandescent: What books do you recommend for teachers to help kids learn about American history?

David Bruce Smith: Here are some books I recommend:

  • Esther Forbes’ “Johnny Tremain” (Revolutionary War)
  • Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” (Civil War)
  • “The Diary of Anne Frank” (World War ll)
  • Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With The Wind” (Civil War)
  • Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn” (Civil War)
  • Leon Uris’ “Exodus” (World War ll)
  • Irving Stone’s “Those Who Love” (Abigail and John Adams)
  • “Love is Eternal” (Mary Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln)
  • “The President’s Lady” (Rachel and Andrew Jackson).

Be Inkandescent: What period of American history is most intriguing to you?

David Bruce Smith: My favorite period is the Civil War. A troubled time, but also a “Second” Declaration of Independence. I believe it was the formal beginning of civil rights, and for the disenfranchised, the eventual Emancipation Proclamation was the first concrete document to push for freedom and equal protection under the laws of the Constitution. Out of all the bad, some good has come — so far it’s been a 150-year search of questioning, questioning, questioning, and trying for the most part to make a better country — even if the way forward has been more of a zigzag than a straight line.

Click here to learn more about David Bruce Smith’s
Grateful American™ Foundation.

Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.”

– Jack Kerouac

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.”

– Jalaluddin Rumi

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

– Thomas Carlyle

As each woman realizes her power, she transforms the world.”

– Patrice Wynne, WomanSpirit Sourcebook

The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

– Cecil B. DeMille

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

– Christopher Robin to Pooh

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity 
and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”

– Indira Ghandi

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

– Magical

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

– E.B. White

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow.”

– Langston Hughes

The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.”

– Corita Kent

No longer talk at all about the kind of man a good man ought to be, but be such.”

– Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

– Buddha

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

– Leo Jozef Suenens

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”

– President Calvin Coolidge

You may ask me for anything you like except time.”

– Napoleon

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.”

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

Persist and persevere, and you will find most things that are attainable, possible.”

– Lord Chesterfield

Who cares if my glass is half empty or half full; I still have something to drink.”

– Optimism rules

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

The gem cannot be polished without friction; nor man perfected without trials.”

– Chinese proverb

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”

– Woodrow Wilson

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

– Henry Miller

The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.”

– Andrew Carnegie

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity.”

– Ray Bradbury

The dove descending breaks the air / With flame of inkandescent terror.”

– T.S. Eliott

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

– Tony Robbins

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’”

– Brian Tracy

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

– Leonard Cohen

The good ideas are all hammered out in agony by individuals, not spewed out by groups.”

– Charles Brower, Advertising Hall of Fame

Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them.”

– Richard Dumb

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

– Seneca

The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

– Eckhart Tolle

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

A diamond is a lump of coal that stuck with it.”

– Norwegian proverb

Education is an admirable thing to have, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

– Oscar Wilde

We are all of us born with a letter inside us, and that only if we are true to ourselves, may we be allowed to read it before we die.”

– Douglas Coupland

Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”

– Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

– Bob Dylan

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

– Winston Churchill

Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for the sources of innovation that indicate opportunities for success.”

– Peter F. Drucker

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

Books

The 2015 Washington Book Prize Winner Goes to "An Empire on the Edge"

Historian Nick Bunker offers a new account of the Boston Tea Party and the origins of the American Revolution.

Read more...

Education

History Matters at The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

As president and CEO of The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Jim Basker talks about the exciting ways they promote the study and love of the nation’s history.

Read more...

Food

Ann Butler of Edible Education Shares Four Fun Recipes to Make With Your Kids for the Fourth of July

Step aside Mom and Dad! Kids are taking over the kitchen on July 4 with these four recipes by Chef Ann Butler, founder of Edible Education.

Read more...

Futurists

Is Average Over?

There is an innovation revolution afoot, says futurist Michael Vidikan. He quotes an economics professor who says that machine intelligence will kill most middle-class jobs, and that “the future will belong to a minority of people who have the talent and discipline to work effectively with smart machines.”

Read more...

Hiring

The History of Human Resources

It wasn’t until after World War II that most US employers fully understood that how they treated employees made a profound difference in their productivity, explains hiring expert Barbara Mitchell. In fact, it was Peter Drucker who coined the term “human resource” in the 1950s.

Read more...

History

Winners Announced for National History Day Contest

On June 18, awards were presented for the 41st annual National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland. Here’s to shining a spotlight on students who love history!

Read more...

Joy

Tapping Into the Alchemy of Joy

Joy and laughter expert Esther Russell, our new columnist, relishes seeing the delight in a client’s face when they experience an “aha!” moment — “when something deep stirs inside and you start shifting the way you see yourself or your reality.”

Read more...

Leadership

Dr. Allida Black Explains Why "Tomorrow Is Today"

In her historic book, “Tomorrow Is Now,” Eleanor Roosevelt provides a look at the world that is eerily current. Dr. Allida Black offers insights.

Read more...

Andrew Carnegie

Publisher
Hope Katz Gibbs
Art Director
Michael Glenwood Gibbs
Website developer
Max Kukoy
Managing Editor
Kathleen McCarthy
Associate Editor
Mary Tostanoski
Editorial Interns
Meet our 2015 team

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Networking

Celebrate the Fourth of July at George Washington's Mount Vernon

Attend “An American Celebration” at George Washington’s Mount Vernon on Saturday, July 4, 2015, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Click here to buy tickets.

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PR Rules

What Would a Website for the American Revolution Have Looked Like?

If Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin had created a website for the American Revolution, what would it have looked like? Here are some ideas!

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Quotes

Revolutionary Ideas: A Month's Worth of Wisdom About the Founding of America

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — Thomas Jefferson

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Inkandescent Radio

Cate Magennis Wyatt Takes Us on a "Journey Through Hallowed Ground"

Bringing visitors to the hallowed ground where the Founding Fathers and Mothers lived is the focus of most of the Grateful American™ Series. So it is pleasure today to be with Cate Magennis Wyatt, founder and president of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership.

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Restaurants

Taste the French Revolution Happening at Richmond's Amour Wine Bistro

Frenchman Paul Heitz knows that French cuisine — served elegantly, properly, and made with only the best ingredients — makes for a perfect meal. Why don’t Americans comprendre?

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Retirement

Long-Term Care Insurance: Can You Afford Not to Buy It?

Do you have long-term care insurance? If not, you may want to reconsider, suggests Egan, Berger & Weiner partner Dave Beck. “Do you think it’s too expensive, or you really won’t need it? Statistics show that the odds are against you.”

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Speakers Bureau

Karen Hanrahan Is Making History

Karen Hanrahan has worked with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and now the deputy assistant secretary of USAID’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor gives us insight into the politics of human rights.

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Inkandescent TV

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History Opens a New Wing

Don’t miss this Q&A with the Smithsonian’s John Gray about the new Innovation Wing that opens July 1.

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Truly Amazing Women™

Cokie Roberts Introduces Us to "Capital Dames"

Award-winning political commentator Cokie Roberts uses her formidable journalistic skills to give us a new look at “Capital Dames.”

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Andrew Carnegie

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