• 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 artworks 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 Mount 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 allowing us to 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: We try to 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, there is 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. 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. Also, 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 shaped 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.

Don’t stop now! Click here to read more of the Q&A on the Grateful American™ Foundation website. 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.

American author and editor David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, talked with reporter Saba Naseem at Smithsonian magazine recently about his foundation’s efforts to restore a passion for history in kids and adults. Scroll down for excerpts of their interview.


Smithsonian: 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.

Smithsonian: 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.

Smithsonian: 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, storytelling. 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.

Smithsonian: 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.

Smithsonian: 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)

Smithsonian:: 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.

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make Me Feel Important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

– Mary Kay Ash

Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what nurtures creative thinking.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

Treat the attainment of happiness in the same way an entrepreneur would approach building a business — with a vision, plan, goals, and a systematic approach.”

– Ted Leonsis

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

– Buddha

Look at everything as though you were
seeing it either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”

– Betty Smith

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

– Anais Nin

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

– Robert Frost

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

– Dalai Lama

The only dream worth having is to live while you’re alive and die only when you’re dead.”

– Arundhati Roy

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

– Thomas Edison

Anything not worth doing well is not worth doing.”

– Warren Buffett

Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!”

– Madam C.J. Walker

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

– Joseph Campbell

If you were independently wealthy and never had to work a day in your life, would you still choose to spend your time attempting to become a successful entrepreneur?”

– Steven Schussler

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more.
 If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

– Oprah Winfrey

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

– Albert Einstein

If you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.”

– Oprah Winfrey

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

– T.S. Eliot

Do you have the desire to create something new; the strength of conviction to believe your creation will be successful, and the reservoir of energy necessary to thrust it into the marketplace?”

– Steven Schussler

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

– Helen Keller

You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”

– Steve Jobs

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

– William Butler Yeats

I’ve come to confirm that one’s title, even that of president, says little about how well one’s life has been led. No matter how much you’ve done, or how successful you’ve been, there’s always more to do, to learn, and to achieve.”

– Barack Obama

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

– Indira Ghandi

If you do not tell the truth about yourself
you cannot tell it about other people.”

– Virginia Woolf

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

– Bruce Lee

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”

– J.K. Rowling

Passion makes perfect.”

– Eugene Biro

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

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.”

– Gandi

It is to no purpose to turn away from the real nature of the affair because the honor of its elements excites repugnance.

– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

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

– Charles Brower, Advertising Hall of Fame

Speaking more than one language is no longer just an asset in today’s job market; it is a requirement.”

– Tom Adams, CEO, Rosetta Stone

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison

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

– Brian Tracy

4oz tequila + 1oz TripleSec + 2oz lime juice + 1oz simple syrup (sugar=water), 1 cup crushed ice. Shake + dance around the kitchen.

– Avenida Margarita

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

A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”

– Carlos Castaneda

‎Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”

– Booker T. Washington

Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.”

– Benjamin Disraeli

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something.”

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

The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.”

– Voltaire

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

– Groucho Marx

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

– Corita Kent

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

– JFK

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

– Peter F. Drucker

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

– Oscar Wilde

We are not meant to resolve all contradictions, but to live with them and rise above them.”

– William Blake

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...

Cooking School

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...

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...

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

Esther Russell Helps Us Tap 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...

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: Wisdom from the Founding Fathers

“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

A French Revolution is Happening at Richmond's Amour Wine Bistro — Come in for a Taste

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