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Skirball Cultural Center

This is a past exhibition

This exhibition was on view at the Skirball
January 21–May 31, 2021

About the Exhibition

Facing a changing labor market and diminishing opportunities, individuals and families across the United States are struggling to survive in the world’s wealthiest country.

Based on the New York Times bestselling book by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the online exhibition Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope took a humane approach to understanding America’s most complex problems, including the opioid epidemic, the prison-industrial complex, and a lack of affordable healthcare. Through the stories of people in both urban and rural communities, Tightrope shared the trials and triumphs of a nation in need.

Featuring more than twenty-five images by acclaimed photojournalist Lynsey Addario, the exhibition invited us to take an unflinching look at crises hiding in plain sight. After experiencing the exhibition’s vivid storytelling, visitors were invited to read the exhibition’s accompanying Action Guide—a short list of ideas and organizations offering viable solutions to overcome a half-century of policy failure and transform the lives of Americans reaching for hope.

About the Authors and Photographer

Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas D. Kristof have co-authored several bestselling books together advancing social conscience, including Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity. Together they were awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2009. WuDunn is also a business executive and Kristof an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. He won his second Pulitzer in 2006 for his columns on the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist whose work focuses on conflicts and human rights issues, especially the role of women globally. Addario regularly works for The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time magazine. She is the recipient of numerous international awards throughout her career, including a MacArthur Fellowship and the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, both in 2009. Addario received a BA in international relations and Italian from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

More to Explore

An Evening with Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn | Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope

Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn talk about the many challenges facing the American public, especially in the context of historical and current events, and offer ideas for how we might forge a new path forward.

Donor Support

The exhibition and its related educational programs are made possible by generous support from the following donors:

Rebekah and Howard Farber
Karsh Family Foundation

Funding for this exhibition and the related virtual programs has also been provided by California Humanities and the State of California through the California State Library.