Please don't think for a minute that I have done all of this by myself. For every child receiving a book there are 10 people who work locally to sponsor the program by raising money, registering kids and to do whatever they can do to make the Imagination Library successful. There is no better example of this than the effort in Southwark. Once again, kind and gentle souls have taken a dream conjured up in Tennessee and given it new life in their community.
Champagne Life is the first ever exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery showcasing works solely from female artists. The gallery is getting a lot of coverage for this (though the Tate Modern has been doing an impressive job for a while now in showcasing female artists). So, why now?
Creativity is our unique national treasure, able to transform a skinny, eccentric teenager from Brixton into a global rock icon, a transcendent creator, a zeitgeist. From Shakespeare to Bowie and beyond, we've been in the business of creative blockbusters for hundreds of years - it's time to recognise it. Let's finally wake up to our own global powerhouse.
We realised early on that any conversation about arts funding has to overcome the presumption that art is a luxury, the icing on the cake. The contrary is true: art and culture is the stuff with which prosperous and healthy societies are built, but it is so integrated our lives that it takes an effort to stand back and see its benefits. Local authorities remain the largest investors in arts and culture, and the Arts Council's most important funding partners: they face hard choices over the next few years.
Photograph by kind permission of 'Animal Rights Photography' "London holds the key to abolishing the Taiji dolphin slaughter. I really do believe th...
Bowie's favourite books reveal a great deal about his character and, indeed, his creative process. The list mentions obscure works that have become paradoxically mainstream -reminding us of Bowie. The choices are cultish, irreverent and brimming with heterodox.
Where do you go then if you want to understand the DPRK and its 25 million citizens? The answer is literature. The catalogue of North Korea-centred writing is burgeoning right now and many books in the catalogue are very good. With this in mind, here's a selection of six of the best.
"There's a good book in everyone!" How many times have we heard that? As an author and ghost-writer I hear it more often than most and I normally smile and politely nod my head. I think most people see through me because I'm not a good liar but quite simply there isn't a good book in everyone despite what people think.
Any visitor will be struck by two observations: first, despite a lack of admissions charge, museums are battling for visitors, with their ice rink and glorious facades; and second the Natural History Museum is winning.
New year: it's the time for re-invention, re-discovery and resolutions. One of our resolutions is always to do more, learn more, see more. What better time than the New Year to take stock, to reflect, and to look forward. This is what we, at London Art Studies, are looking forward to in London in 2016.
I went to the theatre quite a lot this year, mainly because I couldn't get tickets for the final One Direction concert. In lieu of throwing my pants at Harry Styles here are the best things I saw in 2015.
While I can laugh now, the portrayal of dwarfism in pop culture and entertainment can be damaging to young people coping with their condition in vulnerable early years. Growing up there were few, if any, positive role models in mainstream culture.
Reducing an 80,000-word book to two hours of visual entertainment while keeping all the main story-lines, the humour, the dark psychology of Dorian and maintaining a dramatic narrative was challenging.
There's a reason why authors have been revered throughout the ages and held in high regard. It's because most books are seventy-thousand to ninety-thousand words long, and writing them takes unusually high levels of tenacity, persistence and perseverance. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
From kicking back in a salsa bar to learning about local cuisine in a cooking class, Puerto Rico is a hotbed of cultural experiences, and whilst we love whiling away the day on a spectacular beach, we can never resist the opportunity to sample some local life. Here are some of our favourite local Puerto Rican experiences...