Happy New Year! I am so grateful to kick off another year with you. This letter has been a touchstone of sorts, a filter for combing through what I've consumed and thought about and read in seemingly disparate subject-matter and media. It's often here, in this space, where I notice connections and make insights into ideas I could have just as easily overlooked. So thanks as always for reading along and replying with your own stories and ideas and recommendations.
In other, ahem, NEWS... We had an exciting launch of our family newspaper, The Little Enterprise, and are busily preparing Issue No 2. Join us on the ride right here!
My article for FACES Magazine, "Five Young Activists who are Changing the World" is on newsstands this month. This is such a special issue of a magazine with a fantastic mission: travel, culture, and empathy for the global kid (that's my take, at least). And here's a bit more info on how and why I put together this piece together.
In my 'To Read' queue: No Small Plans is a graphic novel (on city planning, design and urban history!) that empowers teens to become involved in creating the communities they want.
Just finished She Wants It by Jill Solloway. Lots of good stuff in here for women who make art. Here's Jill on her unnoticed television show, I Love Dick (based on the 1990's book by Chris Kraus): “Chris had written a book about feeling invisible and that maybe this created an alchemy where the show was destined to not be watched. I Love Dick was a scream, a rant, a cry about no one looking. Of not being able to get anyone to look.” And here's my love-letter to Jill's show, which happens to be one of my fave television series of the last several years.
Relatedly, I was fascinated by this article on women in the architecture profession in the Sunday Times a few weeks back. While the numbers of female architects at first glance appear to startlingly low, it doesn't tell the full story of what's happening in the world in placemaking, urbanism, and architecture. Women are transforming what it means to be successful in these fields, and they're committed to redefining the profession so it serves everyone, and not just the elite few.
The podcasts I'm listening to right now. (A master list updated for 2019!)
A few years ago I read Will Schwalbe's Books for Living and couldn't put it down. I just discovered But That's Another Story, a podcast where he interviews interesting and accomplished people on what they read as children and how reading and books play into their lives today. It's well-paced with just a touch of sparkly post-production flourishes. And the guests are compelling, to boot.
Here's one for the kiddos: Story Pirates. Forget buried treasure. These pirates are pillaging kids' imaginations for... stories! It's a terrific concept: kids get a chance to hear their own stories come to life.
Virginia Woolf on the formation of her Bloomsbury crew:
“We were full of experiments and reforms. We were going to do without table napkins; ... we were going to paint; to write; to have coffee after dinner instead of tea at nine o’clock. Everything was going to be new; everything was going to be different. Everything was on trial.”