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Big Picture Press welcomes new creative arts non-fiction collection

Big Picture Press, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, is thrilled to announce the launch of new non-fiction collection ‘Welcome to the Arts’. 

Following on from the bestselling non-fiction collection ‘Welcome to the Museum’, which has been sold in over 20 territories across the globe, the new series will feature a collection of beautifully illustrated non-fiction books that are focused on the creative arts. 

The first instalment Dance is curated by Sir Alistair Spalding, artistic director and CEO at Sadler’s Wells Theatre and illustrated by multi award-winning artist Jason Raish. 

Brilliantly curated and beautifully illustrated, Dance offers all-hours admission to some of the world’s most wondrous performances, from Swan Lake to Riverdance, flamenco to tap.

Published in conjunction with Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Dance features some of the most iconic performances and popular dances from around the world and is the perfect gift for dance fans of all ages.

Sir Alistair Spalding, CEO of Sadler’s Wells comments: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Joanna and her colleagues on this book and with the wonderful illustrator Jason Raish. I learned so many things about the world of dance working on the book. I think it shows the richness and diversity of all its genres and its truly international nature as celebrated in every corner of the globe.”

Joanna McInerney, head of publishing at Big Picture Press, said: “We could not be more excited to unveil the launch of a new series, ‘Welcome to the Arts’, following the tremendous success of our ‘Welcome to the Museum’ series over the past decade, and to coincide with Big Picture Press’ 10-year anniversary. This new series aims to captivate readers worldwide by bringing the magic of the theatre right into their homes.

“To kickstart this endeavour, we are very proud to announce our partnership with Sadler’s Wells for the first book in the series, Dance. This beautifully illustrated publication offers readers an exclusive glimpse into the world’s finest performances, with insightful text authored by Sir Alistair Spalding.

“In the wake of the global pandemic, it is crucial that we acknowledge the invaluable contributions of the creative industries in enriching our culture. The ‘Welcome to the Arts’ series serves as a joyous celebration and recognition of the profound influence these industries have on our society.”

Helen Wicks, managing director of children’s trade at Bonnier Books UK said: “Big Picture Press’ iconic ‘Welcome to the Museum’ series set a new standard for children’s non-fiction. We are thrilled to continue this legacy with this stunning title, celebrating the magic of performance, its capacity to tell stories that enhance our lives, and its importance to our shared culture.”

Sir Alistair Spalding CBE has been the artistic director and chief executive of Sadler’s Wells theatre, London since 2004. He holds honorary doctorates from Middlesex University (2012), the University of Hertfordshire (2014) and the University of Roehampton (2015). Alistair was a national member of the Arts Council England Council from 2009 to 2017, and a member of the Arts Council England Dance Advisory Panel from 1995 to 2003. He was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2005 and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2012 for services to dance. In 2019, he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award by ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) in recognition of ‘unique lifetime achievement that has enriched the international performing arts’. In 2022, Alistair was awarded a Knighthood for Services to Dance in the New Year Honours list.

Jason Raish was born in South Korea and grew up in the forests of western New York state. He went on a six-year adventure living and freelancing with clients around the world including Beijing, Tokyo, Barcelona, Seoul, London and Paris. Currently, he lives and works in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and you can find him jogging around the park with his rescue husky, Dubuchim. Jason has received recognition and honours from The Society of Illustrators NY and LA, Communication Arts, American Illustration, 3×3 and Spectrum.

Welcome to the Arts: Dance will be publishing in hardback on 26th October 2023, followed by Music, the second instalment in the series in 2026.