Co founders Alex Stevens and Jo Kotas are both Londoners, born and bred. We love our city, its art, culture and people. Having lived and worked in London all our lives we know the Underground well, and mid recession, realised the untapped creative potential of the platform screens and how they could be used to give the artistic community a wonderful new platform to exhibit their creativity to a huge audience.
Shortly after, Jo travelled to Colombia, where she couldn’t help but notice the positive spirit of the Colombians in comparison to the downbeat yet affluent Londoners.
Then, the idea came. Why not use the screens to brighten the lives of commuters, by showing uplifting and inspiring films by the best artists to make the rush hour commute a more pleasurable experience?
Smile for London was born.
To prove the idea, we crafted a two-week pilot exhibition in January 2011. The pilot was a great success reaching approximately 1.5 million commuters, featuring across key press, blogs and websites with overwhelming support from both the public and artists alike. The story was even picked up by a South American news channel and delivered it to 25 million Latin Americans!
As proof of its success, Smile for London and our debut exhibition won the award for Best Non Advertising Content at Love Content 2011.
Click here to check out details of our January 2011 exhibition
We are now working together with our partners and the best artistic minds to evolve Smile for London into Smile Arts, a socially focused arts programme in London, and beyond.