Awuor Onguru says that if it were not for her continued exposure to arts education as a child, she never would have gotten into Yale University.

Growing up in a lower-middle-class family in Nairobi, Kenya, Ms. Onguru, now a 20-year-old junior majoring in English and French, started taking music lessons at the age of four. By 12, she was playing violin in the string quartet at her primary school, where every student was required to play an instrument. As a high school student on scholarship at the International School of Kenya, she was not only being taught Bach concertos, she also became part of Nairobi’s music scene, playing first violin in a number of local orchestras. Read more

Mombasa, Kenya: It is a tale of three cities.

To the north up the Kenyan coast is Lamu Town, its small streets humming with the sounds of chisels and hammers crafting Swahili doors, and donkeys carrying heavy loads of coral limestone. Locals and tourists jockey for space in the zigzagging alleys, with shops selling everything from silver jewelry to body products made with locally grown baobab.
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LONDONVictor Ehikhamenor remembers the first time he was called an artist. Born in 1970 in a small village in Edo State in Nigeria, Mr. Ehikhamenor was given a plastic camera when he was 9. Trying to mimic one of his uncles who had emigrated to the United States in the 1960s to study photography, he would line up his friends and pretend to take pictures of them. Read more

LONDON — When a great-uncle dies or an older parent downsizes, having to go through and organize boxes of family heirlooms can feel daunting. If the items include family silver, it can be especially overwhelming.

Finding out what’s worth keeping and what should be donated or sold involves more knowledge and skills than it takes to sort through mementos and photos. But taking the time to gather information about value and provenance could help avoid costly mistakes. Read more

LONDON — As Lisa Vine looked out over the River Thames from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Southbank Center’s Royal Festival Hall main foyer, she recalled first coming here as an 11-year-old girl in 1957 to attend a concert.

Over the decades, Ms. Vine, a retired teacher and native Londoner, who had stopped in for coffee on the way back from a nearby errand, has seen a lot of change here. She has not only watched the Southbank Center develop — with the Queen Elizabeth Hall opening in 1967 and the Hayward Gallery the next year — she has also seen the area around it grow and change, with the addition of artistic and performance spaces including the National Theater, the British Film Institute, the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe. Read more