The Fondation de France was established in 1969 to
help individuals and companies to carry out philanthropic, cultural, environmental
or scientific projects and social activities. It is a private non-profit organisation
recognised by the government as a charity working in the public interest.
The foundation is an umbrella organisation for other foundations; it receives
donations and legacies, and awards scholarships and prizes.
In terms of cultural production, the foundation seeks to restore to society, in all its diversity, the means to express its cultural aspirations and establish new relations with its artists. In this framework, the foundation has set up pilot programmes in which it carries out its mission as mediator between artists and society. It also helps develop tools for training and encouraging critical analysis.
LES NOUVEAUX COMMANDITAIRES (The New Patrons)
The protocol of the
Nouveaux Commanditaires sets out to shape the relationships between
society, its artists and their works in a contemporary way. This gives rise
to a novel relationship involving three protagonists: the artist, the citizen
as patron and the mediator. That relationship is the basis of a new model
of political economy for art.
This system opens up to all artists who so wish the opportunity of talking to someone who can be as involved as they are in the responsibility for producing a work and understanding why it exists. The artist’s legitimate right to ask for help in taking an initiative and society’s interest in granting him that help are linked to recognition of the purpose of art, recognition which is becoming all the more crucial because of the development of unprecedented cultural shifts.
All citizens who so wish have the opportunity to take on responsibility for commissioning a work of art in any field of creativity. The citizen, acting alone or in a group, becomes a patron when he recognizes within himself what lies at the basis of creativity for the contemporary artist: the same desire to express himself freely, the same determination to resist standardisation, the same need to imagine himself in a different way and to invent new paths.
Meanwhile, the primary role of the mediator is to create links between the protagonists involved, however different they may be. He listens to the ideas and convictions of each party and ensures they are respected. He helps translate them into deeds. He also manages the tensions and conflicts naturally provoked by the expression of desires and demands, and ensures that the artist’s vision is realised.
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