Our Programmes

Culture Beyond Borders

Using culture to encourage international understanding. Exploring the impact of neuroscience and the arts on an understanding of cultural conflict.

Education, Science and Creativity

In this programme we explore the broader significance of creativity, harnessing the creative potential in all people from the classroom to the boardroom to look beyond traditional boundaries.

Culture Beyond Borders

Using culture to encourage international understanding. Exploring the impact of neuroscience and the arts on an understanding of cultural conflict.

Our work on this programme includes:

Art + Hope
Art + Hope

The Art + Hope initiative encompasses a collection of interrelated projects established by the Foundation in collaboration with Blouin Corp, and is founded on the Foundation’s core ethos that art and culture are powerful tools for enacting social change and cultural dialogue. Aligned with the ongoing Culture Beyond Borders series at the Foundation, Art + Hope includes vital projects in Africa, such as the January 2009 initiative Five Days in Gulu. Organized in partnership with artist Ross Bleckner and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the program brought art-based therapy to former child soldiers.

Other programs have included Waging Peace, which hosted an exhibition at the Foundation’s gallery in November 2009 of drawings by children displaced by genocide in Africa; educational initiatives such as West Side Stories, and the Foundation’s lecture series and Music and the Brain workshops. Art + Hope is dedicated to a cross-disciplinary use of the arts as a means to greater understanding of social and cultural challenges facing a globalized world.

'The Soldier's Tale'
Soldiers Tale

The Louise Blouin Foundation is the principal supporter of this ambitious cultural collaboration between Iraqi and European performers. The production was co-produced by the The Old Vic Theatre and The Motion Group. Rehearsals took place in Iraq, the show was premiered in London, and will be touring the US, Europe and the Middle-East. "We have to do an enormous amount of work to try and create a unified society which respects and admires each other's differences. And what better way to do that in microcosm than take a group of Iraqi and British actors and musicians so that they can work together" - Jeremy Irons, Ambassador of The Motion Group.

'Bring Back New Orleans'

Culture is at the heart of New Orleans. Although infrastructure, flood control and shelter are paramount, the cultural fabric of the city defines its identity and spirit and is key to its future. Together with the Bring Back New Orleans campaign, The Louise Blouin Foundation is working towards invigorating the uniquely vibrant mix of artists, poets, musicians and cultural institutions that have been displaced by the disaster. We were very pleased with the recent federal support for culture in the region.

'4 Generations'

'4 Generations' is a cultural collaboration between leading Israeli and Palestinian film-makers, writers and historians. Through a multi-part TV series, the project will chronicle the stories of two families - one Israeli, one Palestinian. Through cultural dialogue the film weaves together these two narratives. In partnership with the Film School of Tel Aviv University and the Royal Jordanian Film Commission, this TV series aims to go into production late in 2006. The production will be filmed in Hebrew, Arabic and English.

'Making the Case for Culture'

The value of culture is in constant debate, yet there is very little research to compare expenditure on culture on the international stage. The Foundation is supporting a key research project with the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) to determine whether there is a correlation between the GDP spent on culture, economic prosperity and quality of life in different countries. This project will fuel the debate on the role of culture and its place within a broader economic and social context. The published research will be a unique resource, which will aid the Foundation in its aim to promote the economic importance of the arts and creative industries.

Exchange with the Middle East and China

The Louise Blouin Foundation has a specific focus within Culture Beyond Borders, to establish a cultural exchange programme with the Middle East and China. A scholarship scheme will be launched soon with a major international University.

Education, Science and Creativity

Too often we are using antiquated business practices and curricula that stress the linear and the rational at the expense of the creative and the imaginative. Too often we neglect the power of the visual and its role in stimulating our minds.

The goal of our Education, Science and Creativity programme is to foster the research and learning that will lead to a new century of teaching and knowledge. We have within our reach a far richer and deeper understanding of the creative process than has ever before been possible. Through our emphasis on cross-disciplinary learning – uniting the greatest scientists, artists, psychologists and others – we intend to support research into the science of creativity and contribute to redesigning educational activities to promote visionary thinking.

Our work on this programme includes:

Think Tank - 'Creativity and the New Biology of Mind'
Education Science Creativity

Columbia University shares the Foundation’s interest in deepening and defining the relationship between science and creativity. New developments in the neurosciences offer extraordinary possibilities for the examination of fundamental aspects of human creativity, and for a clearer understanding of the ways we respond to the arts. The Think Tank focused on the senses as a tool for discovery and creative learning with artists and scientists, using their different perspectives and distinctive ‘tool kits’ to develop fresh knowledge which can be used in a tangible form.

March 2006 Columbia University, New York

Research Review - 'Music and the Brain'

The Foundation is investing in a research review entitled 'Music and the Brain'. It will explore the ways in which the brain processes music and how music can affect psychological development. The review will act to distil research from different fields and disciplines and understand an important element of the complex relationship between creativity and the senses.