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La Source

Countering social exclusion through art

Founded in 1991 by painter Gérard Garouste, La Source is a not-for-profit association organizing workshops designed to counter the effects of social exclusion on young people in isolated communities. Exhibitions and live shows provide a cultural focus in remote regions of rural France.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - La Source
© Artegalore

Gérard Garouste created La Source in 1991, to help young people in difficult circumstances develop their creative potential through art. The association combats the isolation and exclusion of young people in rural communities, and families affected by unemployment or a lack of access to creative and leisure resources.

The association's first centre opened in 1994, at La Guéroulde in the French department of Eure, followed by a second one in 2003 at Villarceaux in the Val-d’Oise. On Wednesdays (France's midweek school break) and throughout the holidays, children take part in creative workshops (painting, culinary arts, video, creative writing) with established artists and group leaders. Exhibitions and shows culminate in an annual retrospective endorsed by a well-known personality (this year, philosopher and writer Michel Onfray).

"Our approach helps young people earn their family's respect," explains Gérard Garouste. "Art can be a practical catalyst for change." La Source helps children to form relationships and enhance their self-esteem.

The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès shares its belief in culture as the key to personal development. In 2009, annual support from the Foundation funded photography workshops by Hugo Miserey exploring family portraits, as featured at the Palais de Tokyo (15 ans d’atelier à la Source, Paris, December 2009). Building on its initial success, La Source is committed to a national programme of expansion, with the opening of several new sites.

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Annual support since 2008


Founder and President: Gérard Garouste