La Source: helping teenagers grow and feel valued through art
For more than 30 years, the association La Source, founded by the painter Gérard Garouste and his wife Elizabeth, has been organizing artistic workshops for young people aged 11 to 18 in socially vulnerable situations or experiencing family or educational difficulties. An initiative backed by TotalEnergies Foundation since 2020.
In a dozen French departments, La Source organizes 240 artistic projects for 12,000 beneficiaries each year. They include painting, sculpting, mosaic-making, photography, drama, dancing, and so on. Each workshop is supervised by a professional artist and an educator from a partner service in the social sector.
In territories that have little access to cultural events, La Source helps make up for the lack of infrastructures and is a wonderful tool for the social services accompanying these young people to help them express themselves and fulfill their potential.
As part of group dynamics, the teenagers learn how to work as a team and implement values such as tolerance, sharing, and dialogue. These skills contribute to their personal emancipation as well as to social cohesion.
On top of this, through artistic practice, La Source enables young people to learn new techniques, develop their imagination, initiative and critical thinking, to release their emotions, broaden their horizons and strengthen their self-confidence.
In addition, the association always organizes a public display of the works created. The aim of this key moment is to give pride of place to the young people and their art, as well as involve the families and create bonds. Thanks to its threefold social, educational and artistic action, La Source enables young people to grow and develop, and contributes to bridging inequalities.
As part of its Cultural Dialogue & Heritage priority area, TotalEnergies Foundation has chosen, above all, to support projects that encourage artistic practice among vulnerable young people. This is why it is supporting the development of new workshops in six La Source structures in the network: Petit Quevilly (Seine Maritime), Paris (Ile-de-France), Annonay (Ardèche), Urrugne (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), Villarceaux (Val d’Oise) and Sainte Victoire (Bouches-du-Rhône). Since 2020, 17 workshops have been designed, partly thanks to the support of TotalEnergies Foundation, and benefit 180 young people each year.