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The BNP Paribas Foundation launches Smart Start,a European-wide programme to promote social integration and education through the practice of the arts

  • 16.03.2012
With the benefit of its experience in the areas of artistic creation and social solidarity, the BNP Paribas Foundation is launching, for the first time, a European-wide sponsorship programme aimed at promoting the integration of socially excluded young people through the practice of an art.
This programme, known as Smart Start, has an annual budget of €160,000 that will be used to support eight projects in eight countries over a three-year period.

The projects were selected in response to a call for projects issued to BNP Paribas locations in 27 European countries. The jury of judges, chaired by Francis Charhon, managing director of the Fondation de France, included choreographer Michel Kélémenis, Michèle Guyot-Roze, president of the Hypocrène Foundation, Christine Vidal, director of La Fabrique du Regard, and the following
BNP Paribas staff members: Jean de Chambure (Retail Banking), Nicolas d'Anglejan (Brand, Communications and Quality) and Manuel Rondelez (Investment Solutions).

The eight projects selected will enable over 800 children and young people in precarious social situations or with disabilities to practice one of the following arts:
- Music with the National Music School in Bulgaria, the Associazione Mus-e Roma Onlus in Italy (www.mus-e.it) and the Orquestra Geração in Portugal (www.orquestra.geracao.aml.pt) ;
- Film with the Fundación Voluntarios por Madrid in Spain (www.voluntariospormadrid.org) ;
- Theatre, puppetry and circus arts with the Muscular Dystrophy Association Hellas in Greece (www.mdahellas.gr) and the Fundatia Parada in Romania ;
- Visual arts with Helium Arts in Ireland (www.helium.ie), and the Westminster City Council and PhotoView in the United Kingdom (www.photoviewukltd.com).

All of these projects highlight the crucial role played by the practice of the arts in promoting social integration, personal fulfilment and achievement among young people.

Commenting on this programme, Honorary Chairman of BNP Paribas and Chairman of the
BNP Paribas Foundation Michel Pébereau said: « This support is part of a longstanding involvement of the BNP Paribas Foundation in education and artistic creation. All of these projects highlight the crucial role played by the practice of the arts in promoting social integration, personal fulfilment and achievement among young people, whatever the country and the culture they grow up in. »


About the BNP Paribas Foundation
Under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the BNP Paribas Foundation endeavours to preserve and promote the artistic treasures of museums, to encourage creators and performers in disciplines that rarely attract aid from corporate support programmes and to fund research programmes in high technology sectors such as medical and environmental research. It also supports projects aimed at promoting education and social integration and assisting the disabled.
As the Group's philanthropic arm for nearly thirty years, the Foundation also coordinates BNP Paribas' philanthropic policy, thus ensuring the coherence of the sponsorship programmes conducted throughout the world by a network of local foundations, as well as by the Group's various business lines and subsidiaries.
Press contact(s)
Contact : Loubna Sebti – 00331 40 14 66 28 – loubna.sebti [at] bnpparibas (dot) com