Initiated in the early 1990s by the Fondation de France, the New Patrons program gives citizens confronted with social issues the opportunity to involve artists in their concerns by commissioning a work of art that responds to their specific context.
These citizen-commissioners work together towards a collectively formulated common goal: to create a work of art in response to a specific situation and needs, raising social or societal issues (rural desertification, revitalization of social ties, ecological transition, search for identity in a community or territory, etc.).
A mediator accompanies the commission through all its stages, acting as an intermediary between the citizen-commissioners and the artist - or scientist, as this approach has also been developed in the sciences - to ensure that everyone involved finds their rightful place in the process.
Based on the commissioners’ request, the artist explores new perspectives, proposes new imaginaries and constructs alternative narratives. Whether durable or ephemeral, large or small, participatory or contemplative, the work finds the form best suited to the commission, while respecting the artist’s freedom of invention and creation.
The New Patrons program is now developped by the New Patrons Society, with the support of the French Ministry of Culture, and certifies the specific mediation methodology of this initiative.
Its originality is based on a combination of three actors: patrons, from all origins, alone or in groups; a mediator who helps them define the commission and write the specifications, suggests an artist, and supervises the production of the work; the artist who proposes a form for the commission.
New Patrons Society website : https://lasocietedesnouveauxcommanditaires.org/