Interview with Frédéric Ménard, the president of La Cousive Boutaric

La Coursive Boutaric, is a cultural and social rehabilitation project in Dijon. This cultural institution is located in the oldest large complex in the district of Les Grésilles which is classified as a sensitive urban area (SUA) with more than 4,000 social housing units. It is one of the 3 key cultural institutions Congress participants will visit to immerse themselves in the Congress theme. 

Frédéric Ménard

What’s your successful experience in working with artists to integrate the neighborhood and connect with locals? 

Frédéric Ménard: The real success, whether of Zutique, or La Coursive Boutaric in the neighborhood of Les Grésilles, is the favorable reception of these projects by the people living in the district. Established for nearly 15 years in the neighborhood, Zutique has developed many cultural projects, many shared artistic approaches. It has been work done in close proximity for several years. Moreover, this in-depth work has led to a successful installation for La Coursive Boutaric and for all the cultural enterprises that followed. 

What does diversity mean in implementing these social inclusion projects?

Frédéric Ménard: The neighborhood in which we are located is a space of great cultural diversity. This cultural diversity nourishes the work developed by the artists, as well as the cultural enterprises established in the district. All of them try out artistic proposals rooted in the territory, with cultural rights as a principle of action. 

How does the cluster of cultural entrepreneurs work for the cultural, social, and economic sustainability at the local and regional level?

Frédéric Ménard: The cooperation pole of cultural enterprises helps to make the development of companies in the cultural and creative sector more sustainable by setting up an activity plan for the sector (training, consulting appointments, professional meetings, incubator…), but also by the development of cooperation. In this context, pooling processes allows for the development of new activities, but also the transfer of skills and know-how.

Points of interest for congress participants at La Coursive Boutaric

  • How does a cultural and artistic project contribute to the debate on how culture can support and integrate the traditional social, economic dimensions of sustainability thus contributing to more balanced models of development?
  • How do the activities implemented by La Coursive Boutaric address the role of artistic production in dealing with social challenges, diversity, integration, and vitalization of underdeveloped areas?