The Visual and Performing Arts Association (VAPA) is a non-profit organisation registered in August 2009, with a mission to hold artistic and cultural activities aimed towards resolving social issues.
The idea of the association was perceived by the founders Kiki Bokassa and Lucien Bourjeily, who are part of Lebanon’s active art scene through humanitarian, cultural and artistic projects whether in the field of painting or theater.
“We aim at enriching knowledge and awareness of basic social issues that regard human rights, social exclusion, conflict resolution, and the environment through artistic and cultural activities”.
VAPA was first intended to, at one hand, provide network support and assistance to growing artists to help them promote their work, and on the other hand, improve the conditions of artists’ rights and freedom of speech in Lebanon.
During the planning process, it was evident, as it is to many who work with the civil society, that VAPA cannot work on the issues of artists neglecting the other sectors and actors in society. Therefore VAPA has adopted integrative and participative methods to resolve the problems in society by attempting to include local actors from different sectors in the planning, execution, and follow-up process of projects.
Following this reasoning, VAPA has decided to tackle social issues through art and culture instead of only solving problems related to art. It is upon this basis that VAPA has been built and operates to fulfill the goals at hand.
VAPA organizes its activities around these objectives:
-Implement activities that increase the artistic, cultural, and social awareness of Lebanese youth, encouraging them and the surrounding communities to participate in each of the endeavors.
-Create networks between the participants from different regions, artistic backgrounds and social groups, encouraging them to improve their skills pertaining to the issues that interest them, with the aim of improving their everyday life conditions within their social environment.
-Assist civil society bodies in promoting their causes through awareness campaigns, publications and artistic projects.
-Provide job opportunities and residency programs for local and international artists, people who are undergoing a rehabilitation program, people with special needs as well as for young people who are challenged socially, judicially, or financially.