The Zinsou family created the Fondation Zinsou in Cotonou as a private initiative in 2005. The original goal was to create a platform and exhibition center for contemporary African artists, particularly those active in Benin’s art scene. By now the foundation’s activities extend beyond the realm of African art to include education and social development as well as the fight against poverty.
The art exhibition program includes different educational activities, particularly for young visitors, and is complemented by a program of public art events, workshops, guided tours, concerts, artists’ talks, master classes, and dance performances. From the beginning, Fondation Zinsou has followed a clear set of guiding principles with the aim of reaching a broad audience, including free admission to events and workshops, the apolitical nature of the foundation’s activities, communication in several languages, and the involvement of local institutions such as the municipal administration, schools, and international organizations. Along with the support of an ever-growing number of benefactors and partners, the foundation also conceptualizes, organizes, supervises, analyzes, and polishes field programs, such as Petits Pinceaux, an educational project for children, Bus Culturel, and Mini-Bibliothèques, in order to help as many people as possible gain access to art and culture and to support exchange between artists and cultural producers around the world.