PAC(O) - Collaborative Artistic Projects (and Orientations)

PAC(O) – Collaborative Artistic Projects (and Orientations)- is a non-profit association that is both social and cultural. It was created in 2018 by Carla da Silva, special needs teacher and photographer, and Vanessa Riera, social educator and visual artist.

PAC(O) is the only structure in French-speaking Switzerland dedicated to young people who have dropped out of school and targeting remobilisation through the visual arts. Its uniqueness also lies in the fact that it was created and is run by social workers who are also artists. PAC(O) is part of a logic of democratization of art and culture, allowing access to a young and often marginalized public.

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On the one hand, PAC(O) aims to re-mobilise, revalue, orient and accompany young people aged 15 to 25 towards training and artistic experiences. The association offers personalised educational support to young people who have dropped out of school and are socially disrupted and who show an interest in the plastic arts and creation. It helps these young people to develop their artistic talents and skills by giving them the opportunity to collaborate with established artists and cultural institutions in the region. In this way, it offers them the opportunity to express themselves, to be heard, and to participate actively in the cultural life of the city, while providing them with educational and psychological support thanks to the socio-educational skills of the founders.

On the other hand, the association supports regional and international artists and the cultural institutions with which it collaborates. It selects artists on the basis of the quality of their work and their social commitment. In addition to collaborating with established professionals, it also launches an annual call for projects aimed at highlighting an emerging regional artist. With an average of seven artistic projects per year, PAC(O) multiplies its partnerships with festivals, museums and galleries. The association also has a self-managed gallery.


Each year, PAC(O) proposes six projects in collaboration with artists. The artistic mediums are deliberately diversified to allow the young participants to discover other fields and to experiment with different techniques. The exhibition venues also vary: galleries, cultural spaces, bookstores, billboards, and cinemas. The artists are either invited or selected following a call for projects. They have in common a certain social commitment and a desire to help young people and to share their experience with them. In order to give the best possible value to the work and talent of these young people, renowned artists and exhibition venues dedicated to the art and the medium developed are favoured.


The association also offers personalised educational support and comprehensive care, intervening in all areas of their development. Carla da Silva and Vanessa Riera listen to these young people and try to respond to their needs and requests as best they can. They accompany them in different aspects of their daily life, supporting them in steps that are sometimes difficult to undertake in their “drop-out” situation. For example, they support the young person in finding accommodation, obtaining a driving licence, setting up a therapy, applying for medical care, grants or any other administrative procedure. They also help them in their search for a job, by assisting them in writing their Curricula Vitae and cover letters, enriched by the many artistic experiences they have had through PAC(O). In this wide-ranging approach, which touches on all aspects of a young person’s life, the two professionals work in close collaboration with the young person’s entire network: parents, psychologists, social workers, educators, curators, teachers, etc.


The association pursues the following social and cultural objectives

  • The prevention of breakdowns
  • Remobilisation
  • Reorientation in training
  • The promotion of the work of guest artists
  • The organisation of cultural events
  • The democratisation of art
  • Cultural mediation and participation
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Fondation de bienfaisance Pierre et Andrée Haas
Rue du Vieux-Collège 8, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland

Banque Migros SA
IBAN : CH65 0840 1000 0655 0363 5


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