Founded in 1997 by the entrepreneurial couple Chandri and Gary Barat, the Barat Foundation has become a pillar of the arts community in Newark, NJ. The Barats left the publicly traded natural foods business they built from scratch upon learning that Gary was facing a life-threatening illness. Embarking on a program of creative recovery, they returned to their creative roots as artists and educators. Beginning as a French language culture and art immersion program for teens in the South of France, they unveiled “Exposure, Experience, Expression”™, a learning methodology rooted in the principles of creative learning. The Barats brought this experience to Newark in 2006 to provide innovative, artistic learning opportunities for underserved youth.
Major milestones include the largest collaborative public artwork in the history of Newark; the Peace Mural painted by over 500 children in 14 schools to welcome the Dalai Lama; an annual Creation Nation Art & Peace Parade now in its 12th year; and a large growing international family of Animodule Sculptures named “Newark’s Official Peace Ambassadors” by US Senator Cory Booker. Applauded by educators, artists, peace activists and thousands of students, Barat Foundation furnishes a voice in the public landscape that promotes diversity, social justice and the healing and peacemaking powers of the arts.