Dancing Students Outside Cloud Place

Cloud Foundation

The Boston ArtScience Prize is a part of ArtScience Labs and is hosted by the Cloud Foundation. Our building is referred to as Cloud Place, or The Idea Translation Lab at Cloud Place.

The Mission

The Cloud Foundation aims to foster confidence and hope in urban teens through artistic creation and cross-cultural expression.

The History

From Science to Art: David and Aurélie Edwards created the Cloud Foundation in 1999 to provide opportunities for urban teens to create with passion across cultural boundaries, as they have since their own youths. Scientists, the Edwards’ chose to work through the arts, recognizing that very often, before ideas grow as science, they emerge as art the most natural language of youth. From 1999 to 2001 the Cloud Foundation provided grants to Boston-area nonprofits to support work arts programming for urban teens. From 2001 to 2004, the Cloud Foundation opened and established Cloud Place in Boston’s Copley Square as a venue for urban teens’ artistic development and expression. The Foundation continued in this era to provide grants to nonprofits throughout the city. From 2004 to 2009 the Cloud Foundation made Cloud Place the core of its cultural enrichment model.

Over these first ten years the Cloud Foundation, and its founders, pursued parallel activities in Paris, France, and at Harvard University. Each year urban teen artists traveled from Boston to Paris, and from Paris to Boston, where they explored the meaning of their art, and of their lives, across cultural boundaries. Urban teen artists also began working with university students and Harvard faculty to develop projects of greater and greater scope. These projects, like MuseTrek, often provided new and intriguing cross-cultural questions and barriers that became catalysts of learning and artistic expression.

From Art to Science: In 2007, with the opening of Le Laboratoire in Paris, France, and with the publication of David’s essay Artscience: Creativity in the Post-Google Generation (Harvard University Press 2008), David and Aurélie Edwards began to work with fellow Cloud Foundation board members Marti Wilson Taylor and Bob Carson to create a network of experimental idea development organizations, the international ArtScience Labs, through which opportunities for urban teens’ artistic creation and expression might grow even more beneficially across cultural boundaries. Integral to this reflection was the experience of the Idea Translation Lab at Harvard, created by David Edwards to accelerate student learning through idea creation and development, a process David calls “Idea Translation.” In 2009 the Idea Translation Lab at Harvard produced student ideas that led to new cultural exhibitions, new nonprofit organizations, and new companies, guided by the arts and reflecting ideas at the frontiers of science. The Idea Translation Lab now forms the core of The Laboratory at Harvard, which David Edwards opened in the University’s Northwest Building in November, 2009. With the launch of the ArtScience Prize in January 2009, the Cloud Foundation enters its second decade as a core partner of the ArtScience Lab, an international network of creative organizations which aims to expand access to the benefits of artistic creation and expression in Boston and other cities of the world.

The Idea Translation Lab
at Cloud Place

In its second decade, the Cloud Foundation now hosts the Idea Translation Lab at Cloud Place as an artistic learning and creation environment for Boston high school students, in support of the Boston ArtScience Prize. Through the Idea Translation Lab at Cloud Place participating Boston high school students work with professional artist mentors and teachers to develop their ideas within a curriculum that both reflects the practice of the Idea Translation Lab at Harvard and also is specially designed for urban teens, building on the Cloud Foundation’s last decade of rich experience in youth development and artistic creation.