The Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation was launched in 2014 to take advantage of the legacy gift of the property at No 8 Royal College Street in Camden in London, once home to the French poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine. One of the Foundation’s long-term objectives is to turn No 8 into a European style ‘poetry house’, providing an educational and cultural resource for schools and the community in Camden.
The Foundation was always clear that it did not want to be just a small house museum. It has therefore used the idea of the ‘poetry house’ to create an arts organisation with the wider goal of promoting the arts and culture and championing their role in social capital building. This has seen the Foundation take a ground-breaking approach to audience and business development. Its aim is to connect with wider audiences for the arts, and to be an important platform for all those who regard the arts and culture as essential to a successful society.
In keeping with this eclectic vision, the Foundation’s events have included not only poetry and literature, but also classical music, opera, theatre, the visual arts, sculpture, Jazz and Rock music. It has commissioned new works inspired by the poets Rimbaud and Verlaine, including a full-length theatre show (Poetry House Live) and a full-length jazz show (Jazz from the Playing Card Factory). In the process it has provided platforms for many contemporary artists and producers. The Foundation is also delivering an extensive programme of educational placements in Camden schools in partnership with the T.S. Eliot Foundation and Modern Poetry in Translation. With a powerful vision for the role of the arts in society the Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation is one of the U.K.’s most exciting arts organisations.