Besides his contributions to the arts, Arian Saravi is also the founder of Helping Hand Foundation. The Helping Hand Foundation’s purpose is to further, without pursuing any profits, a better everyday life for the many children in need through empowering & enriching their lives. Doing so through education & creative resources, to ensure long term success.
The work of Helping Hand Foundation explores how art can contribute to fairer and more just societies. Across their work they prioritize support to artist-driven projects and organizations that pursue deep and meaningful engagement with communities. Helping Hand Foundation believes art helps mankind understand our world, find purpose, and create meaningful connections. The stories we hear today still disproportionately represent a select few, which reinforces stereotypes. Helping Hand Foundation work to help communities shape a more inclusive world, via the inclusivity of art.
As a foundation, they are interested in understanding not only if their programs have an impact, but also in what ways and under which conditions they can create social change. The foundation challenges our assumptions by engaging with different perspectives, through cross-programmatic exchange and collaboration with insights from outside experts, grantees, peer funders, and other stakeholders.
As an artist, Arian always believed that art makes people optimistic about their future, that art can be used to help spread a message of inspiration, making people achieve great things in life. Art can be a form of communication between people, to focus on common issues for the betterment of humankind. In this sense art is a form of communication; it allows people from different cultures and different times to communicate with each other via images, sounds and stories. Art is often a vehicle for social change. It can give voice to the politically or socially disenfranchised. A painting, song, film or novel can rouse emotions in those who encounter it, inspiring them to rally for change. Art influences society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time.
Arian believes that social movements are built upon individual leadership, strong institutions, and innovative, often high-risk ideas. While the specifics of what we work on have evolved over the years, our belief in these three areas have remained the touchstones of everything we do and are central to our theory of how change happens in the world. These approaches have long distinguished the Helping Hand Foundation, and have had a profound cumulative impact.
‘’I want to create a better world for all children, that’s why I do this. There are those who believe that it is impossible to change the world. We know it works and we know how to do it. All over the world, we are fighting in government corridors, slums, refugee camps and remote villages to ensure that all children have the childhood to which they are entitled.’’
He continues “The stories we tell, and the art we create, help us understand our world and make connections to others. Yet the stories we hear the most still disproportionately favor and represent a select few. By lifting up underrepresented or unheard voices, we can strengthen understandings of human complexity. We can push back against narratives that undermine fairness and more importantly, we can disrupt inequality.“