Jean de la Roullou, Executive Director Budapest Art Foundation & Chair International Festival at AISB

  • 1 Mar 2017 11:00 AM
Jean de la Roullou, Executive Director Budapest Art Foundation & Chair International Festival at AISB
Before moving to Budapest in the summer of 2014, we heard all these amazing stories about it’s architectural and cultural heritage which have proved not to be exaggerated. We immediately fell in love with the countryside and its people.

Once we settled in I got involved in the Parents School Association of the American International School and this is the third time I am the chair of the organizing committee for it’s annual International Festival.

The International Festival is the PSA’s biggest fundraiser of the year. It is a family and community building event, which attracts visitors from the wider expat community and our neighboring villages.

Last year we had 24 different countries offering local specialties, over 40 activities for all ages, cultural dances and music performances. This year’s event, being held on May 21st, will be special, as the whole event will take place outside. A full size festival stage will be built to be used for cultural performances and live music. Bands that will perform are Kéknyúl, Mongooz and the Magnet, SolatiMusic, Folk Yeah! and a new inspiring band called Trvffic Light.

During the autumn of 2016 I joined the Budapest Artisan Foundation as their executive director. The foundation was established in 2005 to draw attention to the art and talent of young Hungarian artists, in particular students, and to provide financial and other support needed to continue their craft.

The year of 2014 brought a new concept to our foundation of research and scope the new R3 project (Recycle, Renew, Reuse). This concept and the recently opened studio in Budapest is known as “Daddy Roy’s Decorate Yours” where we are committed to boosting creativity and keeping discarded materials out of the eco-system.

At our studio we collect everything from fabric to furniture. Most items were going to the trash until they reached Daddy Roy’s where children and adults can come recycle & up-cycle such items. There is a small cover charge given the supplies we need to purchase (paint, duct tape, decoupage materials). 

DIY = Do It Yourself (with a little help from us of course) and you will make beautiful decorative creations and gifts, dedicated to stylish living in an earth-friendly way. Artisan has supported the following institutions with donations of recycled/up-cycled items or providing other required support: Bator Tabor, Seedling Trust, NANE and Moholy-Nagy University of Art & Design Budapest.

We have volunteered at The American International School to provide the Prizma school students the opportunity to recycle/up-cycle. We consistently donate 2nd hand items to homeless shelters and have helped beautiful those type of spaces with our “Magic Art Shelters” Project.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
We arrived during the summer of 2014 for work.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
Yes, however mainly in Western Europe.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
The diversity that the Hungarian countryside offers.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Next to the usual places I would take them outside of the city to see the wonderful countryside and visit one of those fabulous local restaurants.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
I love Pörkölt (meat stew)

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Dutch Cheese.

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Nagyon szívesen

8. What do you miss the most from home?
Friends unannounced walking in.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
Base jump instructor, freedom of floating in the sky.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
A politician.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Austria, Obertaurn.

12. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
Italy, Isle of Elba.

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
I have watched Jaws several times, just to see the reactions of others.

14. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?

15. Red wine or white?

16. Book or movie?

17. Morning person or night person?
Morning person.

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?

19. Buda side or Pest side?

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
Luctor et emergo - "I struggle and emerge"

  • How does this interview make you feel?