The Instituto Cohen was born out of the dreams of the young artist Ariel Cohen who, inspired by the moral and spiritual foundations in which he was raised, was bothered by the position of mere spectator of the chaos for which childhood and youth were in the 90s. A few years working as a volunteer with the street children of Cinelândia / Candelária, found that they originated from the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro, more precisely from a place called Favela do Barbante.
Ariel then headed to this shantytown and, in 1998, founded the Instituto Cohen, a non-governmental and nonprofit organization. The purpose of the institution is to promote the social redemption of young people living in communities in the West Zone in situations of social vulnerability, through the provision of training courses in theater, dance and cinema. The idea is to use art and culture as tools of transformation of the location in which the institution was inserted and simultaneously prepare young leadership, creating future prospects and income generation.
In 2013 the Instituto Cohen promoted the creation of a network of articulation and dynamization of the arts (RADAR), which gave it the title of Ponto de Cultura Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. (Cultural Centter recognized by the government).
In addition to artistic activities, the institution also develops social projects in the region. The main one is the Palhamedicos, in which a group of actors dressed as clowns make visits and take games and joys to children hospitalized with cancer. In addition, some pieces are created and presented to the young public with the specific objective of working to raise awareness of the youth in relation to the themes that are inherent to them, such as alcohol and drug use prevention, early pregnancy and STD.
Promoting the social rescue of young people in situation of social vulnerability, through the offer of courses of artistic qualification in the areas of theater, dance and cinema