Access Culture Week between today and Sunday in Lisbon with an inclusive program


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The inclusion and cultural rights will be in focus between today and Sunday in the 9th edition of the Access to Culture Week, in Lisbon, with the participation of cultural agents, promoted by this association, in its tenth anniversary.

An initiative by Acesso Cultura – a non-profit cultural association, the week is organized to promote reflection and greater awareness around physical, social, and intellectual access to cultural participation, and currently has 151 members, ranging from professionals in the sector to cultural organizations.

Over seven days, a program will take place to make some projects from different parts of the country better known and that “make a difference”, as stated by the association, consisting of debates, conversations and sharing of experiences, awards for good practices in the area of accessibility, and the initiative “Open Doors” to the backstage of cultural entities.

The week will open today, at 6pm, with the debate “The Activist museum: going deeper”, at Casa Fernando Pessoa, with the participation of Esme Ward, director of the Manchester Museum, which opened to the public in February this year, in the UK, and Njabulo Chipangura, curator at this museum.

On Tuesday, at 6:30pm, the launch of the publication “10+1 – Access, participation and cultural democracy: visions and experiences” will take place at the São Luiz Teatro Municipal, also with free admission, for conversations with ten cultural structures with which Acesso Cultura has collaborated “to think about access, participation and cultural democracy in Portugal”.

The bilingual digital publication – in Portuguese and English – brings together ten interviews with people in charge of various entities, along with Ben Evans, director of arts and disability at the British Council, who introduces an international context to the reflection, describes Acesso Cultura in a text about the program.

The Access to Culture Awards 2023 ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, at the Marvila Library, 6:30 pm, with free admission, and the “Open Doors” initiative runs throughout the week with a number of entities that will showcase spaces normally closed to the public.

Since 2013, through multiple consultancies, studies, and publications, Acesso Cultura says it has “sought to collaborate and help the Portuguese cultural sector identify and eliminate physical, intellectual, and social barriers,” including illiteracy, unemployment, racial/ethnic background, disability, social isolation, lack of cultural offerings in the area where a person resides, geographic isolation, low income, serving a judicial sentence, among others.

In 2020, he published the manual “The cultural participation of people with disabilities: how to create an accessibility plan”, a commission from the Lisbon City Hall/Polo Cultural Gaivotas|Boavista.

A year later, it materialized the creation of the Network of Theaters with Accessible Programming, with the support of BPI and La Caixa Foundation, with the objective of reinforcing the accessible cultural offer outside large urban centers and the collaboration between theaters.

Training courses, studies, lectures, debates, and “Relaxed Sessions” – shows that take place in an atmosphere with more tolerant rules regarding movement and noise in the audience because they are aimed at audiences with special needs – have been developed by this entity all over the country.

This non-profit entity, officially recognized in February 2021 for its public utility, works on a volunteer basis and with partnerships.

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