The Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi has made a point, ever since it was first established, of creating events, exhibitions and cultural activities that are accessible to all visitors, offering its premises as a social venue for encounter and exchange where the broadest audience possible can enjoy guaranteed access to the works of art on display, as sanctioned by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reiterated in the Faro Convention. Removing architectural barriers is crucial, but it is far from sufficient on its own. That is why the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi offers specific schemes seeking to encourage active participation.
Connections was devised to involve communities in danger of social exclusion and is designed for centres and associations operating in environments associated with cognitive impairment, psychiatric disorders, addiction and fragility. The scheme takes the shape of several appointments designed to forge a dialogue with institutions working in the social sphere. To facilitate access to each exhibition we organise an introductory meeting for health and social workers to offer them a preview of the exhibition and to work together on defining the programme for each occasion.
On the basis of this joint effort, we then propose specific pathways designed to cater for the needs and characteristics of each group in terms both of their difficulties and of their potential and their desires.
Connections takes place in front of the works in the exhibition and in the rooms of the Maria Manetti Shrem Educational Centre, an inclusive space accessible to all audiences and the heart of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi’s educational activities.
Goals: art and personal expression for comprehensive well-being
The aim of the scheme is to create inclusive initiatives capable of fostering (verbal, physical and sensorial) participation in Palazzo Strozzi’s exhibitions on the part of people living in situations of disability or just generally fragile. The scheme’s linchpins are the shared observation of the exhibits on display and the active involvement of participants in order to optimise personal expression.
The goal is to offer participants a stimulating and pleasant experience by allowing each individual to forge a free and personal relationship with the exhibits on display. The activities offer them the chance to express themselves in a protected and stimulating environment and to see that different forms of expression are validated, a crucial aspect in a process of personal empowerment. Group sharing is also encouraged to ensure that the experience is seen as a collective moment in which everyone, including the professionals involved, are called on to take part and to allow the works of art to amaze and intrigue them.
The Connections scheme is part of a series of cultural welfare events designed to foster social opportunities and the integration of people with disabilities in the cultural life of the city and its territory in the context of the comprehensive improvement of health and well-being, in line with the results of the report entitled What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? promoted by the World Health Organisation.
The project renews itself from exhibition to exhibition.
Participation is free, reservation is required.
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