Oriente OccidenteOriente Occidente

Project continues until 2027

Fine lines | ph HDF
Two million euros from the European Union to continue the largest transnational collaboration between art and disability until 2027

EUROPE BEYOND ACCESS awarded €2m by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, ensuring the world’s largest transnational Arts & Disability collaboration continues until 2027.

EUROPE BEYOND ACCESS (EBA) is the Europe’s largest and most influential transnational initiative to focus on the active participation of artists with disabilities in mainstream dance and theatre. Since 2018 the programme has supported dance and theatre artists with disabilities to break the glass ceilings of the contemporary performing arts.

The new programme announced today will:

  • commission and present dozens of new dance and theatre works created by artists with disabilities. 3 major international coproductions will be accompanied by 19 other new locally commissioned works, and 20 presentations of existing touring works – presented across 10 countries

  • support artists with disabilities to internationalise their innovative artistic practices, and reduce the geographic and artistic isolation uniquely experienced by artists with disabilities. Hundreds of artists from across Europe will participate in Residences, Workshops and multi-national Artistic Laboratories

  • develop a network of leading European mainstream organisations with a commitment to present and commission dance and theatre artists at the highest level of artistic practice. The core 10 partners of the project will work with dozens more mainstream cultural institutions to present works and share best practices

  • develop tools and understanding in the wider performing arts market – sharing our belief that the European cultural sector must urgently reduce barriers experienced by artists with disabilities

We are one of ten leading European cultural organisations that form the EBA consortium. In this we join Skånes Dansteater (Sweden), Holland Dance Festival (Netherlands), Onassis Stegi (Greece), Oriente Occidente Dance Festival (Italy), Kampnagel (Germany) CODA Dance Festival (Norway), Zamek Cultural Centre (Poland), Project Arts Centre (Ireland), Mercat de les Flors (Spain) and Culturgest (Portugal). We are joined by Associate Partner British Council (UK), who initiated and led the first Europe Beyond Access programme from 2018-2023.

Anna Consolati, our General Manager: «Oriente Occidente is proud to continue on our journey with Europe Beyond Access. Since 2018, the project has allowed us to make a concrete impact on the European and Italian cultural system. From the Italian network for raising awareness on these issues, to the promotion of a ministerial call on accessibility issues, we are sure that Europe Beyond Access has shifted some balances. The opportunity to continue along this path is great and valuable».

Mira Helenius, Artistic Director of the consortium’s lead partner, Skånes Dansteater, located in Malmö, Sweden said: «Skanes Dansteater is proud to be leading the EBA consortium in what will be a remarkable journey. We are grateful to the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union for the support they have given – allowing the project to remain one of the largest Arts & Disability programmes in the world. We are grateful to our predecessors, British Council, for passing on the baton to us as Project Leads on project with such a deep impact in Europe’s cultural sector. But most of all we are grateful to the artists and cultural professionals who continue to trust us to support and encourage their remarkable works. It is time to move forward and let the disabled community take the lead!».

Ben Evans, Europe Beyond Access Project Director said: «In the perfect world projects like Europe Beyond Access would not be necessary: artists with disabilities would have the same opportunities to learn, develop their artistic practice and present their works as any other artist; cultural venues would be accessible to audiences with disabilities but also to artists and cultural workers who identify as disabled, Deaf, neurodiverse or Chronically Ill; and critics, audiences, and arts decision-makers would truly acknowledge the excellent and often radical work of disabled artists. But this is not the case. With this funding from the European Union Europe Beyond Access will continue to challenge the whole cultural sector to broaden access to disabled people as artists, as cultural workers and as audiences».

Europe Beyond Access is looking for a project manager to work full time on this new part of the project. For more information click here.