Europe Beyond Access continues!

Europe Beyond Access has been awarded €2m by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, ensuring the world’s largest transnational Arts & Disability collaboration continues until 2027.

Six performers, including a wheelchair user, two men wearing frocks and three women in trousers and braces perform rapturously to an onlooking crowd in an outdoor space.
Mixed Doubles by Grootens, Kalampaliki, Tortelli, & Espinosa. Photo © Simone Cargnoni

Today we are pleased to announce that Europe Beyond Access has once again been funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union and will run for another 4 years, from 2024 to 2027. Europe Beyond Access has been awarded €2m from the European Union – a sum which will be matched by the EBA consortium.

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.

The EBA consortium is made up of ten organisations from across Europe: 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.

Mira Helenius Martinsson 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.”

Collaborating with the four-year programme are key European networks and transnational institutions – committed to widening cultural access across Europe. These include:

Creative Europe Networks

  • IETM International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts
  • European Dancehouse Network (formal EBA partner link: Oriente Occidente)
  • European Festival Association
  • On the Move
  • Big Pulse Dance Alliance

Other European Networks

  • ELIA: European Network of Higher Arts Education

National Networks

  • Flanders Arts Institute
  • UnLabel – Transnational & German Performing Arts Company and Policy Exchange specialist

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