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Malopolska. Empathetic culture - Making culture accessible for everyone

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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Malopolska. Empathetic culture project has been initiated by the Department of Culture and National Heritage of Marshal Office of Malopolska Region. Malopolska Culture Institute in Krakow (MIK) has been asked to lead the project activities. The unique project team has been created as it consists of Marshall Office and MIK employees that work together. Additionally, the expert/consultation group was commenced. People with disabilities and non-government organizations joined it to plan, advice and assess project activities and outcomes. It is a form of cooperation that does not happen often within current public organizations/institutions working habits.


There is also the group of people from each culture institution in Malopolska region for which the Marshall Office is the organizer, called: accessibility coordinators group. Those are people that take care about the implementation of the project at the level of each institution. It ensures each partner is actually actively involved in the project, but most of all, that the accessibility is becoming part of institutions’ culture.


The project commenced with a challenge for the group of directors of culture institutions. A challenge that was about getting into the situation that they had to deal as if they had been a person with a disability. They had to use a wheelchair, get to the cinema without being able to use sight or to communicate with staff at the reception not using any sounds.


That challenge is the way how we approach our audience. The project aims to restructure our thinking about what is our purpose as culture Institute employees, administrators, but also creators (not excluding officials). The accessible culture is only in a situation when we can feel what our audience is, when we can be empathetic to them. We do not just project our visions, but we invite our audience to let us know their needs and work on the change together. Such an approach is completely new for our administration - like thinking, hence it was as a process with anticipation of outcomes, social changes, in a few years time.


The project consists of a range of activities that are routinely repeated on an annual basis, however, the content may change as it is tailored to needs and feedbacks of the previous year:


A. There is a set of basic training in place for culture institutions’ employees. They vary from a client with disabilities face-to-face series, to planning exhibitions or making marketing activities more accessible for everyone


B. Setting up Accessibility Standards for culture institutions to follow


C. Assessment of Accessibility Standards implementation by the Experts group with civic background


D. Set of inspirational meetings with the accessibility coordinators to enhance their knowledge and enabling networking


E. A public campaign for equal right access to public space, specifically culture institutions


F. A Conference for a wide range of culture organizations to promote the topic of equal access


G. Promoting accessible art and culture events


H. Assessment - reflective practice for the sake of future activities


The Regional Board oversees the project activities by regular reporting and participation in the assessment of the implementation of the Accessibility Standards.

Award info
Award category: new solutions to complex challenges - a public sector citizen-centric, sustainable and fit for the future - regional level
Award type: nominee
Award year: 2019
Project type
Sector: other
Type of activity:
Keywords: accessibility; disability; equal right access; accessible culture; culture institution; People with disabilities; accessibility standards;
Short English description: Malopolska. Empathetic culture project has been initiated by the Department of Culture and National Heritage of Marshal Office of Malopolska Region. Malopolska Culture Institute in Krakow (MIK) has been asked to lead the project activities. The unique project team has been created as it consists of Marshall Office and MIK employees that work together. Additionally, the expert/consultation group was commenced. People with disabilities and non-government organizations joined it to plan, advice and assess project activities and outcomes. It is a form of cooperation that does not happen often within current public organizations/institutions working habits.
Further information
Organisation: Department of Culture and National Heritage, Marshal Office of Malopolska Region
Other applicants:
Homepage: https://kulturawrazliwa.pl/
Level of government: regional level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: >15
Country: Poland
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


Malopolska. Empathetic culture - Making culture accessible for everyone (50.08016726495647, 19.92100238800049)
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