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New funding program launched for culture events focused on people with disabilities

New funding program launched for culture events focused on people with disabilities

Starting today, the Tallinn Culture & Sports Department has opened a grant application for professional cultural projects targeted at people with disabilities. This initiative aims to enrich the city’s cultural calendar with events specifically designed for people with disabilities. The application deadline is March 8, 2024.

Deputy Mayor Kaarel Oja remarked that this new funding program for cultural projects aimed at people with disabilities is the first of its kind in Estonia. “We have increasingly focused on improving accessibility to existing events, but now we are taking a significant step forward by focusing on cultural experiences designed from the outset for people with disabilities. It is crucial to emphasize that accessibility is not just physical but also includes intellectual barriers. Ultimately, with this new initiative, we aim to cater to groups who currently have limited opportunities to participate in cultural activities and for whom improving accessibility is not enough. A person's needs or disability is not their identity. I firmly believe that participation in culture is a large part of being human, and no one should be deprived of this opportunity,” stated Oja.

According to the Social Insurance Board, there are 118,864 people with disabilities registered in Estonia, with over 25,000 residing in Tallinn. The city continues to actively commit to ensuring accessibility in public spaces and city institutions, aiming to enable as many people as possible to participate in cultural events and benefits.

The funding is intended for new art projects/cultural events with audiences comprising young people (of all ages, including small children) or adults with disabilities. This includes individuals with physical and psychological needs, health problems, intellectual disabilities, sensory impairments, behavioral needs, learning difficulties, or other challenges that hinder equal participation in society. The city supports professionally executed projects developed with the specific target group in mind and consulting with representatives or experts in the field. Consultation addresses the needs and capabilities of the target group and may extend to choices in form and theme.

Evaluation criteria for applications include collaboration with the target group (expert/experts must be named in the application) and thorough consideration of the project's accessibility. Projects should consider venues based on the target group's needs and are encouraged to cater to groups that have restricted access to existing cultural events and/or whose specific characteristics are crucial in the creative process.

The program welcomes projects that create new cultural events, considering the uniqueness of people with disabilities, ensuring the content is experientially rich through multiple senses and artistically convincing.

The new funding program has an allocation of 50,000 euros, with a maximum of 20,000 euros available per project.

Projects are invited to apply that target groups who have limited access to existing cultural events and/or for whom consideration of their characteristics is essential in the creative process. The support aims to create new cultural events that take into account the needs of individuals with disabilities, ensuring the content of the event is perceptible through multiple senses and artistically compelling.

Tallinn Culture & Sports Department will hold an information and inspiration day on February 21, 2024, for representatives of the target groups and cultural professionals.

For information (in Estonian language) about the grant application for cultural projects created for people with disabilities click HERE.