European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC)

Promoting Inclusive Theatre

New Theatre Institute of Latvia (NTIL)

So far contemporary theatre festival HOMO NOVUS promoted access for visitors with movement and hearing impairments being one of the inclusive culture pioneers in Latvia. Last year HOMO NOVUS had a record in reaching out to different communities.

More than 100 deaf and disabled visitors came. With the next festival we want to invite a more visually impaired community and make theatre more accessible to them, which is an innovative case in Latvia.

HOMO NOVUS is a well known contemporary theatre festival in Eastern Europe celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. For the last four years NTIL has been learning how to involve communities with disability in the festival not only as the spectators, but also as a part of the team and performances. We have been bringing artists with disabilities on stage, being one of the rare institutions in the Baltics doing so.

Within these four years we have developed accessible festival strategies for other institutions and individuals seeking inspiration and guidance. We can surely say that we have been one of the pioneers of an inclusive art and culture sector in a country with many obstacles created by harsh history. There are almost no accessible cultural events for the blind, and what is even worse, there is a lack of understanding what is truly needed from the community.

Therefore, our first step is to make a discussion assessing the current situation as well as finding solutions and relevant steps for the future. Furthermore, one of the performances by the Australian artists Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey Deluge with the help of the blind community will be customised so that it is accessible for people with visual impairments.

The performance and discussion/workshop will take place in the Latvian National Museum of Art in order to emphasise the role of culture in promoting accessibility.

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