Zero Project Inclusive Arts

Harnessing the transformative power of Arts and Culture

Contact for enquiries:

Isabella Essl, Head of Inclusive Arts

i.essl@zeroproject.org

The Zero Project seeks innovative forms of art and expression worldwide that allow people with disabilities to actively participate in the arts and realize their full potential. The Essl Foundation supports inclusive art projects.

The Zero Project Inclusive Arts initiative is dedicated to harnessing the transformative power of Arts and Culture to positively impact society. The Zero Project believes that exposure to and participation in the Arts can strengthen communities, drive economic growth, enhance education, and improve health and wellbeing.

This commitment is aligned with international standards, including the UN CRPD, the Marrakesh Treaty, and the American Disability Act of 1990. The Zero Project firmly stands for breaking down barriers that hinder people with disabilities from accessing the Arts, including access to buildings, education, training, and employment opportunities. An accessible world of Arts and Culture fosters vibrant, inclusive communities, supports disabled Artists, promotes independent living, and encourages entrepreneurship.

 

Inspiring accessible art

The Zero Project finds and shares solutions that remove barriers for persons with disabilities. At the Zero Project Conference 2023, Street Art Belgrade created an accessible artwork titled “Inclusion”. This inspired replication in the US and Austria.

About "Inclusion" by Street Art Belgrade

The "Inclusion" mural, unveiled during #ZeroCon23 at the United Nations Office at Vienna, showcases the transformative power of street art. Created by Serbian artist Jana Danilović, this mural embodies the universal truth that love and touch transcend barriers, depicted through two women embracing—one seated in a wheelchair. Their sweaters, adorned with blue polka dots on a coral background, symbolize unity amid diversity. Turquoise hues backdrop the scene, with sparrows soaring freely, evoking a sense of boundless possibility.

Pioneering tactile models

This landmark project, made possible by Street Art Belgrade, pioneers inclusive street art practices globally. "Art in Passing," initiated in 2021, aims to make street art accessible to visually impaired individuals through 3D printed tactile models. These models, enriching the art experience with texture and perspective, underscore the belief that street art should be enjoyed by all.

Replication in Vienna and the US

In Austria, inspired by Street Art Belgrade's initiative, there are now three barrier-free street art works in the seventh district of Vienna, at Karl-Farkas-Park. Martin Essl, Petra Burger, and Markus Reiter spearheaded this accessibility drive, integrating tactile models and Braille descriptions to ensure inclusivity.

Similarly, in the US, Jill Wells, a Fellow at The Harkin Institute, champions accessible art with 3D mural models. Her latest endeavor, unveiled at King Elementary School in Des Moines, aims to reshape Iowa's mural landscape, empowering individuals of all abilities to experience public art.

These initiatives, rooted in collaboration between Street Art Belgrade and The Zero Project, signify a global shift towards inclusive art, fostering connection and belonging for all.
 

Accessible Street Art inspired by "Inclusion"

  • Jill Wells is pointing to the tactile board

    3D Mural Models by Jill Wells

    Iowa, USA

    Inspired by Street Art Belgrade, Jill Well began to create 3D mural models, with a first one installed at King Elementary School in Des Moines.

  • Daniele Marano touches the tactile board at Karl-Farkas-Park

    Tactile models of three artworks

    Vienna, Austria

    In the public square Farl-Farkas-Park in Vienna's 7th district, three tactile models of the local street art were installed.

Accessible Street Art in Vienna: Audio Guide

Learn about the artworks at Karl-Farkas-Park in Vienna and the tactile models:

Audio Guide in English

Audio Guide in German

Inclusive Arts focus areas

“To make this vision a reality, we advocate for the creation of job profiles, a legal framework, and dedicated resources to fully integrate people with disabilities into the Arts and Culture sector. “

Connie Vandarakis, Zero Project Ambassador

Based on the insights gathered from our Zero Project Inclusive Arts Community, the core focus areas for Zero Project Inclusive Arts include:

  • building an network and collaborations to amplify the visibility of inclusive arts in society;
  • promoting intersectional socially engaged work by creatives and professionals across various sectors worldwide;
  • advocating for the intersection of arts and sustainability;
  • sharing web/digital accessibility advancements in the arts;
  • prioritizing inclusion and the elimination of various human barriers;
  • highlighting the importance of the arts in society and its economic value;
  • recognizing the far-reaching impact of inclusive arts on society.

Join the Zero Project Inclusive Arts Community

Joining the Zero Project Inclusive Arts Community offers a multitude of benefits, including:

  • opportunities to connect with new networks and peers in the field;
  • collaboration with like-minded change makers, innovators, and experts;
  • contribution to the promotion of inclusive arts on a global scale;
  • participation in projects and cooperation with diverse organizations and individuals;
  • a shared commitment to removing barriers between people with disabilities and those without, fostering a more inclusive society;
  • belief in the Zero Project's mission and the value of inclusive arts in promoting a healthy society;
  • access to a platform for exchanging ideas and expertise with experts in the field;
  • collaboration opportunities, professional development, and international project cooperation.

Contact the Zero Project to become a part of the Zero Project Inclusive Arts Community and contribute to a more inclusive world through the power of the Arts and Culture:

Join now!

Zero Project Awardees: Inclusive Arts

Every year, the Zero Project conducts research to identify solutions that remove barriers for persons with disabilities. Following a call for nominations and a multi-stage selection process with extensive peer-review by international experts, the Zero Project Awardees are recognized based on their innovation, impact, and scalability. Find a few examples here and click on the cards to find more information on the Zero Project Database.

  • Project participants are sitting around a table in front a shelf, which holds art works.

    Austria

    ARCHES

    ARCHES is an EU-funded project that brings together partners from the fields of culture, technology,…

  • A group of visitors in an art exhibition looking at black and white artwork.

    Spain

    Bienal de Arte Contemporáneo para la accesibilidad

    The Fundación ONCE International Contemporary Art Biennale is an inclusive art exhibition…

  • A man is acting in the theater stage with two persons fully covered with blue and purple stretchable fabric while two other men watching from a distance.

    United States of America

    Access to Theatre

    ‘Access to Theatre’ is a free inclusive arts programme designed to help young people develop…