Amsterdam Research Institute for Societal Innovation

Arts and social inclusion of persons with disabilities

How the use of creativity has benefits for people with disabilities


Whether recovering through creative therapy, reintegrating the work force through creative workspaces, or making art professionally, being creative can have a lot of benefits for people with disabilities. Be it using creativity to work on one’s personal problems, or acquiring a work rhythm, social contacts, and creative skills, or earning an income and status when being a professional artist. For this reason, many care institutions and care givers have creative workspaces for their clients.

Many of these care institutions want to try to bring their creative activities ‘to the next level’ by no longer focusing on keeping people busy and entertained, but by really teaching them art related skills, and by working towards a play, exhibition, or any other kind of showcase. In order to improve the quality of these productions, they’ve hired professional artists to choreograph, direct and teach their clients with disabilities.

Unfortunately, despite the improvement of creative skills and the quality of the productions, they struggle to find an audience other than the direct family than the people with disabilities. Even though this still has advantages, they would like to work more towards social inclusion in both the arts and society.

This research project aims to bring artists, artists with a disability and social professionals together to set a standard about when inclusion is fully achieved, and create ways to work on inclusion. The term social inclusion is often seen as an abstract theoretical idea, which is hard to put into practice. Both creative- and social professionals are in constant debate about when social inclusion is achieved, but also how it should be worked towards.

Published by  ARISI 2 February 2017

Project Info

Start date 01 Sep 2014


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