Arts for Inclusion: How Performance Helps to Integrate Young People

Sylvia Harrison, the project manager at Roundhouse*, shares her experience of creating an inclusive performance with young people with disabilities in Ukraine.

The aim of their project, which is called Better Together, is to help young people to engage in performing arts. Organisers hope that the initiative will be the starting point for integration and changes in the community.

The tutor of the performance, Wolfgang Stange, used an unexpected methodology of working with young artists. There weren’t any overviews of everyone’s disability during the introduction of the group. He believes that it helps to avoid defining people by their disabilities. Moreover, he tried to create an atmosphere of freedom on stage by reducing rules and guidelines, so participants felt open and without fear with regard to doing something wrong.

As a result, the project brought together 40 professional and emerging artists with and without disabilities. They performed to an audience of over 600 people. Young people were able to fulfil their dreams of, for instance, being a rock star or playing a role in a romantic duet. And the main thing was that they received a positive response from the audience and acceptance by others. The workshop and performance, which took place in Kryviy Rih, weren’t the last steps of the project. The organisers are planning to stage a tour to two Ukrainian cultural festivals, engage youngsters, and publish a toolkit on how to make culture initiatives inclusive.

Read more about Sylvia`s experience at


Other interesting stories: