Arts and cultural activities, Social inclusion, participation of marginalized groups, civic educat


A project to give visibility to disability in rural environments through artistic and urban practices in four towns in Castilla La Mancha.


Who is behind this?




Who is joining forces?



Sta. Cruz de la Zarza City Council (Toledo).


Antonio Pérez Foundation


Area of Social services in Yepes,Tarancón,Quintanar de la Orden. Friends of Ethnological Museum Assoc. APROSIMA Assoc. of professionals for Socialization and Integration. Zoohaus cultural assoc.


Idea pitch

“Here there are dragons” (Hic sunt dracones) is what they wrote in medieval times when they did not know what was beyond the explored territory.
This project seeks to give visibility, autonomy, and promote equality for people with disabilities and at risk of social exclusion in rural areas of Spain through artistic practices and languages. The project proposes a program of activities that will build a network between individuals, artists, and their territories in nearby areas.

Where will your project idea take place?

Villages of: Tarancón (Cuenca), Santa Cruz de la Zarza, Yepes, Quintanar (Toledo)-Castilla La Mancha

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

In Spain, one million people with disabilities live in rural areas, a quarter of Spain’s disabled population. Particularly, communities from the regions of Galicia, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Navarra, Cantabria, and La Rioja have a disability rate in the rural environment that is much higher than the Spanish average.

The depopulation of rural areas and lack of resources and services has resulted in the exclusion and invisibility of people with disabilities. This lack of adequate social services forces families to assume all care work. This project breaks down barriers promoting the rights of disabled people living in marginalisation and inequality by providing them with opportunities to participate in public life.

Who are you doing it for?

This project benefits people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their communities within the participating municipalities. In the rural environment, disabled persons (DPs) have more difficulties in their personal/social development because their environment typically does not facilitate their inclusion due to lack of material and cultural resources.
We also will include other people at risk of social exclusion, such as the elderly, and engage with groups that allow us to establish necessary and enriching intergenerational dialogue (youth, art students.) as well as other local neighborhood, cultural, and women’s organizations. These groups (to be further defined upon commencing the project) will become fundamental allies for the achievement of the project’s objectives.

How do you plan to get there?

Weeks 1-8>Enrollment of collaborators and identification of places of intervention:getting to know the context by mapping possible partners, activities, and neighbourhoods. Locating less-visible emerging practices that shape daily life. 8-14>Learning extraction. Identify the lessons learned from the mapping process and develop guidelines to consolidate and export lessons. 14-20>Re-signifying public space together: Visiting places of intervention, sharing knowledge and stories linked to the area. Making together: Collaborative sketching, design, and building of the furniture to make an itinerant “urban parliament”. Sharing and celebrating together: Take the “urban parliament” on the road, sharing in community and installing the furniture in selected spaces making it an element of visibility

What are the expected results?

From previous experiences, the results are highly satisfactory, for the participating DPs, their families, and municipalities, which find in the project an effective tool to help this group to improve their quality of life, their capacities, and their self-esteem.

The families will discover that their children can continue learning and enjoying new experiences that they would never have at home or in public formal trainings. They will gain visibility in their environment, and in public space, being able to show their abilities to their neighbours and relatives.

Another change that we pursue is that the DPs after participating in the project,, become more active in projecting their needs and claiming new actions and activities of this kind.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Artistic practice is a tool that helps to discover the capabilities of any person. In the world of disability, art creates work habits, awakens observation, and produces positive changes in people, developing self-esteem and making people feel more free.We propose to share artistic practice and urban regeneration with the support of all those interested, not only disabled persons and their families, but all of those who wish to improve their environment by learning together, ending the process with a celebration, and inviting the entire surrounding community to enjoy the result of this collaboration.In short: we seek to make visible, give autonomy, and promote equality for people with disabilities and at risk of social exclusion in the rural and peripheral areas through artistic practices

Why is this idea important to you?

In the early 2000's, when the first Montessori school closed in Madrid, Victor Hijon, along with other parents of students, created a foundation to support the autonomous life of people with disabilities through training in artisan craftsmanship.
30 years later, we seek to relaunch a similar initiative in several municipalities of Castilla La Mancha. We hold a solid commitment to the equality and effective inclusion of people with disabilities and we see the need for projects of this kind in rural areas, especially in the context of rural Spain. We successfully tested a 1st edition of our initiative in Santa Cruz de La Palma (Canary Islands) in 2019, with the support of the City Council, local social support/neighbourhood associations, and other local agents in the areas where we worked.

€ 48000,-

Total budget

€ 48000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

- COORDINATION - 12,000€
Project coordination, management, and development work.
Professionals, facilitators and mediators in the arts and education
- ARTISTS - 12,000€
Artists' and social groups' honorariums. 2,000 euros x 6 artists
- PRODUCTION (materials, etc...) - 8,700€
Material for workshop production||activities.
Strategy and implementation for the project promotion.

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Initiatives developed in rural and depopulated areas need to be consolidated in a network so they can spread to other "brother-territories”. Support from Civic Europe will give us an opportunity to learn and scale-up our idea for other contexts/possibilities of mutual support from related projects.



Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

Write comment