Apropa Cultura

Apropa Cultura
Health and Well-Being
Build-up laboratory

Apropa Cultura is a programme oriented to fostering and diversifying access to cultural venues, making their programming accessible and comprehensible for everyone, thanks to a relevant effort of mediation and communication.

It addresses disadvantaged and vulnerable social collectives, who may face entry barriers (people with intellectual disability, people with physical impairment, people with mental issues, women, the elderly, addicts, or migrants). The aim is to provide culture within their reach, with all its transforming power, and showing another panorama to the citizens who could not enjoy access to culture. These activities pretend to help these collectives in their path towards inclusion and equality.

Apropa Cultura Programme is a platform that facilitates access to cultural programming of the main cultural venues in Catalonia to people in a situation of vulnerability, who are attended by social services or health centres. The programme favours the work in networks. The main tool is the platform available at www.apropacultura.cat.

Main results and impacts produced by the initiative on the selected MESOC crossover themes

Over 14 years of activity, the programme has generated 312.256 cultural experiences (with cultural experiences we refer mainly but not only to music, theatre and dance performances and visits to museums). These experiences allow recipients to have an opportunity to go out from their routines and preoccupations and to enjoy a quality cultural event in a group. The success of the initiative has been the normalization of cultural visits in a double sense since it is a programme designed for both cultural venues and social/health centres:

  • the social/health centres and their users decide what they want to see and when, they have the opportunity to decide. Before there was a “charity tradition”, where cultural venues basically decided what to offer to these groups or they worked only with charitable entities they previously knew.
  • The shows and activities are programmed according to the needs of these audiences 

Impacts related to health and wellbeing: increased self-esteem, the use of medications is lowered thanks to the “happy” experience.

Impacts related to people’s engagement and participation; fostering group cohesion, an inclusive experience shared with other people, emotions rise, people feel a reason to live, increased sense of belonging to the city.

Other relevant impacts

Apropa Cultura has become a space of social and cultural mediation, able to generate new transforming initiatives. New participatory experiences adapted to the specific needs of groups and collectives have been produced, starting from this initiative. In terms of internal organization, new workshops and activities have been designed, taking into account the specific needs of these collectives. An example of this is the creation of the activity “Matí d’orquestra”. The fact of working with diversity has also inspired new challenges and initiatives in the collaborating cultural venues, that desire to provide a better experience to those specific audiences and to the general audience.

Many social and health entities have started to create theatre companies and to develop cultural activities within their centres, after having participated with their groups in Apropa Cultura. Enjoying the cultural experience eases the incorporation of cultural practices by the group of participants, who decide to take cultural activity in the centre in their daily lives. They also use these cultural activities to enhance the empowerment and autonomy of many users who have the decision power to select what visit they want to take part in. The sales channels have also improved the accessibility, thanks to their easy use and above-mentioned possibility to filter by specific criteria. A novelty for the 2020/21 season is that Apropa has started to focus specifically on mental health, from a double perspective. On the one hand, Apropa desires that both entities/centres working with these collectives and mental health services use the programme. On the other hand, Apropa wants to foster the deconstruction of the existing stigma on mental health diseases and build a new positive idea through empathy. Apropa wishes also that the sector will start to value the artistic enrichment that people with mental health issues may bring.

Elements that contributed to the generation of these impacts

Contextual and exogenous conditions:

The fact that the Auditori had since the beginning an educational department helped the transition to this kind of activity. Also, the sensitivity of the then director Assumpció Malagarriga helped the creation of this programme. Being born within an organization with a strong educational and communicational vision helped the development of Apropa. The contacts and networking background of the direction and management of the auditorium have facilitated the creation of the Apropa network and its development in general. The existence of a social fabric facilitates relationships among different entities.


The Auditorium has a stable team entirely dedicated to the Apropa Cultura project. This allowed to create a network of cultural venues and to find synergies between Apropa coordinators and social entities, and, as a consequence, the grants and sponsorships required to pay the team and the needed IT development of the platform. The Auditori also “hosts'' the programme in its venue.