Culture and Arts

Cultural participation has a fundamental role in bringing human rights alive and endorsing inclusion. The access to cultural activities is the cornerstone to cultural integration, participation and representation. Recognizing the importance of cultural access, the UN Convention on the Rights of PWDs (CRPD) states that "State parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to take part on an equal basis with others in cultural life, and shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy access to places for cultural performances or services, such as theatres, museums, cinemas, libraries and tourism services, and, as far as possible, enjoy access to monuments and sites of national cultural importance." (Article 30 - Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport). The Republic of Armenia has signed and ratified the Convention, thus assuming the responsibility to provide PWDs with full access to cultural services. the vast majority of cultural establishments (concert halls, museums, theaters, etc.) are inaccessible for persons with disabilities. Due to the numerous existing architectural barriers, most of such people cannot visit concerts, exhibitions and other cultural events. Thus PWDs are refused in their right to participation in cultural activities and limiting their cultural liberty.
Nevertheless, many Armenian disability-oriented NGOs do their best in order to involve people with disabilities in various cultural activities. Most talented disabled people occasionally have opportunities to participate in exhibitions and concerts (including those held abroad), and to advance their skills.
Several creative groups, both disabled and integrated, operate in Armenia. Among such groups, it is worth mentioning the Ovasis Theater-Studio of deaf people, the Paros Chamber Choir – the only wheelchair choir in the world, choirs of visually impaired people, the ceramics workshop for deaf people, arts and musical training courses for individuals with different types of disability, etc.
Out of hundreds of cultural centers in Armenia, accessible for persons with disabilities are Naregatsi Art Institute, "Moscow House" Cultural and Business Center, Cafesjian Center for the Arts, Yerevan State Puppet Theatre Named after Hovhannes Toumanyan, "Dalan" Gallery, The Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, The Russian Drama Theatre Named after K.S.Stanislavsky, "Erebuni" Historical & Archaeological Museum-Reserve, "Matenadaran" Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts named after Mesrop Mashtots and the Moscow Cinema.
For more information on accessibility conditions of cultural and other venues in Armenia please visit map.disability.am