Two young guys in a room with black curtains. The guy to the right has a black sweater, blue jeans and curly hair. He smiles and holds his right hand out, palm up, towards the guy standing in front of him. The other guy has a black sweater and black track pants with three white stripes down the leg. He's looking the other guy in the eyes and raises his hand in the air, just about to give a high five. Behind the two young men, a xylophone can be seen.

What we do, how we do it and for whom

All people should have the opportunity to express themselves artistically in a world where differences are seen as valuable. This is the vision of ShareMusic & Performing Arts, the Swedish knowledge centre for artistic development and inclusion.

Photo: ShareMusic & Performing Arts

The ShareMusic knowledge centre promotes...

  • The right of everyone to participate in, experience and practice cultural and artistic activities
  • Reaching out across sectors and at all levels of the cultural ecosystem
  • Generating, utilising and collecting knowledge in a knowledge base
  • Increased sharing and dissemination of knowledge on inclusive approaches and practices
  • Development of the arts through greater inclusion

What do we want to achieve?

  • More practitioners, authors and artistic leaders with disabilities in Swedish and international cultural life for the enrichment of the arts and society
  • A new cultural landscape with new expressions and narratives by disabled practitioners
  • The perspective of disability rights being as natural as, for example, ethnic diversity, gender equality and other grounds of discrimination in the entire cultural ecosystem
  • Increased knowledge of inclusive practices across the cultural ecosystem
  • A richer and more equal cultural life in Sweden — and the world — that reflects the diversity and richness of society

The ecosystem of culture

By cultural ecosystem, we mean all actors that can influence the opportunities for participation in cultural life or a career in the field. This includes actors such as municipal music and art schools, primary schools, study associations, secondary schools, institutions, community colleges, higher artistic education and, not least, the independent cultural sector. From children's opportunities to try out different creative expressions, all the way through primary school to higher education and working life. The disability rights perspective is cross-sectoral and therefore development also needs to take place in several sectors and at several levels, preferably simultaneously.

The picture was taken at a puppet theatre course in Skövde. Some people are visible in the picture. A young boy is lying in an armchair with his left arm bent. His mouth is open, and a medical plastic tube is visible on his face. Behind him is a young man who is leaned over the guy and is holding his forehead. The man has dark hair and is wearing a black shirt. To the right of the guy is another man in a light grey shirt who has bent over the guy with a doll in his hands. The doll is handmade and created from orange and light green threads.  On the far right we see a woman dressed in a white blouse, black shirt and black pants. She is holding a handmade doll made of paper and cardboard that represents a robot. Behind these people, a grand piano and some silhouettes can be seen.
Photo: ShareMusic & Performing Arts

We create, develop and share knowledge

At the core of ShareMusic is a constantly vibrant development platform. This means that we not only share knowledge, but also constantly create new knowledge. We develop ways of working, methods and much more to enable more people to experience, participate in and practice cultural and artistic activities. We are also part of research projects and collaborations.

The forms of work include artistic labs, collaborative and research projects, lectures, performing arts productions, courses, workshops and other types of training and skills development. But we are always open to new approaches.

Read more about our research and development work here.

New opportunities with technology and digitalisation

At ShareMusic, we have always been at the forefront of technological developments, particularly in the field of music. An important part of our work is to explore the opportunities for participation and creation that new technologies and digitisation can offer to people with disabilities. With the Corona pandemic, we began to seriously explore new ways of creating together at a distance. For those who have difficulty travelling due to various physical, social, geographical or health-related reasons, such technologies can open up entirely new opportunities to participate from a safe place.

In the centre of the picture is a young girl with red hair wearing a yellow shirt. She is standing in front of a theremin musical instrument and playing. The theremin looks like a light brown wooden box with a metal antenna sticking out of the side. The girl looks very happy. Her eyes are closed and she has a smile on her face. In her right hand she is clutching a blue rubber ball with spikes. Behind her, some silhouettes are visible.
Photo: ShareMusic & Performing Arts

Artistic development through inclusion

At ShareMusic, artistic expression is constantly being challenged and developed. That's why we often work cross-artistically in co-creative processes where people with different backgrounds, experiences and abilities come together. In short, we work with artistic development through inclusion. 

To pave the way for development, we often work with both co-creative methods and interdisciplinary approaches. All participants contribute to the artistic process from an equal starting point. This means, for example, that we always make sure we are in accessible venues, the leaders use a flexible working approach and if we travel together we make sure that accommodation and transport are accessible. Anyone with a possible disability should not have to think about all the other things going on around them and should be able to focus on the creative work.

We work collaboratively in both short and longer artistic processes in everything from workshops and labs to full-scale performing arts productions. In co-creative work, everyone participates and contributes to the process to varying degrees, creating broader opportunities for new expressions to take place and develop. The co-creative process can be used throughout the artistic creation process, or in part. For example, the co-creative work can form a basis that is then taken forward by, say, a composer in a commissioned work. In our co-creative work, as in all creative work we do, we always strive for a high artistic quality, regardless of the length of the process. 


Over the years, we have also seen how there is a gap between the path to a professional life in arts and culture and artists with disabilities. Today, not all people have equal opportunities to enter artistic education and further into professional life. We want to bridge that gap! That's why we are now working hard to develop models and find ways of working to create a more level playing field.

Read more about our work on professionalization.

Our theory of change

Graphic illustration of ShareMusic's model of change. There are 5 green circles which are interconnected. Under each circle it says: "Attention", "Awareness", "Attitude Change", "Influencing Norms" and “Stage of equal opportunities". The word "Engagement" links "Awareness" and "Attitude Change".

We have developed a working model for achieving a level playing field. Attention and awareness create engagement with those who take part in our work. This engagement then creates the conditions for the change in attitudes needed to be able and willing to influence norms that can eventually lead to an equal scene — and society.

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