How did it all begin?

The inspiration and impulse for the creation of the multifaceted notion of To Touch Culture was a study visit to the University of Cambridge. In 2007, that beautiful university town in the UK hosted us in the context of a disability awareness project for academic staff.
The equivalent of our Service in Cambridge issued a guidebook for persons with disabilities promoted by no other than Stephen Hawking himself, who is linked to the University. We were intrigued by adaptations and novel solutions used at that school (older than our Jagiellonian University) as well as inspired by the possibilities they opened.
The guidebook, experiences, meetings and conversations shared a leitmotif: the primary key to overcoming barriers, including physical ones, is disability awareness.
To influence people’s awareness and make a radical change of attitudes towards persons with disabilities happen in Poland and other partner countries are also the objectives of our project.
Consequently, we planned training courses together with our British partner, just like ones at the University of Cambridge. Full of enthusiasm, we returned to Krakow to share our observations with Jagiellonian University authorities and Director of the JU Collegium Maius.
And so plans were developed for adapting our University museum to the needs of persons with disabilities. Then we met the art historian Róża Książek-Czerwińska, which resulted in a guidebook to the JU Collegium Maius.
Each year, the notion of To Touch Culture keeps developing. We invite you to have a look at the successive editions of our initiative: the fascinating content of open lectures, audio descriptions of artworks, descriptions of adaptations and video footage presented on this website, always remembering about the ultimate goal: more inclusion of vulnerable and excluded groups into knowledge and culture.

Idea behind the project

To Touch Culture is a regular feature at the Jagiellonian University continued over the entire academic year which promotes and puts into practice the idea of bringing people together through culture regardless of their age, (dis)abilities, origin or worldview.
It stands for diverse lectures, presentations and workshops for all the interested and, which is of particular importance, adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities.
It is a project delivered in cooperation with the Jagiellonian University Collegium Maius Museum, which makes that unique place receive adaptations of famous exhibits, prepared with persons who are blind, partially sighted and/or elderly in mind.  Spatial adaptations made by students of Design at the Pedagogical University of Cracow supervised by Malwina Antoniszczak, graphic adaptations by Lech Kolasiński and audio description of artworks open up a new perspective of experiencing cultural heritage.
The culmination of each To Touch Culture edition is a June concert at the courtyard of the Jagiellonian University Collegium Maius Museum. Every year, great jazz music and unique meeting opportunities make hundreds flock to embrace the notion of better access to culture for all.