“We are sharing our best practices, also in reaching vulnerable target groups”

A unique European project

Since April 2023, the Antwerp-based 'Theater van A tot Z' has been leading a European partnership with museums from Belgium, Croatia and Sweden. The goal: to enthuse vulnerable target groups to visit museums by enhancing their experience through the use of drama.


In the project, cultural organizations work together to try and reach vulnerable target groups. Those target groups include migrants, refugees and people living in difficult socio-economic conditions. Through the use of drama and sensory activities, they are immersed in museum collections. The official partners in this project, next to 'Theater van A tot Z', are The Museums and Galleries of the Konavle region in Croatia (Muzeji i galerije Konavala) and the Norrköping City Museum from Sweden (Norrköpings stadsmuseum).

Also, the Belgian Mining Museum from Beringen has participated in several activities. And we established contacts with the Red Star Line Museum and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts (KMSKA) in Antwerp.


The museums in this project all have a strong regional appeal because they highlight the past from their area. They do this with contemporary methods and innovative ideas, not with old-fashioned boring guided tours. What we all have in common as partners: we find the use of drama an ideal way to involve and educate people. During guided tours, for example, actors get involved, visitors are allowed to use their imagination or become part of a story themselves. By doing so you appeal to their emotions, create a link to the present, and make it easier for visitors to remember what you teach them. As a result, a museum visit becomes much more memorable.

Learning from each other

During this project we attended numerous hands-on workshops in the diferent countries. We also visited other museums to get inspired. For example, they went to the Red Star Line Museum and the Royal Museum for Fine Arts in Antwerp. The former tells the story of a ship company which helped more than 2 million Europeans emigrate to the US around the end of the 19th century. They receive a lot of current migrants and refugees, who are invited to share their stories. The latter houses paintings from Rubens to Basquiat. It employs guides who are blind and yet help visitors look closely at all the details in paintings. Another museum that impressed the participants, was the Mining Museum in Beringen. During their visitis, the partners in the project talked with audience engagement officials about the different target groups the museums serve and their specific approach. The goal of this whole project is that each of the participating museums will introduce a new activity for a specific target group next year. Theater van A tot Z is coordinating everything and will develop a mini-course to help museums across Europe apply drama during a museum visit.

Theater van A tot Z is a maverick in the cultural sector. The company always links culture, education, integration and welfare. They perform socially relevant theater in cultural centers, schools and libraries. Their performances are aimed at people with little or no cultural experience, such as young people or non-native speakers of Dutch. They also organise drama workshops for children and teachers, and share their expertise through international Erasmus+ projects.