EduOpera for Special You(th) © Stara Zagora State Opera i
This project aims to encourage the social inclusion of young people with special educational needs through music, dance, and opera. Its objective is to offer musical and dance workshops to a mixed group of youth with special needs (Autistic spectrum, ADHD, Down syndrome, sensory and communicative challenged) and other peers of theirs. The common activities would lead to a final joint experience in interactive opera performance named "I am a Musician", with professional musicians, dancers, singers, supported by educational staff.
Our inspiration comes from the fact that classical music could be used much more to help improving the conditions of young people with special needs but there are not so many activities or public efforts in this regard. What is more, there is significant lack of cultural products which are suitable for children and youth with autism, ADHD, or other sensory challenges. We see this proposal as pioneer project which would encourage other social and cultural organizations to develop inclusive productions.
This is going to be the first Bulgarian project implemented by opera and social institutions which include both youth with special educational needs and not-at-risk youth.
In order to achieve its goal, Stara Zagora State Opera recruited two powerful allies – Stara Zagora branch of the National Association of Resource Teachers and Stara Zagora International Youth Center for Work with Youth at Risk, who will provide expertise on working with young people (with and without special needs), as well as host musical educational workshops in their premises and encourage local youth to take part in this idea. We expect to reach at least 100 youth who would take part in the workshops to be held between May and December 2020 and at least 30 who would join in the “I am a Musician” performance.