EssilorLuxottica promotes inclusive art in the Bergamo-Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023
4 min

EssilorLuxottica is helping bring art to a wider audience by supporting the ‘Deserters’ project at the GAMeC of Bergamo and the ‘OPEN’ project at the Teatro Grande Foundation of Brescia in Italy.

In line with its Eyes on the Planet sustainability strategy, EssilorLuxottica continuously aims to play an active role in the communities where it operates by returning value through its ‘Eyes on Art’ initiative, which includes projects that democratize art in all its forms and make it more accessible.

This year, the Company is supporting two innovative projects that are part of the ‘Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023’ program, which sees two cities come together as one to foster a culture of solidarity and care.

Focusing on the theme ‘Culture as a Cure,’ the projects chosen are hosted by two prestigious institutions – the GAMeC of Bergamo and the Teatro Grande Foundation of Brescia – to raise awareness through art and entertainment on the importance of building an inclusive society. They were designed with the belief that supporting new perspectives leads to the improvement of community life and relationships. 

Bergamo: ‘Deserters’ live installation questions inclusion and accessibility

Deserters is a live installation by Italian artist and activist Chiara Bersani on exhibit at modern and contemporary art gallery GAMeC. It involves three actors with mobility disabilities in a large room and stages a union of interacting bodies, leaving signs of their passage.

This performance piece not only questions new inclusion practices, but also investigates, from an aesthetic standpoint rooted in proximity and relationship, the broad concept of accessibility. It addresses themes of vulnerability and dependence, welcoming the audience into an engaging journey that undermines stereotypes associated with intimacy and identity that frequently affect people with disabilities.

Having won the ‘Program for the International Promotion of Italian Art’ awarded by the Ministry of Culture’s General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity, Deserters is being developed during the artist’s residency in Bergamo from August 28 to September 3. It will conclude with an event inviting the public to attend final performance rehearsals in preparation for its debut at the Kunsthaus Baselland modern art museum in Switzerland, where Bersani’s first solo exhibition in a European institution will be hosted in the fall.

GAMeC opened in 1991 and is known as a place for discussion, insight and cultural integration that promotes exhibitions by international artists and a rich calendar of activities for different audiences.

Brescia: OPEN makes opera and ballet accessible to people with sensory disabilities

The OPEN project at the Teatro Grande Foundation of Brescia focuses on making opera and ballet performances accessible to people with sensory disabilities, starting with Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly in July.

Adapting to include audiences with different needs – partly thanks to innovations such as Sennheiser’s technology, which aids viewers with visual and hearing disabilities – broadens cultural participation by promoting its benefits and advantages to an increasingly large category of people. Throughout 2023, existing inclusive activities are being consolidated and expanded with workshops, in-depth courses and a dedicated ‘Accessibility Day.’

The Teatro Grande Foundation of Brescia manages the city’s main theater, which has a history stretching back over 200 years, accompanying its diverse artistic and multidisciplinary performances with social activities ranging from accessibility to environmental sustainability and improving community well-being.

About Italy’s Capital of Culture Program

Established in 2014 by the Italian Ministry of Culture, the ‘Capital of Culture’ title is awarded annually to the city that presents the most effective program for cultural heritage enhancement. Becoming an Italian Capital of Culture allows the city to promote development through its artistic heritage to become a growth driver for the entire community. The goal of this initiative is to support Italian cities in the field of culture, which is a key factor in improving social cohesion, integration, innovation, economic development, and individual and collective well-being.

In 2023, Brescia and Bergamo combined their rich artistic, historical and cultural heritage by uniting as a single Capital of Culture for 2023 to mark a gesture of pride and rebirth following the Covid-19 epidemic. Their unique cultural wealth is being displayed to a wide audience through various exhibitions, concerts, festivals and theatrical performances.