Far from the concept of a museum as a simple container of works, for some years now, the Museu Picasso has taken on the commitment to get involved with programmes of social inclusion for various collectives, which use art as a tool for personal enrichment and training. In addition to the programmes with educational institutions, from the museum’s department of education, all types of activities are boosted within this field, which as happens with the projects for teachers, carry out a silent work and with very little visibility at a media level, but, on the other hand, they are very fruitful activities both for the participants and for the social entities that collaborate in them, as well as for the museum itself. The fact is, art is a very powerful tool.
For more than a decade, the museum has collaborated with not-for-profit social entities in the neighbourhoods around the museum – la Ribera, Santa Caterina and Sant Pere. One of the most consolidated collaborations with social entities, is with the Fundació Comtal, which carries out a hosting service for children in extracurricular hours, as well as support for families. With the Fundació Comtal, the museum organises a workshop with kids and teenagers, jointly carried out with the Associació Art&Coop and given by the artist Karen Rosentreter Villarroel, about the topic of murals which culminates with the transformation of a door of the premises of the foundation with a graffiti, painted by the boys and girls. The museum also offers various activities to the children and their families and ongoing assessment and advice, and collaborates with the programme Construeix-te (Build yourself) for newcomer kids and youths.
The entity Bayt al Thaqafa, which is dedicated to the reception and training of Arab-Muslim immigrants, is another entity with which the museum collaborates, in this case through guided visits.
Furthermore, the Museu Picasso provides transport grants to enable the visit to the museum of groups of teachers from outside Barcelona of schools located in areas at risk of social exclusion. Also, one of the most consolidated social activities is thefortnightly workshop for hospitalised children in Sant Joan de Déu, given by the painter and illustrator Anna Obon in the hospital’s playroom.
The museum also forms part of the network Apropa Cultura, (Approach Culture) which joins theatres, auditoriums, festivals and museums together with entities from the social sector with the aim of making culture accessible to the people at risk of social exclusion. In this platform, the museum is the cultural institution which is constantly the most voted with the maximum rating of five stars.
One of the collectives to which the museum also dedicates part of its educational activity is for the elderly. The most notable project in this field is the workshop Picasso in the memory, a six-month course aimed at people over 65 years old, which, based on the figure and works of Picasso from the permanent collection of the museum, aims to enhance and maintain the cognitive abilities of attendees, improve social relations and even impact on aspects such as reinforcing reading habits. This workshop, which is held annually from October to March with groups of around twenty people and is completely free, is one of the most consolidated in the educational programme of the museum.
Taking as a reference the experience gained from this long-term workshop, and also aimed at the elderly, the museum organizes a small format of the course entitled A Visit to Remember. In this case, the workshop has a duration of 50 minutes based on the reflections that emerge from four works in the permanent collection.