Always committed to promoting the enjoyment of cultural treasures, the Ducal Palace Museum in Mantua has now set out to investigate and delve into the communicative potential that is intrinsic to all forms of artistic expression. Communication encourages dialogue, which in turn fosters relations, sparks debate, and encourages participation, which are all essential for sharpening one’s sense of belonging to an inclusive, civil society. For this reason, the Ducal Palace Museum in Mantua, specifically the Educational Division under the Instructional Services Department and Restoration Workshop, along with LAO (a nonprofit association that supports outsider artists); have stipulated an agreement intended to promote an awareness of art and to leverage its potential as a socially inclusive means. Moreover, they have joined their efforts in order to set up a series of workshops open to all those who wish to participate and which will integrate the users of social services and adult daycare facilities. Another goal is that of making people aware of beauty and of its value as a means of promoting collective wellbeing. Description: The museum will thus become the site of artistic experimentation viewed as constituting the emotional output of those who are affected by some form of mental distress and wish to take part in an expressive endeavor. Through this means, Outsider Art is no longer confined within the boundaries of a caretaking center for the mentally ill, but becomes a conduit of individual creative expression through publically held workshops. Methods: The Restoration Workshop and the Instructional Services Department of the Ducal Palace Museum have enlisted Vanda Malacarne and Renata Casarin as tutors, along with Daniela Rosi, instructor and President of LAO, to oversee the workshop activities to be held in those areas of the Ducal Palace that are distinctive and especially suited to welcoming all those who wish to experience an unconstrained, open workshop. The workshops will be held every last Thursday of the month, from April 30th until the month of November, 2015. Each workshop will last two hours, from 10am-12pm. All those visitors with an admission ticket to the museum may take part in the workshops, which are free of charge for those who qualify. For further information and reservations, please contact: Tel. 0376 352149/128/100 e-mail: vanda.malacarne@beniculturali.it; renata.casarin@beniculturali.it.

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