EUCREA was founded in the late 1980s at a time when artistic work by disabled artists in Europe was awakening. Encouraged by the emancipated approach in the art and culture in the eighties, public interest in this work increased. Many projects, in particular in the visual and performing arts, developed. Their forms and ideas could not have been more different: Whereas individual projects emphasised the therapeutic or creative goals, others used the inclusion of the disabled to experiment with new art forms.
The need for networking and information among the players arose as a result of the development in the active scene. Founded in 1989, EUCREA Deutschland e.V. aspired to perform this task. Parallel to this, organisations of the same name were founded in various European countries and were initially sponsored by the European Union. Between 1993 and 2001, EUCREA Deutschland e.V. held, initially every two years, then yearly, the European "CreArt" festival at the REHACare fair in Düsseldorf that evolved as a meeting point for theatre makers, musicians and visual artists.
Parallel to this, the number of EUCREA members steadily grew. The establishment of a three-year fixed term position sponsored by Aktion Mensch in 1998 increased EUCREA's options and they were able to work on the development of a permanent infrastructure. The increased institutionalisation of many projects gave rise to a need for further training and discussion among the players. Since then EUCREA has given advice and support to the active scene with discursive and training formats and publications. With the European symposium WELTSICHTEN in the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce in 2000, EUCREA encouraged a stronger theoretical discussion between different groups of experts. The "Show Up" convention in 2007 emphasised the artistic training of the mentally impaired.
Parallel to the training and convention activities, EUCREA developed its own event formats in all art sectors. These have had a dynamic effect and model character for the active art scene: In 2003, EUCREA held the "European Song Contest Disabled Artists” in the Hamburg Congress Centrum. In 2004, "Simple Life", the European theatre festival about life on the fringe of society, was held in the Hebbel am Ufer theatre in Berlin. The main theme of the festival was the artistic approach to survival strategies. The festival was again realised in cooperation with Kampnagel in Hamburg in 2010.
In 2005 and for the first time, EUCREA launched a literature contest for mentally impaired authors. After these authors had denied the right to write creative texts, this contest produced impressive works that were issued in a publication. The contest was repeated in 2008 and 2010.
In 2006 and 2007, EUCREA participated in CAN DO CAN DANCE, a dance project with the British choreographer Royston Maldoom - known from the film "Rhythm is it!".
In the area of visual arts, together with the KUNSTWERK association, and in close cooperation with the EUWARD (European art award for artists with a mental impairment) EUCREA developed the internet gallery XPO-Online.net (archived version) where the most important artist workshops present themselves. Numerous exhibitions within the scope of festivals organised by EUCREA followed. The project "extensions" was an artistic reflection that focused on "prosthetics".
The first design contest for designers with a mental impairment was held in 2009 and EUCREA, in cooperation with Kunsthaus KAT 18, (formerly Allerhand - Kreative Werkstatt)GWK GmbH 2009 had a clear objective: to draw attention to the design potential of the disabled. Further projects that led to the development of the design portal and UNIC DESIGN label followed. Today it encompasses conventions, publications and projects for the advancement of disabled designers offered by EUCREA.