Fabrica is a free contemporary art gallery and community charity in the heart of Brighton. We’ve presented work by Martin Parr, Brian Eno, Alfredo Jaar, Janet Cardiff, Simon Faithfull, Melanie Manchot, Susan Collins and Semiconductor, to name but a few. We believe in artists and their ideas and support them to create amazing work: not just the big names but artists at all stages of their career. We welcome around 48,000 people each year to our unique programme of large-scale installations and smaller-scale artist developmental projects.
Why we need your support
A year ago, we lost a regular £20,000 grant from Brighton & Hove Council as a result of local funding cuts. We’ve tried our best to come back from this but we haven’t been able to adjust fast enough to make up for the loss. We now urgently need to raise £20,000 to keep Fabrica going.
We've been at the heart of the community for 22 years and a lot of people rely on us. We provide opportunities for 200 volunteers each year and development, advice and resources for hundreds of artists. The activities we offer at, and beyond, the gallery are often a way out of social isolation for low-income families, vulnerable older people and people with learning disabilities.
We don’t want to cut any of our vital work. We've absorbed some of the grant loss by making a member of staff redundant - a very tough decision. We're also working hard to make more money out of hiring out our beautiful historic venue, and that’s going well - but we need your help now to bridge this funding gap.
If we don't manage this, we will have to cut some of the activities that people can access for free or at low cost. That’s a sad prospect because Fabrica is all about reducing barriers to contemporary art and we want everyone to enjoy and learn from it. We might even have to close our doors after 22 years. But we’re really determined not to let that happen.
Be part of our future
With your help, we can start the new financial year in much better health and get ourselves back on track. With our commercial profits up and our running costs now reduced, we’re optimistic about the future – and we’d love you to be part of it. That’s why, for the first time ever, we’re asking you to support Fabrica.
Pick up one of our great rewards
We’ve got some great rewards on offer, including unique behind-the-scenes experiences and original artwork kindly donated by artists we’ve worked with.
More about Fabrica
Fabrica is one of Brighton & Hove’s best-loved arts organisations. Based in a beautiful former Regency church in the Lanes, we’ve presented site-specific contemporary art installations since 1996.
We support artists to work at a larger scale, and to take risks – and this approach has led to some amazing experiences in the gallery. 2011’s Cascade by Stéphane Cauchy featured nine buckets on a pulley system tipping water continuously into a pool. For Woodlock (Jacques Nimki, 2006) the gallery was transformed into a forest glade. The Blue Route and Time Passing By (Kaarina Kaikkonen, 2013) saw the gallery and the Clocktower dressed with shirts donated by local residents. We’ve presented sculptural installations of incredible beauty (such as John Grade’s The Elephant Bed, 2009 and Elpida Hadzi Vasileva’s Fragility, 2015), as well as immersive digital work like Brilliant Noise by Semiconductor (2008). The hugely popular Forty Part Motet by Janet Cardiff (2011) created an incredible soundscape from Thomas Tallis’ choral piece Spem in Alium.
Our year-round programme includes film screenings; advice and resources for artists in Brighton, Hove and Sussex; and educational workshops and talks. We provide volunteering opportunities for up to 200 people every year. In 2017, our volunteers gave 1,600 hours to support exhibitions, events and our back-office operations. In return we provided 645 hours of training and development.
Amongst other weird and wonderful experiences, Fabrica has created mass drawing events, a skateboarding halfpipe and a club night featuring major UK Grime DJs. Many couples have celebrated their wedding at Fabrica – we give them creative free rein and are always amazed by how they transform the space.
Huge thanks to Tom Thistlethwaite for producing and editing our Crowdfunder video.
Doesn’t Fabrica get funding from Arts Council England?
We’re delighted to be part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio, which means we receive regular funding towards our core staffing and running costs. However, this funding covers less than half of our total expenditure every year so we still have to raise a lot of additional income (through commercial activities, private trusts and foundations, and individuals).
Arts Council funding has been at a standstill level since 2012 – so in real terms this funding is being cut every year.
What will happen if you don’t raise all the money?
If we only raise some of the money, this will still be a huge help. We don’t have enough reserves (money in the bank) to make up for the gap in our finances, so any money raised will help to preserve our activities – even if only partially.
If we’re not successful at raising any money, we will end the year in a deficit. Because our reserves are depleted, we wouldn’t be able to just take the loss on the chin - we’d need to further reduce our expenditure immediately to ensure the organisation can survive in some form. In reality this could mean losing more staff and cutting the activities that people can currently access for free or at low cost: things like Chomp (a free lunch and activity club for low-income families), Fabrica Art Club or our pioneering volunteer programme.
Ending the year in deficit greatly increases the risk of Fabrica having to shut its doors if we can’t raise more income – our Board may decide that it is too risky to keep going.
If you need money, why do you offer perks/rewards?
We want to recognise the support you’re giving us with a range of rewards and experiences. A large number of these have been donated to us by artists and partners, or they are unique experiences that we can deliver at little cost.
If you raise this money now, will it mean that Fabrica will be ‘safe’?
We operate in a very difficult funding environment and there are no guarantees. However, if we manage to raise funding from our audiences at this time, we’ll be able to start the next financial year in a much better position.
Fabrica’s future looks good: we’re doing well at raising more income through commercial activities like venue hire, which can support our running costs. So we’re very optimistic about getting the organisation to a more resilient place if we raise enough funds to bridge this gap.
Will you ask people for money again after this campaign?
Without regular donations from individuals it will be hard for us to keep presenting our high-quality programmes. We will therefore continue to fundraise in the gallery (asking visitors for cash donations) and online. We very much hope that some of you will want to support Fabrica regularly in the future.