Convenor of the Green Group Phélim Mac Cafferty has responded to news that local arts hub and charity Fabrica could face closure as a result of council cuts.
The contemporary arts gallery on Duke Street, which has been in receipt of a regular grant from Brighton and Hove City Council, has now launched a fundraising campaign to plug a £20,000 loss in its funding following council cuts. Despite efforts by the charity to introduce cost reduction measures across the last year, Fabrica now need to fill a gap in finances by the end of March 2018.
The gallery has featured artists such as Anish Kapoor and Brian Eno and also runs a range of community outreach activities and programmes designed to make arts more accessible, including running workshops for children and young people.
Councillor Mac Cafferty has called for support for ‘a cornerstone of art in our city,’ commenting:
“A former dissenter church, where the act of disagreeing through faith has been replaced with bold questions about art, Fabrica is a powerhouse of the local visual arts scene.
“Fabrica’s bold exhibitions has brought us challenging, visually exciting art work. Some of my highlights over the last few years have included: Kaarina Kaikkonen with her shirt sculpture and Janet Cardiff’s magical re-take on the music of Thomas Tallis.
“But Fabrica repeatedly asserts that art is for all too. They helped found Men In Sheds- a project preventing isolation in older men. Fabrica’s outreach work in schools ensures our city’s kids experience art as it is created. Only a matter of weeks ago, Fabrica hosted children from Middle Street Primary School who performed with dancer, Rosaria Gracia.
“22 years after opening its doors, it would be awful to lose Fabrica. This cornerstone of art in our city must survive whatever the perverseness of political austerity. The cultural industries contribute almost £77bn to the UK economy and for every £1 spent on the arts in Brighton and Hove an additional £2 is generated for the wider economy.”
The campaign to keep the gallery open includes a range of local fundraising events, with Fabrica offering a series of incentives in return for a donation such as a film pass or an opportunity to use the gallery space for a day’s event or exhibition.