With the referendum to decide Britain’s future in the European Union fast approaching we thought we’d update a short piece written for an Arts Council England case study, which reflected briefly on the cultural and financial benefits of European funding.
Over fifteen years Fabrica has been involved in nine different cross-border collaboration projects with partners in France, Belgium, Italy, and Macedonia. We’ve been able to apply to a number of funding schemes and during that period we have been awarded just over £1.3m and because we have a policy of working with local businesses and freelancers wherever possible, most of that money has gone directly into the local economy.
Some of the outcomes made possible by that funding –
17 artist residencies
250k + visitors
These numbers only tell a fraction of the story though, a story which includes bringing international artists to Brighton and Hove, providing opportunities for developing artists to travel cross border in both directions, share work and take part in residencies, to look at audience development, working with marginalized groups, cultural tourism and much more.
Fifteen years of collaboration have created a rich way of working that informs the entire organization and a legacy that has far reaching consequences. Working in partnership is always valuable and we have found this to be particularly so in collaboration with partners overseas, which is not without challenges but where real cultural differences provide very rich ground for the development of new and exciting ideas.
Losing access to that funding would mean losing an incredibly valuable source of income when the funding landscape for the arts in the UK is very difficult, losing the opportunity to continue to develop work and collaborate with our European neighbours and threaten to impoverish us as an organization and as a contributor to the local cultural and economic landscape.