At Fabrica, visitors can experience culture and creativity in unexpected ways: through our ever-changing calendar of talks, group discussions, film screenings, performances and community-led events. Our year-round programme of creative workshops provide opportunities for all ages to work across disciplines including sculpture, printmaking, drawing and textiles, to support learning and increase wellbeing.
We love to work with others, from local members of our community to national organisations, to co-create and deliver various artistic and engagement-based programmes.
Our historic venue continues to play a central role in our community, as a place to meet, reflect and learn. We also love to be an important part of people’s life events through our Venue Hire offer, hosting unique private celebrations, weddings and parties.
There are six interlinked strands that define Fabrica’s activity.
As a registered charity with an educational mission, we are committed to generating interest and excitement about art and creativity, through and around learning. We work with schools, further and higher education students and community groups to give everyone the opportunity to participate creatively in the arts through access to drawing, making, writing, co-curation or other forms of active participation.
Fabrica has a strong track record of commissioning for its site (a Grade II listed building) and other locations. We have an expertise in creating short artist residencies in relation to specific contexts or themes. Drawing on this extensive experience, each year Fabrica offers several Making Space opportunities which support and profile artists’ work-in-progress, two photographic exhibition opportunities via the In Between Gallery, and one or two paid artist residencies.
Since 2014, Fabrica has provided a year-round film programme that includes regular screenings for various audiences. Our own monthly screenings of thought-provoking films are complemented by regular co-presentations working with local programmers and makers who bring their own perspectives to our big screen. Screenings in school holidays ensure something a bit different for the whole family. Our Fresh Perspectives young film programmers meet and co-curate screenings to broaden and diversify our film offer. Over 75% of our screenings are subtitled to support wider audiences to enjoy and access film at Fabrica.
Between March 1996 and March 2023 Fabrica regularly commissioned and presented large-scale immersive exhibitions shaped around our building, and often bringing celebrated international visual artists to the city for the first time. From April 2023, due to a major funding cut, we’re reappraising what we will be able to offer in terms of exhibition programming. We’ll be working on this until March 2024 when we’ll release our new Programming Policy.
Volunteers have always been an integral part of Fabrica’s team. Volunteers have supported us in the day-to-day running of Fabrica for many years, particularly in a front-of-house role. Volunteers bring their own skills, experience, interests and personality to Fabrica and by doing so have made a huge impact on our organisation over the past two decades. From April 2023, as we review our programming policy, we will be working with fewer volunteers.
We are continuing to work with Placements, who work with us to deliver our goals. Placements gain insight, skills and experience to support them in their personal and professional ambitions.
Fabrica is a unique venue for hire. A beautiful and relaxed space in a fantastic central location, Fabrica combines unexpected delights with traditional characteristics. The venue is perfect for weddings, corporate events, Christmas parties and more.
“We value art. We place the artist, the process of creating excellent new work and the audience for that work at the heart of everything we do” - Liz Whitehead, Co-Director.
Our mission is to present high-quality art and craft to a broad audience, enabling more people to access, enjoy and learn from it.
“We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience high-quality art, and the opportunity for creative participation in the arts. Fabrica exists to provide this opportunity to a broad range of people, including those who face barriers relating to their background, age, identity or circumstances” - Clare Hankinson, Co-Director.
Opened in March 1996 in the deconsecrated Holy Trinity Church, Fabrica was established by a group of artists from Red Herring Studios in Brighton as a focus for contemporary visual art practice, with the support of South East Arts, Brighton Borough Council, The Foundation for Sport and the Arts, and the Chichester Diocese.
Holy Trinity Church closed in 1985 and Brighton Council intended the building for use as a museum of Brighton history. Ultimately that role was taken up elsewhere, and that’s where the artists from Red Herring came in. The first exhibition took place in the newly named Fabrica in 1996.
The name Fabrica was chosen because of its association with making, blending the words fabricate in English and fabriquer in French. Additionally, Fabrica, with slight variations means factory in many European languages. The desire for Fabrica to be a place of creation was important to the founding artists.