Art Institutions in a City: FACT and the Liverpool Community

Clayton, Jane (2011) Art Institutions in a City: FACT and the Liverpool Community. Interdisciplinary Themes Journal, 3 (1). pp. 84-90. ISSN 1920-3241

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In 1967 John Willett asserted the importance of the relationship between art institutions and their communities, emphasising that art and culture is intrinsic to the city, just as the city is intrinsic to its art and culture. Since then, despite years of political and economic turmoil, Liverpool has experienced a significant cultural renaissance, and in the 1980s, alongside the opening of Tate Liverpool, FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) was established.

FACT has played an integral role in the development of community art projects which have a long history in Liverpool, and through its Collaboration Programme, demonstrates a long-term commitment to its own community. By situating FACT in the socio-economic and political context of Liverpool, this paper focuses particularly on the tenantspin project, now in its eleventh year, which addresses issues from access to art and technology to social inclusion and notions of e-democracy.

This paper forms part of an AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral project between FACT and the Centre for Architecture and the Visual Arts at the University of Liverpool. The research will present a critical history of FACT and its development in the context of Liverpool since 1985.

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