Business Heroes: FACT
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the team at FACT were busily preparing to open their new exhibition, And Say The Animal Responded?. Like all of us, events overtook them very quickly so the exhibition never opened, but FACT has responded very quickly to support its staff, the regional art community and the wider public.
Artists are one of the many occupations who have been badly hit by the changes brought on by COVID-19. FACT Together is a much-needed new scheme to address this, offering 10 early-career artists who live or work in the North of England a grant of £1,500 each to create a new work for online presentation. Each new digital work created will become part of FACT’s programme, The Living Planet. The work can be audio, video, text, games, app design, virtual or augmented reality, performance, socially-engaged practice, web or desktop interventions, animation, social media takeovers or workshops.
Alongside this, each artist will receive mentorship from the FACT team who will support them in the development, production and promotion of their proposals. This professional development will also include group sessions with all recipients of FACT Together, creating a virtual support network. All contact between FACT and the artists will be online, ensuring that everyone is encouraged to stay home and keep safe.
Most of FACT’s team are working from home with some staff on furlough. Everyone is receiving 100% of their salary and casual staff are being paid a monthly salary based on their 2019/20 earnings. FACT is also honouring all pre-agreed contracts with artists and freelancers.
FACT has also given people a chance to explore its acclaimed Broken Symmetries exhibition virtually. Combining art and physics, it looks at the nature of our universe and how the hidden laws which govern our world affect us on a daily level.
Nicola Triscott, FACT’s Chief Executive, said: “While FACT is learning to adapt to the current situation as an organisation, we recognise that artists and creative professionals with portfolio careers are in the most precarious situation. We are hugely thankful for the support and understanding of our funders at this time, and see it as our responsibility to support our community of artists and creative practitioners of all kinds in the North and beyond.”