At this conference the Factory of Art is represented by Agata Etmanowicz.
cultural center (arts and other cultural activities)
public institution (governed by public law), established in December 2006 by two NGOs (Łódź Art Center and the Chorea Theatre Association) together with the City of Łódź
In 2006, two NGOs – Łódź Art Center and the CHOREA Theatre Association – and the City Office of Łódź created the Factory of Art.
The Factory of Art is a cultural institution whose actions are education-oriented and focus on theatre and modern art.
CHOREA is responsible for the Factory of Art’s theater and performance activities. CHOREA organizes concerts, plays, and theatre actions in city space, carries out research into the origins of theater, dance, and music, and shares the results through a cycle of workshops, which from the Factory’s very beginning have taken the form of ‘”Tuesdays in the Factory” of Art’.
Łódź Art Center is responsible for the visual arts program. Among other activities, Łódź Art Center is the main organizer of two international festivals – PhotoFestival and the Łódź Design Festival.
Decision-making: The main decisions are made by a managing director who is assisted by an artistic director. They are both elected by the mayor of Łódź from candidates recommended by the two partners – Łódź Art Center and the Chorea Theatre Association.
Organizational openness: The Factory’s programming has an open formula. New ideas from artists or organizations are welcome as long as they fit into the Factory’s mission. Interested creators may take part in the events cycle (such as Tuesdays in the Factory) or organize their own venues. Besides artistic events, the Factory is always happy to provide space for discussions and meetings about subjects of vital importance to the citizens of Łódź.
Venue/s / resources:
The Factory of Art is located in a post-industrial district of Łódź*, known as the Priest Mill (Księży Młyn).** It is based in the factory complex on Tymienieckiego Street. The entire space managed by the centre consists of approximately 7000 m2 – three buildings, originally warehouses for unfinished and finished fabrics.
They were used as a storage space from the very outset and then through the various stages of their development between 1887 and 1910, the turbulent years of the First and Second World Wars, the nationalization of industrialists‘ property under the People‘s Republic of Poland, all the way up to the bankruptcy and final closure of the “Uniontex” plants at the beginning of the 21st century. It is symbolic that they were brought into existence in the 19th century when capitalism was flourishing in Łódź and that their industrial life came to an end after the years of socialism, when the free market economy began to boom again. The inevitable wheel of time has made a complete turn…
The Factory of Art has recently received a grant to renovate the buildings and create an Art_Inkubator there. Construction work will start in spring 2011 and the venue will be fully functional in 2014.
A visualization of the renovated factory complex is available here.
Budget: more than €100,000 and less than €300,000.
Co-productions: Being a public institution, the Factory of Art is subject to various rules which must be followed under Polish law, so models of cooperation depend on partners’ legal structure. The Factory of Art is involved in most of the projects/festivals organized by its partners, Łódź Art Center and Chorea Theatre.
Hosting: Any type of organization may hire the venue. We provide special venue hire rates for NGOs and emerging independent artists. If the Factory of Art is involved in the project as co-producer, there are no charges on the partner’s side.
Services: The Factory of Art has recently been developing the Art_Inkubator project, with a total budget of €7,933,109, half of which comes from EU funds and half of which is financed from local sources. The project is divided into two phases that create one common, substantive whole. The first task is the foundation of the project – revitalizing the factory complex – which will create the material part of the incubator: offices, art studios, and a multiprofiled art space. The second phase is to run and manage the Inkubator.
Art_Inkubator will be an institution of support, not acting for profit, which will help future creative entrepreneurs, NGOs, and artists to enter the market. It will be a platform allowing them to realize their business and artistic ideas.
International co-operation is a very important part of our center’s daily work. The word “co-operation” is worth underlining here, since we focus on projects developed together with our international partners rather than simply exchanging works or presenting their works in our venue.
Recently, the Factory’s international co-operation has mainly been realized in the context of Art_Inkubator, focusing on exchanging best practices and developing common projects related to the creative sector.
Over the years, Chorea Theater and Łódź Art Center have been involved in many international projects, Chorea in the performing arts and Łódź Art Center in the visual arts.
Participation: One of the Factory of Art’s main tasks is to involve citizens in artistic and cultural activities, enabling them to spend their spare time creatively.
The “Tuesdays in the Factory” cycle (every second week) involve workshops presenting various theatrical forms, body practice, voice training, and meetings with prominent personalities from the world of theater. Besides the Tuesdays cycle, Chorea Theater runs classes for young people (such as Lessons in the Antique (Lekcje Antyku) and Theater Summer (Lato Teatralne)), and workshops for children, teenagers, and academic and artistic circles.
Another activity offered by the Factory of Art is Thursdays in the Factory – a series of lectures and encounters with artists and experts in various aspects of culture.
Neighborhood: The Factory is located in a post-industrial district of Łódź, known as the Priest Mill. It was created in the 19th century and combined different functions – industrial and residential. The Factory of Art was created after the collapse of the textile industry due to free-market reforms at the beginning of the 1990s, when most factories went bankrupt and this area of the city became desolate and forgotten.
The Factory of Art is involved in a project aiming to revitalize the Priest Mill neighbourhood, a district immediately adjacent to the city center. In order to achieve this goal a broad coalition of different organizations and individuals was created. Alongside other partners, the Factory of Art is lobbying for active involvement by the City of Łódź. This would result in generous funding and bring about a legal framework enabling the Priest Mill to transition into a creative district, where artists and cultural institutions could coexist with the local community.
Municipality: The Factory of Art is a public institution supported by local government.
The City of Łódź is one of the three partners in the public-private partnership on which the Factory of Art is based.
Advocacy / activism: The Factory of Art is involved in a campaign aiming for a culture strategy to be developed at a local level. The Factory was responsible for the coordination of drafting the letter to the new authorities of the City of Łódź, which is now being signed by local cultural workers and artists.