FACT is inviting artists living or working in the North of England to create work during lockdown.

The scheme entitled FACT Together will offer 10 early-career artists a grant of £1,500 each to develop an idea that will be presented online. With the temporary closure of galleries and museums across the world, artists have had exhibitions, commissions and opportunities cancelled or postponed. The uncertainty caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19) is growing and FACT recognises that there is a need for support by artists, freelancers and gig-workers, who are at the heart of our creative community. FACT Together has been set up in response to this uncertainty, offering both financial and career support over a 3 month period.

In addition to the grant, the 10 selected artists will form a network, receiving individual and group online mentorship. This includes technical expertise, professional development, production support and promotion of their work. Each new digital work created will become part of The Living Planet, FACT’s 12 month online programme that explores our relationship with the natural world. The programme will consist of newly commissioned artworks, live stream events, podcasts, interviews and activities, and has been created for people to interact with and enjoy remotely.

The 10 FACT Together artists will join a whole host of others, both internationally renowned and emerging, who will respond to The Living Planet theme, exploring ways in which wildlife, plantlife and ecological systems have responded to the impact of human actions. The open call welcomes all forms of online work including audio, video, text, games, performance, animation, social media and workshops. FACT is particularly keen to receive proposals from artists who have not previously created digital or online work, utilising the scheme to develop their practice and learn new skills.

Nicola Triscott, CEO/Director at FACT, said: “Artists are the heart of FACT’s activity and its community and we want to support them during this crisis. We intend to use our expertise in art in the digital realm to enable a cohort of artists to develop their practice and exhibit new projects online. FACT’s 2020 theme of The Living Planet takes on a new dimension in the context of the current global pandemic and we hope that this will also be an opportunity for us to consider our relationship with nature and the health of the planet at this time. FACT is extremely grateful for the support of Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council, whose annual funding to FACT makes FACT Together possible.” Maitreyi Maheshwari, Head of Programme at FACT, said: “The North of England has such a vibrant cultural scene and it is vital during this time of uncertainty that we look after our creative community. FACT Together will offer both financial and professional support that will enable early career artists working in a range of media the opportunity to make new work and become part of a peer network. The selected artists will work alongside each other and the team at FACT as part of this pilot initiative to experiment and reimagine how art can exist online, and address some of the most urgent issues of our time.” Artists can submit their proposal online by sending one written page or recording an audio or video clip that is less than 3 minutes long. For more information about FACT Together, eligibility and how to submit a proposal, please visit www.fact.co.uk/together. Deadline for artist proposals is Sunday 26 April at midnight. If artists have any concerns around accessibility or specific working requirements, please contact [email protected]