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Barcelona Art Factories: platforms for creativity and innovation

Barcelona’s artists and local collectives have long demanded spaces for cultural creativity and innovation. As a result, Barcelona’s city council has transformed disused factories and public spaces into artistic powerhouses. The Barcelona art factories foster innovation and creativity as well as promote cultural activities within the community.

The Catalan capital has been at the core of European urban innovation for centuries, from Gothic Barcelona to Modernist Barcelona. Now, Barcelona city council’s artistic platform plans to maintain the city in the centre of the current urbanistic trends. Additionally, putting Barcelona’s art and creativity on the main stage will help develop economic, urban and social facets.

There are currently eight art factories in Barcelona: Ateneu Popular 9 Barris, Hangar, Nau Ivanow, La Central del Circ, Graner, La Seca, La Escocesa and Fabra i Coats. Soon, two more spaces will be added to this network: El Canodrom and L’Obrador de la Sala Becket.The city council has complete control of Fabra i Coats. Meanwhile, different local institutions and agents from the artistic sector run the rest of the facilities.

La Central del Circ

The Barcelona art factories offer multidisciplinary programmes such as Photography, visual arts, electronics and robotics, circus and paratheatre arts, music, cinema and dance. Facilities might only specialise in one discipline, but the project promotes artistic hybridisation and helps artists to experience different fields.

Fabra i Coats

Through this new model of management, the council allows local institutions and civil society to run the factories autonomously. Therefore, these groups are completely responsible for the development, sustainability and structure of each facility. Nonetheless, the Barcelona city council finances 70% of the project. On the other hand, private partnerships, national funds and EU funds are responsible for financing the remaining 30%.

Experts and beginners alike are able to develop their talent and express their creativity thanks to over 30 000 sqm given by the council. The facilities also offer activities for the local communities and it welcomes international artists that wish to live this experience.


Source and Photo: Ajuntament de Barcelona.