Lancaster arts organisation is closing down

Folly, the Lancaster-based digital arts organisation, is closing down.

The organisation, founded as the Folly Trust in 1989, made the announcement today, saying that it would “not be possible to sustain the operations and work of Folly in the present financial climate”.

Folly describes its aims as “to lead, promote, maintain, improve and advance the field of cultural activities that embrace the creative interaction between arts and technology, by presenting an artistic programme that provides collaboration between artists and the wider public.”

It said it planned to shut and dissolve its charitable status by the end of this month.

Folly’s statement added: “Over more than 20 years, Folly has presented an active artistic programme providing creative interaction and collaboration between artists and the wider community using technology.

“Through projects like the Portable Pixel Playground, Digital Artist’s Handbook and Love Culture, Folly has delivered a year round diverse and innovative programme of online projects, events, festival activities, artist commissions, exhibitions, artist residencies, workshops and conferences. Folly has also been involved in successful partnership projects like the Abandon Normal Devices Festival which continues its journey round the North West this Autumn.

“Whilst being extremely proud of the Folly staff team and its achievements, Folly board of trustees, in close consultation with stakeholders and supporters including Arts Council England, has taken the reluctant decision that it will not be possible to sustain the operations and work of Folly in the present financial climate.

“Folly is grateful for the talent and commitment of its team and for the valuable support and friendship of its sponsors and partner communities. Folly has maintained a close relationship with all in its professional and dignified wind-down, that is taking place with immediate effect.”

Peter Connor, chair of the Folly board of trustees, said: “We are confident that Folly’s legacy, reputation, impact and thinking will live on.

“Folly’s Board of Trustees, CEO Taylor Nuttall and his staff team are now bringing Folly’s operation to a close in a dignified manner. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff, funders, partners, artists, and participants who have been key to the success and achievements of Folly’s artistic programme in Lancashire, Cumbria and across the North West.

“We hope that the legacy from Folly will remain within the arts and higher education sectors and continue in reinforcing the strong landscape of digital media arts in the North West and the UK.”