A partnership between LJMU’s School of Art and Design and FACT (Foundation for Arts and Creative Technology) has been recognised as one of the projects behind FACT’s prestigious 2016 Lever Prize shortlisting.
A physical innovation space, FACTLab aims to bring together artists, young people, technologists and the creative sector to originate new ideas and demystify technology (3D printing, electronics and coding) through a public programme of workshops and events.
Four cultural organisations from across the North West have been shortlisted for the Prize, which is run by the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) and is now in its 11th year.
Dr Mark Wright, who holds a joint post with LJMU and FACT commented:
"We are so proud our work has been recognised by the NWBLT by being shortlisted for the prestigious 2016 Lever prize. FACT and LJMU are pioneering a new approach where arts organisations don’t just show art but act as a hub where artists, schools, universities, business and the public actively create, engage, invent and learn together. The NWBLT would be an ideal partner to take forward this innovative cross sector approach.
"We have so far seen the launch of the hugely successful Hack Nights where individuals from across the arts and business sectors come together to learn the basic of coding and other digital applications. We are also developing a dynamic hands on programme with local schools offering young people greater access to (STEAM) science, technology, art, engineering and mathematics subjects. For example, Project ‘Cloudmaker’, funded by the Research Councils Digital Economy Programme, develops novel learning experiences for students of STEAM subjects using the computer game Minecraft and 3D printing."
The winner receives a £10,000 cash award and the opportunity to develop working relationships with some of the North West’s most influential business leaders. The Lever Prize is awarded annually by NWBLT in partnership with Arts and Business.
The shortlisted organisations are:- FACT (Foundation for Arts and Creative Technology) – Liverpool, Lakeland Arts – Cumbria, Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Arts and MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) – Manchester
Geoffrey Piper, chief executive of NWBLT, said:
"We are delighted to report that again the calibre of entries was extremely high and we were pleased to have received applications from all across the region.
"The judging for the Lever Prize takes place next month when the shortlisted candidates will present to a panel of NWBLT members and a representative of Arts and Business and, as ever, it will be a hard decision choosing a winner!"
The identity of the 2016 Winner will be announced at a presentation event early in the New Year.