Arts Factory aims to create life-changing opportunities for people who feel marginalised and excluded, treat all people as assets, and become a financially robust community anchor organisation.
We believe in social justice and in sustainable development. We value diversity and believe that everyone, regardless of any label, can be an asset and has the right to self-respect, quality of life, and to live in a decent environment. We believe in the power of teamwork, reciprocity and positive attitudes.
Arts Factory is based in the Rhondda Valleys in South Wales. After the demise of the coal industry the area has become one of the most economically disadvantaged in Europe and many local people are suffering from the effects of poverty characterised by worklessness, lack of opportunity, unhealthy lifestyles, alcohol and substance misuse, family break-up, social isolation, and lack of self-esteem and self-worth. Some are additionally disadvantaged by mental health issues and physical and learning disabilities. Many feel socially excluded and marginalised.
There are a multitude of agencies working to address these issues with a variety of programmes and initiatives. These include Welsh Assembly Government programmes like Communities 1st and the Heads of the Valleys Regeneration Strategy, Department of Work and Pension initiatives through Jobcentre Plus, local authority led projects, Local Health Board initiatives, and projects delivered by other third sector organisations on behalf of these agencies. The commonality between all of these programmes and initiatives is that marginalised and excluded people are categorised as “beneficiaries” – people that need help.
Arts Factory approach is unique in valuing marginalised and excluded people as assets rather than labelling them as “beneficiaries”. We focus on people’s strengths rather than their weaknesses and enable “service users” to become providers of valued services to the wider community.