What is a FRAC?
The Fonds régionaux d’art contemporain (Regional collections of contemporary art - Frac) are public collections of contemporary art created in 1982 as part of the policy of devolution of power set by the government via regional councils in order for art to be present in each and every one of France’s region.
Their first mission is to gather a collection, to display it for all kinds of audiences and to invent new ways to educate to contemporary creation. Today, the Fracs’ collections gather 26,000 works from 4,200 French and foreign artists. Unlike museums and centres of art, Fracs can’t be linked to a unique exhibition place. Fracs’ collections are essentially nomadic and use peculiar broadcasting and educating tools.
They are displayed in France and abroad. Every year, a third of the works is exhibited which makes the Fracs’ collections the more disseminated collections of France. Mobility defines them as essential players of a policy of cultural land settlement that aims at reducing geographical, social and cultural discrepancies, introducing contemporary art to several different types of audiences. Their displaying task leads them to simultaneously exhibit several projects in regions every year, nearly 400 exhibitions and 1,300 educating events. It places them at the centre of a network composed of various and numerous loyal partners: art schools museums, centres of art or town council associations, schools and universities, heritage sites or parks, galleries, sometimes hospitals etc.
In 2013, the entirety of the exhibits organized for the Frac’s 30th Anniversary welcomed over 806,000 visitors, around various events all over the country. The joint exhibition that was presented at the Midi-Pyrénées Frac - les Abattoirs in Toulouse, entitled “Les Pléiades”, was seen by more than 39,000 visitors. This initiative made it possible to touch a broad public, also through outreach activities, in train stations for example.
In 2014, the Fracs welcomed more than 1,6 million visitors throughout France.