Friche la Belle de Mai

Full Member

Friche la Belle de Mai

La Friche, in its prototypal form, arose in 1992 out of the new models for urban cultural interaction in the public interest, now known as “third places.” This unique, reinvented space brings together artistic activity, modes of urban transformation, real connections to the region, and dynamic cooperation.

What makes the organisation unique?

Its Size

La Friche is both a workspace for 70 resident organizations (400 artists, producers, and employees work here every day), and a cross-disciplinary venue (each year, over 600 artistic events are made available to the public). Every year, 450,000 visitors come to this 45,000 square-meter public space housing five performance spaces, a community garden, a playground and athletic space, a restaurant, bookstore, daycare, some 2,400 square meters of exhibition space, an 8,000 square-meter rooftop, and a training center.

The diversity of practices and represented communities

Thanks not only to its size but also the number and variety of spaces, La Friche provides workspace to artists, in addition to allowing numerous projects to develop at the same time. Sculptors, actors, painters, photographers, dancers, and producers can have the time and space they need for writing and creating. With their year-round presence and creative activity, these residents, called “frichistes,” form the living artistic hub that has been an essential part of La Friche since its conception.

It’s not a coincidence that La Friche adopted the name of La Belle de Mai, the larger neighborhood surrounding it. Neighborhood youth feel welcome in the spaces that are open seven days a week, and the youngest Belle de Mai residents even have a daycare. La Friche opened the cinema Le Gyptis in 2014, which has since become a pillar of the neighborhood, and people from Belle de Mai and beyond feel at home in its many open spaces.

An exemplary governance

The Cooperative Society of Collective Interest de la Friche la Belle de Mai is the first of its kind in the cultural sector in 2011. It is constantly on the move. The co-writing of a Cooperative Orientation Scheme in 2021 by the project’s stakeholders drew the broad lines of renewed “Common Futures” addressing territorial anchoring and outreach, enhanced participation, cooperation, commitment to the transitions of our time, resource sharing, hospitality and welcoming diversity, and resilience of the economic model.

  • Work areas
  • MusicNotesSimple Music
  • Theatre / Performance
  • Dance
  • MaskHappy Visual Arts
  • Movie Film
  • Literature
  • Publishing

  • Activities
  • Exhibition and Programming
  • Education and Training

  • Former use of space
  • Factory Industrial Building

  • TEH Membership