Stella Duffy, Co-Director of Fun Palaces, explains how everyone can take part in this year's celebration of community culture on 3 & 4 October
Fun Palaces will be different this year – sometimes smaller, always safer, but just as remarkable. We're going ahead with our annual weekend of action on the first weekend in October, and we're aiming for 1000 TINY Fun Palaces!
Since 2014, Fun Palaces have supported over half a million local people across the UK to connect with their community, using all forms of arts and creativity to link with neighbours in skills-sharing activities that help us get to know each other better and understand our own locality a little more.
This year, finding ways to make local connections, especially with those who have been isolated or vulnerable, is more important than ever
Things have been different throughout 2020, and many of us have seen our local communities spring into action with Mutual Aid and WhatsApp groups, helping to support those who are vulnerable and shielding, making connections where they are needed most.
We want to celebrate the great things you've all been doing, remember those we have lost and those who are unwell or recovering, and pay attention to the tiny things that make a huge difference.
Fun Palaces has always been about the person-to-person connections that are the heart of community. This year, finding ways to make local connections, especially with those who have been isolated or vulnerable, is more important than ever. Making these connections through Fun Palaces is still possible – if we keep it tiny.
So instead of one big Fun Palace in a central location, this is the year to have three, or five, or twenty; on street corners, in windows, in gardens, at bus stops, or online. Let's show the world how important community connections are to us all; a short concert in your front garden, a socially-distanced singalong in the park, a virtual drumming lesson, or shielders creating a window gallery – all ideas are welcome.
To help you work out what to do in your street, block, village, car park, front garden or balcony, we have created a number of brand new resources:
- The Shielders' Guide to Making a Fun Palace – to help those shielding to create their own Fun Palace
- COVID-19 Safety Guide – to make sure we're all taking care of each other
- Digital ideas page – with ideas and activities to make an online Fun Palace
- Posters and invitations – to download, put in your windows and share with neighbours
- Ideas and inspiration – to get you thinking about your own Fun Palace
We expect most Fun Palaces will last a few hours at most, and have no more than 10 to 20 socially-distanced people at a time. So, if you've always wanted to try making a Fun Palace but it sounded too daunting, now is definitely the time to get involved!
And that thing you've been dreaming of trying one day – but it sounds a bit crazy and needs to be just 15 minutes long in case it all falls apart – we love that idea!
Fun Palaces' next nationwide weekend of action takes place on 3 & 4 October 2020.
Throughout September, the Fun Palaces team will be hosting a series of free Zoom workshops open to all. Find out more