Why Make a Fun Palace?
Especially for venues, buildings, organisations and groups – and useful for individuals too.
Do you want to grow participation within your local community?
Are you looking for creative ideas for real local engagement?
Are you passionate about genuine diversity?
Do you believe in the value of hands-on participation for all?
Does ‘handing-over’ feel more inclusive than ‘reaching out’?
Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign for culture at the heart of community and community at the heart of culture, with an annual weekend of joint action every October.
We support buildings, venues, organisations, groups and individuals to create their own community-led events, shining a light on the skills, passions and enthusiasms in every locality, so they can be shared more widely and more equally. Fun Palaces are about active and hands-on participation for all ages and all levels of experience and involvement.
Since the first Fun Palaces weekend in 2014 there have been 934 Fun Palaces, made by 24,000 local people, with 340,000 people taking part in 11 countries.
WHAT IS A FUN PALACE?
Fun Palaces are everything from Sheffield Theatres opening their doors and welcoming in thousands of local people to get to know their theatres better, to enjoy the building, to try out new things, experiencing the building as genuinely theirs – whether they come to see a show or not – to a small community group taking over a space in the local museum and leading their own Fun Palace for their neighbours, and growing year on year as Farnham Fun Palace has done.
“What better way to preserve humanity in an uncertain future than to strengthen community ties and community spirit through fun participatory engagement. The need for Fun Palaces goes beyond free activities to enjoy just for the sake of fun (although wonderful and important as that is!) it also provides opportunities for local people to work together and feel proud of achieving an event or an activity. The sense of pride and achievement that we see with each Fun Palaces is heart-warming and unifies local people – this is why we continue to support Fun Palaces. It is a real chance to make real connections and real friends, to learn from each other and to celebrate what is unique and exciting about our town and the people who live here.”
Royal and Derngate Fun Palace, Northampton
“(Fun Palaces) change the conception we have of our place in the community. They encourage engagement, cooperation, social sharing and understanding.”
Farnham Fun Palace, Surrey
“Most of the workshops happening today, most of the activities, our Radical Fun Advisers, they’re all members of communities that we’ve never worked with before, and we now have a relationship with all of these different communities and audiences, and we can just build on that.”
Sacha Coward, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
WHAT DIFFERENCE CAN YOU MAKE WITH A FUN PALACE?
- Fun Palaces are an opportunity to create with a full cross section of your local community – every year our reach has become MORE diverse, with participants from a wider range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
- In 2017 approximately 30% of participants were from an ethnic minority, 28% of Maker teams (those leading locally) included disabled people, and 21% of Maker teams included people BOTH over 65 AND under 18.
- Making a Fun Palace has no cost apart from your own resources, 71% of Fun Palaces in 2017 raised no extra funds to create their event.
- Making a Fun Palace grows local links. In 2017, 78% of Makers felt that making a Fun Palace opened up new partnerships and opportunities for their local community.
- Fun Palaces participants and Makers tell us that being part of a national and international campaign helps them shine a light on the amazing work that are already doing locally.
- The Fun Palaces campaign – and our presence in the press and on social media – supports Makers and participants to grow an understanding that culture belongs to all of us, as creators as well as consumers.
- Fun Palaces HQ supports the development of local Fun Palaces including online resources.
- Fun Palaces reaches over 2.2 million people on social media across the weekend.
- Fun Palaces conducts an extensive communications campaign each year nationally and locally, along with a full evaluation of our work annually, and these will include you.
- Fun Palaces has five local ambassadors in Bristol, Cornwall, Scotland, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent who can support you to make a Fun Palace and grow your connections locally.
“Fun Palaces are an attempt to stop the culture that sees people being told what to do and helping people to do what THEY want to do.” Jack Morrison, Fun Palaces Ambassador, Cornwall
TO SIGN UP
If you want to sign up right now and work it out later, you can sign up here.
Here’s more detail about what a Fun Palace is and isn’t!
To find out how others have made Fun Palaces, visit our Maker section with short films of Maker tips, and our toolkit with everything from template press release and risk assessment to downloadable logos and a letter to invite your MP to your Fun Palace.
TO FIND OUT MORE
Read the blogs from Fun Palaces Makers.
Talk to us about running a workshop for you locally.
Our co-director Stella Duffy is always happy to share both our core values and the practicalities of taking part in keynotes, speeches and panels.
For more information, get in touch.
“It cuts across the generations, across class, across gender and culture, bringing together a community with its own unique heritage, history and memory and above all is FUN.”
Grays Fun Palace, Essex