Farnham Fun Palace
West St, Farnham, UK, GU9 7DX
6th October, 2018
On Saturday 6 October 2018, Farnham Fun Place will bring together, and for the 5th year, people and ideas to inspire and connect: tinkerers and crafters and fixers; painters and picture takers and story-tellers; knitters and sewers and menders; players and singers and dancers, gardeners and campers and travellers. It will be a celebration of art, science crafts and the community. Are you a Maker of any kind? Help us create hands-on fun for all ages (yes, adults are allowed to play!). If a hands-on workshop is not your thing, you can help looking after the visitors, documenting the event, setting the event up. Get in touch here: firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
Why we make a Fun Palace - take 5!
The answer to that changes every year. Year 1 was about trying something from scratch and having fun. Year 2 was about trying again (all the things we got wrong the first year! Also all the things we learnt the first year!) and having fun. Year 3 was about building on all the beautiful things that happened during year 2 and having fun. Year 4 was about noticing all the changes that had been happening to us as we became Makers. I suspect year 5 and all the years after that are going to be about exploring these changes, learning more about ourselves and about what we are capable of. And having fun.
So here's what making a Fun Palace (and everyday participation in general) has meant for me:
Getting to know my community – feeling more connected and integrated.
Exposing myself to vulnerability. Getting my community to know me, being open about my inexperience and my mistakes. Giving myself permission to play.
Challenging pre/misconceptions (including mine) through sometimes difficult conversations (You're not from here and you consider yourself part of the community? You're not an artist, do you have permission to make a Fun Palace?).
Learning to value my own ideas and not seeking validation from local cultural organisations whose vision can sometimes be unique and petrifying.
Becoming aware of the satisfaction of at least trying.
Doing all the above through creativity and fun, with the space (mental and physical) for trial and mistakes.
Feeling empowered enough to give back: I've started volunteering at our local museum in December. The museum have lent us their gallery every year since then and supported the Fun Palace by offering to help with the marketing among other things. When they posted a call for volunteers on Twitter in December I said yes because I thought my experience as a Maker could benefit them one way or another. I also thought I would get a wealth of knowledge from them. And most of all I said yes as a thank you for allowing the Fun Palace to be.
To me Fun Palaces, and everyday participation, is not a cultural alternative. It is an act of resistance, an orientation that leads everyone of us to take charge of our lives, of who we are and who we are in our community. Without everyday participation we let the system take charge. Everyday participation re-establishes togetherness, social understanding and cooperation. And creativity. And fun.