Why We Need Your Help
Fun Palaces are local events, using arts, science, crafts, tech, digital, heritage and sports, to bring communities together – and a campaign for culture for, by and with all.
We believe that not only should everyone have access to culture but that everyone should have access to CREATE culture, not just consume it.
We started in 2013, with Sarah-Jane and Stella working from their kitchen tables, with a dream of people and places joining in, putting participation first. We grew very quickly, and have since had support from ACE, the Foyle Foundation and Wellcome.
Since then there have been a total of 934 Fun Palaces in 11 countries, led by 24,000 Makers with over 340,000 people taking part. This means, that as well as continuing to push for full participation and full inclusivity in culture we have more than tripled our initial impact with no extra money, no extra staff and no extra time.
From late 2016 on we have been supported in our Ambassadors Programme by Wellcome and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation – this funding goes to the Ambassadors themselves, supporting their work in five UK areas and enabling the Ambassadors to work together. It does not fund core Fun Palaces work. Wellcome also support some of our workshops around the country.
If you visit a Fun Palace locally you probably won’t see the national and international effort, and after all, the local/community impact is what we’re after, so here’s what we do in addition to running our workshops, supporting our Ambassadors Programme, and making the weekend happen (Stella, Sarah-Jane and Kirsty do two days a week, Dan is freelance) :
Stella writes blogs, articles, makes speeches, gives interviews, sits on panels, has meetings with anyone from senior Civil Servants to local activists about how Fun Palaces can be of use to communities.
Sarah-Jane does the big budgets, the strategy and all the hard thinking about where we need to be in the next few years and beyond and how we’re going to get there.
Kirsty – takes all our data and turns it into statistics and evaluation, so we know what we’re doing well, what we can do better, and what to concentrate on next.
Between the three of us we also look after the Makers (some Fun Palaces are made by people who’ve done loads of events before, many have had no experience at all and we are their key support), do all the admin, update the website, gather data from Makers and Fun Palaces, support the Ambassadors and run all of the logistics for the Ambassadors Programme – and, when we have time, we raise money to keep Fun Palaces going!
Dan does all the PR and comms (dozens of pieces in local and inter/national press every year), loads of the social media (trending on twitter, all those gorgeous gifs), promo films, our 2016 and 2017 film, and hugely useful support about how and where to share who we are and what we do.
We can’t afford to keep going the way we are.
Because we’re growing so fast and so many more people need our support to make their own local Fun Palaces, we need at least another £60,000 a year just to keep up with the huge enthusiasm and appetite for the community-led cultural participation that is the Fun Palaces campaign. Each of us already volunteers quite a bit more time than we can pay ourselves, this isn’t sustainable (and we know it’s not sensible) but we’re not going to let it go! So …
We need your help.
Your support will enable us to keep holding Fun Palaces together and to continue to do more. We are committed to ensuring that anyone anywhere can create a local Fun Palace.
We are hugely grateful for any donation, whether it helps us pay for a train ticket to support the 90% (!) of Fun Palaces outside London, print the posters we send free to Fun Palaces that need them, or enable us to offer more of our local workshops, it all helps.
Stella, Sarah-Jane, Kirsty and Dan x