Fun Palaces Ambassadors Programme

We are delighted to announce our Ambassadors Programme, beginning in October 2016. With funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and partnering with Wellcome, Fun Palaces will run a three-year Ambassadors Programme, in five areas of the UK, bringing together grassroots cultural activism with Action Research to enable skill-sharing and learning.

Our Ambassadors are already-engaged, already-active local people and organisations, keen to deepen the work they do locally and regionally, and to learn from the interdisciplinary nature of the programme, supporting and engaging with each other across the UK.

Our ambassador/host locations are :

Arts – Stoke-on-Trent (Danny Callaghan, Ceramic City Stories); Sheffield (Sheffield Theatres); Cornwall (Cornwall Museums Partnership and FEAST)

Sciences – Scotland (Lewis Hou of Fun Palaces Scotland hosted by Voluntary Arts Scotland); a further science ambassador location soon to be anounced.

Prof Eleonora Belfiore from the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture at Loughborough University will lead on the Action Research element of the programme. We will bring together Ambassadors and local activists from each of the five areas four times a year, ensuring that not only are we learning from each other, but that this learning is shared with Fun Palaces Makers worldwide and the many others who care about grassroots culture.

It’s important for us to stress that we are not funding the Ambassadors to help facilitate others to make Fun Palaces – if they chose to, it will be a lovely bonus. This work is to develop ideas, experiment with possibilities, improve already existing work around full access to culture and – crucially – to share our learning. In the three years since we started Fun Palaces we have seen a huge amount of unsung and un-acknowledged grassroots engagement work in any number of communities across the UK and beyond. We have also seen how, all too often, the learning from it is not shared as fully as it could be, simply due to lack of resources.

This is the obvious next step for Fun Palaces – to maintain our campaign for culture in and of every community, to promote the Fun Palaces weekend as an international shout for those communities, and to support the new cultural leaders from every community as they create a new culture – culture that is (finally) by, for and with all.