“Choose what you want to do – or watch someone else doing it. Learn how to handle tools, paint, babies, machinery, or just listen to your favourite tune. Dance, talk or be lifted up to where you can see how other people make things work. Sit out over space with a drink and tune in to what’s happening elsewhere in the city. Try starting a riot or beginning a painting – or just lie back and stare at the sky.”

Joan Littlewood

When Joan Littlewood and Cedric Price first imagined a Fun Palace in 1961, it was from a bomb scarred East London, where the sixties were not yet swinging, and the people who her theatre served were no more likely to go “up west” to the theatres and museums in central London that they were to go to the moon. Her theatre made radical work, and no idea was more radical than the Fun Palace. A place with space for the genius in everyone? What, really everyone? Our Fun Palaces – which happen in hundreds of places, not just one, don’t even have any space constraints at all – so YES, everyone!

You might be feeling that this is hard. It’s hard to have a voice when there is not enough money, and the numbers don’t add up. It’s hard to have a voice when it feels like there’s only one story being told, across every billboard in the land. It was hard then and it’s hard now. We spend a lot of time talking about the “handling tools, paint, babies”, “learn how to dance” parts of the quote above, but the “starting a riot” part is important too. If you don’t like how things are going in the world, well, maybe you hold one of the keys for changing that. And maybe the way the world is stands in the way of you being able to fully engage with handling paint and dancing. Fun Palaces Makers have shared how making a Fun Palace has helped them feel more connected to neighbours, but also more able to speak up and make change in their communities and beyond. Here are some resources to help you do that. This year, we are reminding Fun Palaces Makers that their Fun Palaces (which can be tiny, and scrappy, and last-minute – and tiny is mighty!) can be #CreativeRiots too. You and your community know best what you need, and whether or not you are getting it just now. You Fun Palace can be a way to use your voice and make yourselves heard.

Over the coming weeks we will be sharing our own ideas for Creative Riots, and signposting you to other organisations and resources you might find useful. From banner making, to letter writing, to music making, to creating a portable protest. And we hope you might share your own ideas with us too!  If you have an idea for a Creative Riot email amie@funpalaces.co.uk. 

(and if you have enough going on with your Fun Palace already- that’s fine too- carry on!)

Workshops over the next few weeks to share ideas and get started More info

(Most, but not all, of the below links and resources are UK based. We apologise to worldwide Fun Palace Makers!)

Useful tools

Find your MP (UK)

Find your local councillors (UK)

8 steps to being a changemaker a great guide for young (and not so young) people on campaigning from Start the Change

Craftivists Collective lots of projects and ideas celebrating the art of gentle protest

Draft letter to invite you MP/representative to your Fun Palace (remember to edit it to include why what you are doing is important to you and your community specifically)

Campaigns addressing the cost of living crisis

Enough is enough

Don’t Pay campaign

Cost of Living Action (collates and meetings events planned by anyone)

Climate campaings

Great Big Green Week (24th Sept- 2nd October) You can include your Fun Palace on their map too.

Just Stop Oil (planning a rally on 1st October)

Museum of Climate ideas for (creative) activism

Miniature figurine holding a placard that says, "I like football"
Photo credit: Helen Murray