A for Accidents
Accidents, mistakes and obstacles are a vital part of making our Fun Palace.
Being neither art nor science professionals, we started out having no idea what we were doing, who to speak to or even what to ask. We did ask the wrong people who gave us the wrong advice (unwillingly, no one had made a Fun Palace ever before, so no one was able to tell us how to make one. We answered that question the day we held our first Fun Palace), we had difficult conversations which exposed pre and misconceptions (theirs and ours) and helped us have a better understanding of our community and of our role in the community, we knocked our heads against firmly closed doors, forcing us to take different directions.
We did everything wrong the first year – apart from the most important thing: signing up to make a Fun Palace. We have learnt so much since 2014 about putting up an event together, about the community, about ourselves. We fully embrace accidents and mishaps, they are fully part of the process and obstacles give our Fun Palace its character.
Fancy a bit of Fun Palace alphabet?
I’ve been trying to find a different way to talk about the Fun Palaces Campaign and the Farnham Fun Palace, so I’ve decided to post a letter a day (ish) with a few words about what the Fun Palace Campaign stands for and what it has meant to be a Fun Palace Maker.
We are 1 Fun Palace among 1758, this is just our experience, the 1757 other Fun Palaces will have different experiences to share. There is no Idiot’s Guide to making a Fun Palace, but there are lots of brilliants tips on the Fun Palaces website in case you fancy having a go yourself: www.funpalaces.co.uk.
Before I start our Abécédaire, here’s a bit about us: in 2014, a colleague of mine, Alexandre, and I signed up to make our first Fun Palace. We had heard about the campaign on Twitter and, though we are neither artists nor scientists, we thought it would be a great way to get to know our local community (Alexandre is Portuguese, I am French) and do something a bit different and fun.
In 5 years we went from 0 participants (I’m not counting the friends, the Fun Palaces HQ who came to support us and blow 600 balloons at 8am – because we are expert at great ideas!, or the people who were passing by), to about 600 participants last year.
The Farnham Fun Palace is held at the Farnham Museum Garden Gallery and the Farnham Library and is co-made by community artists, scientists and crafters. Some of our Makers are professionals but for a vast majority they are amateurs who want to share a shill and spread a passion.
We have no budget, we work with donated and recycled material while the Museum and the Library offer their space to the Fun Palace for the day.
I’ll write more about our Makers and our venues in the future posts but I would like to end this introduction with a heartfelt thanks to them all for welcoming the Fun Palace in the community. Carine
Calling all Makers!
Farnham Fun Palace – Saturday 3 October 11am – 4pm
Farnham Library and Farnham Museum Garden Gallery*
Remember the Butcher, the Baker, and the Candle-stick Maker? But what about the seed-planter, the Sunday painter, the yarn whisperer, the rope knotter, the rubble sculptor…? Do you enjoy playing, building, hacking, making? We are looking for volunteers across the community to tun a free, hands-on, easy drop-in workshop at our 7th Fun Palace.
For more info please contact Carine at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or on twitter: @farnhamfunpal
*Maybe. We hope. Although we are thinking about alternatives: street parties (but not too close, heh!), online workshops, etc… We welcome all your suggestions for an alternative Fun Palace in Farnham!
And in the meantime, …
#TinyRevolutions: @FunPalaces are sharing #TinyRevolutions of Connection, practical suggestions & steps anyone can take to connect a little more or simply pass time creatively in self-isolation. Both online & offline. Get inspired & send in your suggestions. #Funpalaces