“I built my life on the rock of change.” (Joan Littlewood)
However you feel about the outcome of last week’s referendum, one thing is sure, we are all in change.
Here at Fun Palaces, we think that even in all of this uncertainty, there are a few things we can be sure of – that Fun Palaces are inclusive, that culture belongs at the heart of every community, and through culture and creativity – using arts, sciences, crafts and technologies as a catalyst for conversations and to work together – we can build friendships, relationships and communities.
We have some suggestions to help us all build on the rock of change …
- Make a local Fun Palace, as small as you like, just to get to know your neighbours better
- Encourage your children (or someone else’s) to make their own Fun Palace or take part in one. Taking a leading role in Fun Palaces might help our young people see how important they are to all of our communities.
- If you are already planning a Fun Palace, maybe add a space for dialogue. It can be scary to talk to someone with very different views, but if we can create quiet and comfortable ‘talk to a stranger’ spots, perhaps we can understand each other better.
- If you are a venue and haven’t yet signed up to make a Fun Palace, why not make the leap? Last year 80% of respondees to our survey said that taking part in a Fun Palace made them feel part of a community.
- If your venue made a Fun Palace in 2014 or 2015, open your doors even wider this year. As Daniel Evans said of Sheffield Theatres’ Fun Palace last year, “We wanted to reach everyone in the city and make sure that everyone in the city and our city region felt that this was also their building, that they belonged here and they have a place here, and that this is their home.”
- Whatever kind of Maker you are – group, individual, organisation, building – try inviting someone not like you to make your Fun Palace with you. The sooner we start sharing cultural leadership, the sooner we’ll build the new culture that really does include everyone.
- And if you’re ‘just’ an interested person, wondering what on earth you can do on your own, please know that dozens of Fun Palaces were started by just one person. Put up a notice in a café or library and see if anyone else is interested. We can help with lots of it – check out the Maker section here – but only YOU can make a Fun Palace right where you live. Be brave, talk to strangers. Or be scared and talk to them anyway.
Fun Palaces believes in the genius in everyone. We believe that culture is the heart of community. And we know that cohesive, inclusive and supportive communities need all of us to get involved.
This is the rock of change – what can we build, together?