Ambassadors

Our Ambassadors are local people working with a variety of partner organisations across the UK. Like the Fun Palaces core team, they are all part-time, this means that their own interests and passions both feed and are supported by their work with Fun Palaces.

The connections between individual Ambassadors, their local communities and the partner organisations (each with a different focus) extends the work Ambassadors can do locally and regionally.

In our quarterly Action Research days we learn from each other and from local Fun Palaces Makers, widening our impact and deepening our understanding of the work we are doing together. This is the core of Fun Palaces – radical social change through tiny revolutions of connection – a cup of tea, a chat, new friendships grown in sharing skills or co-creating a local event.

Phase 2 runs from September 2019 to the end of 2024. With the support of The National Lottery Community Fund we are now extending this programme to Northern Ireland with partners Big Telly Theatre, to Inverness/Highlands and Islands with Eden Court Inverness and to Wales with National Trust Wales, and from autumn 2021 to Rotherham with Rotherham Council, Gateshead with Sage Gateshead and Devon with Libraries UnLimited.

Phase 1 covered five areas around the UK from October 2016 – December 2019, Bristol, Cornwall, Scotland, Sheffield and Stoke.  With support from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Wellcome, Fun Palaces and our partner organisations combined local cultural activism with quarterly Action Research events for Ambassadors, Fun Palaces Makers and partner organisation staff. What we discovered was that the friendships that grew through the Action Research meetings were core to the work itself.

Here are some local and regional stories from Fun Palaces Makers who worked with our Ambassadors in 2018.

Contact the Ambassadors

Celine Elliott
Taryn Harris




Sadie Green







Rebecca Pereira
















Ali Fell

Cornwall

Celine Elliott at Cornwall Museums Partnership

After a decade of youth & community work, Celine increasingly found her work focused on museums and galleries. Now working for Cornwall Museums Partnership, Celine identifies opportunities for public engagement across over 70 sites: nothing could be more fitting than the collaboration with Fun Palaces, celebrating creativity and propagating seeds of positive change alongside community groups, within (and sometimes without!) a huge variety of venues.

Taryn Harris at FEAST

Taryn is one half of the Cornwall Fun Palace Ambassador through working as the FEAST Administrator, Creative Kernow. Born in Truro, she spent many years living in Manchester, where she studied and then worked in audience development for the arts, before returning to Cornwall to bring up her young family in 2003. Before joining FEAST in August 2021, she worked for Kneehigh theatre, and prior to that for the Royal Cornwall Museum for 9 years.

Being a Fun Palace Ambassador through her work at FEAST means that Taryn can support the huge range of creative activity happening in Cornwall’s communities, to help bring about positive change.

Devon

Sadie Green at Libraries Unlimited
Sadie has lived in Bideford, North Devon since 2005. She is passionate about community engagement, sense of place and what makes your community special and unique. Sadie is a Creative Producer with 20 years’ experience designing and managing many and varied projects in England and in North Carolina, USA. She has worked with Museums; cultural organisations and venues; businesses; the voluntary sector; community groups and organisations; schools; local authorities and local people. 

Sadie is a networker, always looking to join up the dots so activities can happen, and people and organisations can work in partnership together. She loves to  to talk, preferably over a cup of tea and a piece of cake!  Increasingly Sadie works in a way that asks you what your needs are, what you want to do and gives you the opportunity to shape and take ownership of your project, event or activity. This is called Co-Production. As Fun Palaces Ambassador Sadie is excited about opportunities to work with the Libraries and people in Devon and Torbay, so they can lead on what they want to do and share with others.  Hopefully in a fun and enjoyable way!

Gateshead

Rebecca Pereira at Sage Gateshead

Becky was born in south London and raised in Maidstone but she fell in love with the Northeast whilst studying Film at Northumbria University. She now lives on the Northeast coast with her partner and five children. She enjoys Nordic Noirs, polymer clay and walks that end with cake. Growing up, early experiences were heavily shaped by her dyspraxia diagnosis and the power of her Nan’s biscuit tin, filled with pencils and a readily available pad of blank paper. Recognising creativity as a way to work through and thrive on all emotions is a tool and a message she loves sharing. Becky has worked in the cultural sector since 2014 including Indie events, Pop-Up cinemas, consultations, exhibitions, school workshops, community and heritage projects.

An ongoing and central theme to Becky’s projects is access in all its forms. Being a research nerd and a listening campaign lover support her work in this area. Currently Becky coordinates a music program for Asylum seekers, refugees and migrants living in Gateshead and Newcastle. Seeing a creative commonality build friendships, integration and confidence is a joy to witness and be a part of. Addressing and tackling threshold anxiety, area specific barriers to culture and increasing neurodiverse participation amongst young people are some of the focus points on her list (loves a list!) She looks forward to continuing building a Fun Palace community filled with people embracing the value their participation and leadership has.

Northern Ireland

Ali Fell at Big Telly

Ali lives in Belfast and has worked as an event manager and community artist since 2010, on projects ranging from toddler art classes to Ireland’s biggest street art festival, a community parade of a 1,000 lanterns, a monthly magic club, and a crocheted spider’s web that is 25 feet wide. She has worked with a broad range of client organisations with a variety of remits, including elder care and dementia, complex disabilities, art therapy, human rights and sustainability, and through a collection of art forms, including cinema, craft and circus! She is a keen crocheter and knitter, and given half a chance she will explain the benefits of crafting to your entire well-being, offer to teach you, and rope you into joining a community yarn bomb project before you know what’s happening. She is passionate about the power of creativity to communicate and process emotion, build confidence and self esteem, push boundaries, strengthen bonds and bring joy. She has been a Fun Palace Maker, and understands the sense of both freedom and connection to be found in a Fun Palace, and is excited about helping people across Northern Ireland experience this too.

Rhiannon Lister-Coburn

Rotherham

Rhiannon Lister-Coburn at Rotherham Council

Rhiannon is a dance and theatre graduate and has worked in Community arts development since 2002, as well as a working in education. She has worked with Hospitals, Mental Health Centres, Social Services, Scope, Sense, Youth Centres, Older people’s Homes, Children’s Centres and voluntary groups. In the past, she has specialised in arts and health projects, and passionately believes that taking part in creativity, can have huge beneficial impacts on social, emotional and mental health. Whilst previously working with communities in Rotherham, Rhiannon developed many evaluation tools and authored an evaluation toolkit, available on many websites. In her Ambassador role in Rotherham, Rhiannon helps bring communities, venues and people together to form new and exciting connections.

Lewis Hou
Alis Ballance
Freya Taylor

Scotland

Lewis Hou at Scottish Library & Information Council

Lewis is one of the Scotland Ambassadors currently hosted by Scottish Libraries Information Council. He comes from a neuroscience, traditional arts and public engagement background, and runs the Science Ceilidh social enterprise supporting a Scotland that is creative, curious, equitable and well. Fun Palaces, and cultural democracy, is a key part of that work, helping build (wee) revolutions for, with and by diverse communities.

Alis Ballance at Eden Court, Inverness

Alis has worked in the arts and with communities, especially rural communities in Scotland, for the last 20 years. Her background is as a Storyteller, with a focus on traditional Celtic tales and Gaelic songs. She has recently set up an organisation called Seanchas (Spirited Storytelling and Lore), to keep alive the old stories and traditions of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. She is really excited by the potential of Fun Palaces for our Highlands and Islands communities.

Fun Palaces Scotland page here, @funpalacesscot on Twitter and on Facebook

Freya Taylor at Eden Court, Inverness

Freya is a fiddler and pianist from the Black Isle, in the Highlands of Scotland. She love’s music, dance, art and all parts of culture. Outside of her Fun Palaces work, she works with people with additional support needs and is a huge believer in the “genius in everyone”. She is very passionate about making creativity, art and culture accessible to anyone and everyone. She sits on the National Youth Arts Advisory Group, where she advocates for a youth voice and perspective in the arts and culture. Freya is very excited to bring all of this to the Fun Palaces campaign. 

Beverley Nunn

Sheffield

Beverley Nunn, Sheffield

Beverley’s background is in community development, having worked in different roles across Sheffield for over 20 years. After qualifying as a youth worker in 2007, she went on to manage various projects for children, young people, and families. An engagement and events role in a local park led to full immersion into the world of community festivals and a newfound passion for arts and creativity grew from there.  In the Ambassador role she uses her experience and knowledge of the city to connect communities with the arts and cultural sector, through finding opportunities and supporting people to join in. She is an enthusiastic champion for ALL creativity in ALL communities. And encourages everyone to be loud and proud about the brilliant things that they can do.

Bethan Page

Wales

Bethan Page at National Trust Wales

Bethan has many years’ experience of working in the visual arts in Wales – her great passion is for working with others to create opportunities for meaningful and valuable participation. Recent freelance roles include collaborating with children and young people, artists and teachers on Arts Council of Wales’ Creative Learning Through the Arts projects which provide opportunities for all of these partners to learn and to grow in confidence through creativity.