This Autumn, Fun Palaces have reimagined their seventh annual community-led weekend of action to encourage extra small, hyper-local events in person and online during these challenging times. As well as tiny events across the UK and worldwide, six commissioned artists will also create work inspired by the power of communities to contribute to a more equal, inclusive, and generous society. These powerful projects and artworks will seek to inspire new Fun Palaces throughout the community to find innovative ways of building connections with neighbours, sharing creativity and keeping community spirit alive beyond the lockdown.
The commissioned artists include Manchester-based Suriya Aisha, who will present a workshop for women and non-binary people who identify as sick or disabled on reframing experiences of ‘failure’, David Ellington’s visual insight into British Sign Language and textile artist Sue Fraser’s experiment with art crowd-sourced through a neighbourhood WhatsApp group. Meanwhile Cardiff-based Rabab Ghazoul reflects on building unlikely connections with neighbours, Sani Muliaumaseali’i will create a carpark opera and poet Degna Stone will be exploring tiny connections in her Newcastle neighbourhood.
To support vulnerable members of the community who have been, and in some cases continue to be, shielding, Fun Palaces have drawn up a set of safety guidelines for shielders. In keeping with government advice, these will offer guidance both to those who are leading and participating in events to ensure safety for all those involved and also support those shielding to create Fun Palaces themselves if they wish to. Digital Fun Palaces will also be taking place this year, building online connections from Zoom workshops through to the world of Minecraft. Those with access to the internet will also be encouraged to download PDF instructions and guides to encourage those who are not online to take part.
Whether it’s a shared creation made by three neighbours along a wall, a seed swap in the street, a drumming lesson from a balcony window, six people socially-distanced in a park teaching each other a dance or yoga or a fitness sequence, or a neighbourhood co-writing a story in chalk on the pavement, Fun Palaces supports communities to lead their own cultural community events, sharing the skills and passions of community members, whether they are experts or enthusiasts.Co-director Stella Duffy said, “By ‘tiny’ we mean really tiny, usually a Fun Palace has anything from 30 to 3000 participants, this year we think it is safe and sensible (and exciting) to say that three or six or nine participants is plenty. One venue that used to have 300 participants might choose to support a street (or town)-full of Tiny Fun Palaces, each one a gallery/show/song/poetry writing game in a front window, individuals or families might create a museum in their front garden, a book swap along the balcony or a safely-distanced dance lesson in the carpark. Instead of a full day, we welcome 20 minute or two-hour Fun Palaces. The events might be tiny – the connections will still be mighty.”
For easy ideas to get started, visit: www.funpalaces.co.uk/1000-tiny
For further information on how to sign up, please visit: www.funpalaces.co.uk/register
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