I don’t write a lot here about Fun Palaces – partly because my passion for what we are trying to do is so personal (some of the reason for that is explained at the start here, and some of it will always be because I had my second cancer in our first year and the work we were starting was huge in helping me keep on); but partly because – unlike my writing and theatre work – it’s simply not ‘mine’ at all. Fun Palaces belongs to everyone who gets involved, everyone who takes it on for themselves, their locality, their community.
Fun Palaces is committed to Joan Littlewood’s belief in ‘the genius in everyone’, in working towards our belief in ‘everyone an artist, everyone a scientist’. Obviously, we’re tiny and only 4 years old, and we are very far from ‘everyone’, BUT our 2016 evaluation shows we are beginning to make inroads – by working with the enthusiasm and passion that people all across the UK (and far wider) have for their own communities, to create as they want to.
And when our stats show that 85% of UK Fun Palaces were outside London, that 34% of the Maker teams (the people who lead Fun Palaces locally) include people under 18, 62% of Maker teams include people from ethnic minorities, 27% of Maker teams include disabled people and that 59% of Fun Palaces took place in libraries (I’m a writer, of course this makes me happy – libraries belong at the heart of every community), then we are happy to celebrate it. AND we know we can do more. We are working to do just that with our Ambassadors programme.
Lots to be happy about, MUCH to do, and many more brilliant people to do it with. Onwards!
We called 2016 our Year of the Maker – here are some of those 4800 Makers talking about how it was for them in our 2016 film.
If you want to join in, in any way, get in touch here.