Fun Palace

Fun Palace

Tell us a story: Fun Palace

February 12, 2016, 3:45 pm
2013 I 2016

>> A campaign for culture at the heart of every community



Fun Palaces is both an ongoing campaign for culture at the heart of every community, and an annual weekend of active participation in culture – arts, science, craft and tech events run by and for local communities. We believe in Everyone an Artist and Everyone a Scientist, and that culture belongs to us all.

Fun Palaces have two vital outcomes: cultural democracy and enabling and empowering local people to create by, for and with their own communities.

Fun Palaces happen anywhere, over the first weekend of October. They are free, participatory, created by the community for the community.

Fun Palaces facilitate individual and community engagement in culture, asserting the individual and community’s right and ability to decide what culture means to them and their locality – and how best to share it.

We believe that this hyper-local, grassroots-up approach to cultural engagement can support community cohesion and help develop a more inclusive cultural and landscape – locally, nationally and internationally.

Fun Palaces HQ is a team of 6 people, all part-time, who run workshops, support local groups, manage national PR and communications, and work to shine a light on the amazing work being made in local communities, by and for local people.

Fun Palaces HQ chooses to stay small and part-time in order to keep the focus on the communities taking part.

Each local Fun Palace fundraises independently, and is largely reliant on volunteers and donations, unlocking huge latent value nationally.

Fun Palace Makers and participants come from all social groups and backgrounds. In the UK, the ethnic background of both Fun Palace Makers and participants is within 3% of the national distribution for all groups, and Makers and participants come from all deciles of the Index of Multiple Deprivation*, with most deciles within 3% of the national distribution.

*The Index of Multiple Deprivation ranks all postcodes in England by deprivations. Each decile is 10% of the population, with decile 1 being the most deprived, and decile 10 being the least deprived.

Over 2 weekends in 2014 and 2015 there were 280 Fun Palaces across 11 nations made by 5262 local people with over 90,000 people joining in. In 2016 there were 292 Fun Palaces in 9 nations, made by 4800 local people, with 124,000 people joining in active participation.

Makers are the people who lead locally – artists and scientists, community workers, volunteers, cultural enthusiasts – often a mix of all.

  • 62% of Maker teams included people from an ethnic minority
  • 27% of Maker teams included people with a disability
  • 34% of Maker teams included people under 18
  • 30% included people over 65
  • 14% of Maker teams include BOTH people under 18 AND people over 65
  • 46% of Makers agree that they got to know people who are different to them through making a Fun Palace
  • 98% of Makers would like to make another Fun Palace in the future (and 96% of participants would like them to)
  • 42% agree that making a Fun Palace opened up new opportunities for them
  • 37% agree that as part of making a Fun Palace, they did something they did not know they were capable of.

Fun Palaces make a difference for Participants

  • 96% of participants think it should happen again
  • 84% feel motivated to do more creative things in the future

Participants said : “Lovely idea, glad to see meeting point between theory, practice, academia, fun and community.”

“I’ve met a young girl today who I’ve never spoke to before and she lives on my street, through chatting I’ve found out her Grandma was my best friend at school…”

“I can’t believe this is free!”

“Thank you for inviting my dad to do a talk – it’s really been good for him.”


Watch Funpalaces’ video:
Fun palaces 2016 – Year of the Maker