This is a great idea which has already blossomed into a worldwide campaign and celebration of culture, and is starting to take off in the UK.
A Fun Palace is a free, community event with arts and science activities inspired and made by the people who live locally. You don’t need to be an expert in anything to make a Fun Palace – you just need to want to make something happen (however tiny) with and for the people that live around you. Fun Palaces happen in many different types of spaces – swimming pools, universities, shopping centres, theatres, tech spaces, woodlands, libraries and art centres to name a few. They are led by many different types of people too.
The celebration culminates in an annual weekend of action (the first weekend of October each year – this year it’s 1 & 2 October). In 2014 and 2015 there were 280 Fun Palaces created by over 5000 Fun Palace Makers across 11 nations, with 90,000 people taking part. In 2015 Lambeth Libraries in London had 11 Fun Palaces across the borough. They put up posters on library notice boards asking two simple questions with room to write answers below:
- What would you like to do or learn?
- What can you offer to share or teach?
The message is then displayed:
“The content was driven by the input from each library’s community. There may be lots of people in your community who are very happy to contribute to this celebration – why not find out?”
As community events go, these must be among some of the cheapest, easiest and most effective to put on, and fit very well with the current public library ethos of putting the community first.