We’re getting ready for the meeting on Thursday 18th February, 7pm, at St. Hilda’s East Community Centre, 18 Club Row, E2. Everyone who lives and works on the Boundary Estate is welcome, the Fun Palace will be a community event organised by residents. Before the meeting we thought you’d like to know something about Fun Palaces and what could be possible at our Fun Palace. If you don’t fancy reading everything below, take a look at the brilliant Fun Palaces films under the heading What Sort of Things Could We Do?
What are Fun Palaces?
In short they are whatever local communities hosting the Fun Palace decide they want – but here’s a fuller and much better explanation by the brilliant people at Fun Palaces HQ:
Fun Palaces are about creating and making together: they are a space where arts and sciences, fun and learning meet, working alongside and working together. They are as much about getting together to do something in your community, as they are about what it turns into on the weekend itself.
You can make or join a Fun Palace in whatever way best suits you and your neighbours; with play, experiments, stories and discovery. High art and hard science are as welcome as the fun and the games.
Each Fun Palace is unique, self-generating, self-supporting and local. Some may just be moments, some last the whole weekend.
In the 2014 Fun Palaces weekend on 4/5 October there were Fun Palaces in theatres, gardens, tents, woodlands, shops, car parks, schools, libraries, swimming pools, public squares, town halls and dozens of other venues. They were made in 138 community locations, by 3183 people, many of whom had never before created a public event, and over 40,000 people took part.
In the 2015 weekend on 3/4 October there were 142 Fun Palaces in all four British nations, as well as other countries, led by approx 2500 Fun Palaces Makers, with over 50,000 participants.
Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign for culture at the heart of every community, with participation led by, for and with local people.
Fun Palaces 2016 dates are 1st & 2nd October. Anyone and everyone – anywhere – is welcome to make a Fun Palace.
The principles are that each Fun Palace is Free, Local, Innovative, Transformative and Engaging. By creating them together, right where we live, we can make a huge shout for culture at the heart of all our communities – benefiting both from an ongoing campaign and the wider impact of simultaneous action.
Why a Fun Palace on the Boundary Estate?
The Boundary Estate is incredibly special, it’s Britain’s first planned council estate and has large courtyards, gardens and play areas that are ideal for holding Fun Palace events, plus we have wonderful St. Hilda’s Community Centre at the heart of the estate which has cafe spaces, rooms and toilet facilities that are all fully accessible and available for us to use as part of our Fun Palace.
A Fun Palace is a great way of bringing everyone together. With the stresses and strains of everyday life making getting to know your neighbours not as easy as it should be Fun Palaces are a great way of meeting people, talking and getting to know your neighbours whilst having fun.
Who Will Organise It?
The Boundary Estate Fun Palace will be organised and run by residents, and the idea came from a resident who visited some of the Lambeth Libraries Fun Palaces in 2015 who thought it would be brilliant if the Boundary Estate community hosted a Fun Palace in 2016.
There’s already been a little work done, setting up this blog site, Facebook and Twitter pages and checking there’d be spaces for the Fun Palace to take place. St. Hilda’s Community Centre totally support the Fun Palace and have offered the use of the centre for the event. Susmita Sen, Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Homes, is supportive of a Fun Palace on the estate and will help with a small amount of funding which will help make other fundraising a little easier. Our local councillor John Pierce has been for the idea since he was first approached and will do all he can to help. Contact has also been made with Tower Hamlets Council, Queen Mary University Outreach Team, Bishopsgate Library, the Women’s Environmental Network, Stemettes, City of London Libraries and local businesses all of whom are interested in supporting the Boundary Estate Fun Palace in various ways.
What Sort of Things Could We Do?
That depends on the ideas people have, there’s no set rule. Obviously we have to think about the limits of money and the locations but we could do anything – science experiments, make things, play sports, sing, play instruments, find out about local history, gardening and cooking, for example. Anything! If you’ve got skills you want to share, if you want to help or if you just want to come along and have a look on the day then that’s all good – it’s our Fun Palace for us to plan, for us to run and for us to take part in however we want.
Can We Really Host a Fun Palace?
Yes! By sharing ideas and skills and by working together to organise and run the event we most certainly can. We have a great community with a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience to help make the Fun Palace a success. The Boundary Estate has a long history of residents working together with community festivals in the 1980s and 1990s, and much of what residents did to improve the estate for everyone is still visible – from the planters in our courtyards and the playground on Camlet Street to the Boundary Estate Community Launderette.
An organising committee will need to be elected to oversee planning the event and applying for funding. That w
We will have to officially register with Fun Palaces HQ, which shouldn’t be a problem as we’ve already registered an interest and kept them up-to-date with what we’re doing.
Some Thank Yous…
To Maya Kumagai-Jones and the team at St. Hilda’s Community Centre for their support so far, and for giving us the space for this meeting.
To Steve & the Tower Hamlets Homes caretaking team for posting the notices in all the stairwells on the Boundary Estate.
To Boundary Community Launderette for paying for the printing of the meeting notices.