This Saturday 3 October Forest Arts Centre in New Milton is celebrating the annual worldwide campaign that we know and love as Fun Palaces for the second year running.
What is Fun Palaces?
Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign that supports local people to co-create their own cultural and community events, across the UK and worldwide, sharing and celebrating the genius in everyone; Fun Palaces are made by local people for their own communities.
In 2019 Forest Arts hosted over 13 free one-off workshops run by local people and volunteers, including Needle Felting, Clock Making with the Men’s Shed and Morris Dancing too. With almost every workshop selling out, the centre was a hive of activity!
Although this year is going to look a little different, we're still very excited because through collaborative programming, Hampshire Cultural Trust's Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham and West End Centre in Aldershot will be joining the celebrations too. Fun Palaces is aiming for 1000 Tiny Fun Palaces – in streets, in homes, sharing skills at the gate, in the park or online - so it's a chance for everyone of all ages and in all circumstances to get involved.
In true Fun Palaces style, local volunteers, artists, business owners and the arts teams have collaboratively built a programme of activities. Below is some of what you can look forward to on Saturday 3 October with Forest Arts Centre in New Milton. In venue and zoom workshops are bookable online...
🌲 10am: Photography Walk with local, experienced photographer Trevor Bumfrey, taking photos of autumn scenery and wildlife on a stroll around Ballard Lake and Water Meadow.
🎪 12pm: Family History Workshop with local historian John Lay-Flurrie, discovering how to search for your families past, dating back to the start of the Victorian era.
💻 1pm: Flower Arranging with Flower Vogue (via Forest Arts Facebook), an online flower arranging tutorial in partnership with Hampshire County Council and The Men’s Shed, to raise awareness of the work they do.
We hope to gift the arrangement to the care home near Forest Arts Centre, where many Parkinson’s Dancers attend. We have not been able to see many of these dancers since lockdown, so we wish them well and hope that we can all dance together soon!
💻 2pm: Mystery Objects with Hampshire Cultural Trust's Red House Museum and Gardens who specialise in dementia friendly sessions (via Zoom) - diving back into the past to discover strange objects from our history.
🎪 2pm: Worry Dolls and Worry Warriors Workshop with experienced creative, sculptor and artist Emily Glen, teaching children how to overcome the worries of the pandemic in a creative way.
🎪 2.30pm: Needle Felting Workshop with Persephone Readers Club leader and all round creative, Kate Given, sculpting wool into a small owl or mouse figure using a special barbed felting needle.
🎪 3.30pm: Behind the Mask Workshop also with Emily Glen, helping children break down the boundaries of wearing a mask so they are not seen to be scary.
Every Forest Arts Fun Palaces booker will also get a free BIG Picture postcard created by local artists in lockdown - volunteers have been busy sharing them around New Milton. The aim is to write a short story, a poem, a short note or message, then send to a friend in the hope they send something back and continue a story exchange!
Keep an eye out on Saturday 3 October via Ashcroft Arts Centre's Facebook for a creative writing challenge, Makaton sing-a-long, plus a small art and craft make too. And if you visit West End Centre's Facebook you'll find a Poetry Challenge and a photography trail around Aldershot!
Fun Palaces Tiny Revolutions Top Picks...
2020 is the year of change and so Fun Palaces created #TinyRevolutions; a way for people in lockdown to be creative and share with each other. Here are Hampshire Cultural Trust's Arts Centre top picks:
Forest Arts Centre: Dress How You feel!
How are you feeling today? Tired? Joyful? Quiet? Confused? All of the above? Put together an outfit from your wardrobe that displays how you feel and go about your day.
Ashcroft Arts Centre: Post Quarantine
Post Quarantine (letters to open when this is all over) is a mail art project created by Nikky Lyle, Em Williams and Claire Medcalf. It’s a chance to show off your creativity and feature in an exhibition in the near future (fingers crossed!).
West End Centre: Recycled Bunting
Using materials you'd find at home, create beautiful bunting to hang up. A Tiny Revolution from a Fun Palaces ambassador in North Wales, Bethan Page.
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