Fun Palaces: arts and science at the heart of communities

We had an amazing meeting this morning with Stella Duffy, director and fomentor of the Fun Palace campaign - its slogan, "culture for, by and with all".

It carries forward the sixties brainchild of architect Cedric Price and theatre innovator Joan Littlewood, who wanted to build multidisciplinary places within towns and cities that generated creativity of all kinds - from science displays to string quartets, from local history to global food courts. The original sketch for it, held at MOMA in New York, shows how much it inspired Richard Rogers to build the Pompidou Centre in Paris. 

A few years ago, frustrated at the evidence that public arts were being largely consumed by middle-class and moneyed elites, Stella decided to revive the idea of the fun palace as a community-led, pop-up festival. The Fun Palace site gives a few general ideas about the kinds of places and activities that might take place in one, but otherwise it's up to the locality.

This year's nationwide, indeed international festival - see their map - takes place on 7-8th October, and is really trying in 2017 to mobilise libraries as venues for this activity. 

We regard Fun Palaces as kindred spirits to what we're trying to do with our political laboratories - and look forward to further conversations. Meantime, get involved!