Today is the last day for libraries to sign up to take part in the Fun Palaces Weekend, an annual event designed to celebrate everyday cultural community connections.

The weekend programme starts tomorrow bringing people together through shared passions and talents across arts, sciences, heritage and culture.   

The free events are organised by Fun Palaces, a National Lottery Funded initiative. Events are free, physically distanced and provide fun for all the family from toddlers to grandmas, giving people the chance to showcase their skills and learn something new.

SLIC’s ambassador for Fun Palaces, Lewis Hou, said: “Lockdown has really demonstrated the power of the grassroots, spontaneous cultural activities from individuals, libraries and creative groups to really connect local communities together. From the rainbows in windows, craftbombs in parks, dancing in gardens, music outside care homes, to the creative postcards in letterboxes it has been incredibly inspiring to see.

“This Fun Palaces weekend is all about celebrating these small, often forgotten cultural moments which are so vital for wellbeing and tackling social isolation and we want to show that everyone has got talents regardless of who they are or where they come from. While Covid-19 may have stopped some of our cultural venues from opening, we’re determined to show that culture will always find a way through and I’d encourage as many people as possible to get involved this weekend.”

Community Celebrations

Many of the activities will focus on celebrating connections between local organisations from open kitchens sharing recipes and herbs with neighbours in Aberdeenshire to swapping seeds in Linlithgow. At Huntly Farmer’s Market there will be a face-mask fashion show, while in East Ayrshire green fingered volunteers will be busy making creative garden pieces and bug hotels. 

There will also be DIY science experiments while those with a curiosity for crafts will create blueprint bunting in windows and can support a “Quilt for Cancer” project over the weekend.

Due to Covid-19, all in person events have been risk assessed and require advanced bookings. For those who prefer to connect from the comfort of their own living rooms, a jam-packed programme of activities will also be beamed in via the “Fun Palaces Scotland TV” channel which can be accessed through Fun Palaces Scotland Twitter and Facebook Page @FunPalacesScot. It’s here that Stirling Library staff will be sharing their talents and some animation ideas

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive at the Scottish Library and Information Council said: “Libraries are positioned at the heart of communities across Scotland, offering everyone equal access to an abundance of information and resources for education, cultural and social activities.  Our work with Fun Palaces is a perfect partnership to encourage and empower communities and individuals to improve local community life through culture and creativity. After what has been a very socially isolated year for many, the Fun Palaces weekend is needed now more than ever, and we hope that it will provide some much-needed connection and fun for all the family.”

Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign for cultural democracy supported by the National Lotteries Community Fund with year-round action research happening with ambassadors across the UK, exploring how to support active diverse grassroots cultural participation and community connectedness. The two Scottish Ambassadors are Lewis Hou (hosted by the Scottish Library and Information Council) and Alis Ballance (hosted by Eden Court Theatres).

Find out about Fun Palaces events happening in your area or contact Lewis Hou directly to find out how to get involved.