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Celebrate culture at Fun Palaces festival


Socially distanced events across Scotland are set to take place this weekend as part of a celebration of cultural projects

Communities across Scotland are set to celebrate their cultural projects this weekend.

From Orkney to Dumfries, communities across Scotland and the UK are sharing passion and talents across arts, sciences, heritage and culture, to help tackle social isolation as part of the Fun Palaces campaign. All the events are free, physically-distanced and encourage everyone, younger and older, to try something new and maybe even share a skill which was developed over lockdown.

Many activities will be supporting tiny connections locally - from open kitchens sharing recipes and herbs with neighbours in Aberdeenshire to swapping seeds in Linlithgow. Huntly Farmer’s Market will be hosting a face-mask fashion show to making creative garden pieces and bug hotels in East Ayrshire. There’ll be DIY science and art blueprint bunting in windows and crafty fingers will be able to support a Quilt for Cancer project over the weekend.

For those who prefer to connect in the comfort of their living rooms, there will also be “Fun Palaces Scotland TV” throughout the weekend too on social media. This includes Stirling Library staff sharing their talents and some animation ideas, to live-streaming to Holyrood Park for some outdoor skills with Dynamic Earth. There will also be some wood-working skills from Inverclyde Men’s Shed and even a live-streamed ceilidh each evening from Friday with Belladrum Festival, a storytelling ceilidh house with Seanchas and a Sunday Science Ceilidh to round off the weekend.

One of the initiative’s Scotland ambassadors, 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.

“These have been inspirational, from the rainbows in windows, craftbombs in parks, dancing in gardens, music outside care homes, to the creative postcards in letterboxes. This Fun Palaces weekend is all about celebrating these tiny, often forgotten cultural moments which are so vital for wellbeing and tackling social isolation - everyone has got a talent after all. Covid may have stopped some of the cultural venues opening, but culture will always find a way!”

Even whole councils are getting stuck in, with Renfrewshire encouraging all their residents to put themselves onto their creative map and Perth Theatre inviting folks across Perth and Kinross - including the local MP and panto dame - to take over their Zoom Palace and share some hidden talents.

You can find out the nearest Fun Palaces event to you on this map or see the Fun Palaces Scotland TV schedulefrom Friday morning here or on social media (@FunPalacesScot)

Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign for cultural democracy supported by the National Lottery 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.



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