Right then. I have reached peak yay/boo Corbyn. I’m tired of the raging and the praising on facebook and twitter (and as guilty of it as anyone else).

There are other matters of importance. Vital importance.

Like 120 ‪#‎FunPalaces‬.

(edited to add – 138 Fun Palaces at 30.9.2015 – which is weird, because we had 138 last year too, and it’s such a random number … or is it? It’s the kind of thing Radio 4’s More or Less does brilliantly. How random is 138?)

120 communities engaging in and of themselves in culture not FOR all, but WITH and BY all. Fun Palaces in all four of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Fun Palaces in regenerating Christchurch (NZ). Fun Palaces in Australia, Canada, America. Fun Palaces in ex-churches and current markets. Fun Palace walks. Fun Palaces in ALL Lambeth libraries. Fun Palaces in schools. Fun Palaces in forests. Fun Palaces (mostly) for kids and Fun Palaces (mostly) for grownups. Fun Palaces where ‘all’ that is happening is a gathering, talking, sharing food & drink with local neighbours and local strangers to talk about what they’d like to do in next year’s Fun Palaces, talking about what they might become, as a community, together. And then getting on with it. Fun Palaces made by people who have never before engaged in arts. Fun Palaces engaging sciences with real communities, not the already-engaged. Fun Palaces because small-p politics is JUST as important (and prob way more important to most people) as Politics. Fun Palaces because policies and plotting and planning in Westminster mean nothing unless they are also TRULY linked to actual lives, lived in community.

Fun Palaces because we can fix all of it* by giving people freedom and capability to express themselves together, where they live. Fun Palaces because artists and scientists give loads, but not so often in our very own neighbourhoods. Fun Palaces because we say yes, you can do this, you don’t need anyone’s permission – you don’t even need a building. Fun Palaces because of the genius in EVERYONE.

from Emily Medley's Fun Palaces illustration
from Emily Medley’s Fun Palaces illustration

*Yes, we can, we can fix all of it. Because people who are empowered and enabled can take care of themselves AND of each other. People who are empowered and enabled can take care of their own society and care for others’. People who are empowered and enabled can create any amount of value and share it with all. People who are empowered and enabled can run brilliant stuff, from the grassroots up, and the local out.