Fun Palaces weekend is a chance for Perthshire people to show off their skills!

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Perth Theatre is inviting the people of Perthshire to get creative in their communities this October by taking part in the nationwide Fun Palaces programme.

Fun Palaces on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 October is an opportunity for local groups and individuals to show off their skills through activities in their neighbourhood or online.

From amateur gardeners, footballers or photographers with top tips to share, keen cooks who want to demonstrate their latest lockdown recipes, to artists of all ages and abilities inspired to turn pavements into art galleries, it’s a chance for anyone who knows anything about anything to show others what they can do, and maybe get them involved!

Groups can share their latest dance moves, songs or artworks. Fitness fans can run a physically distanced yoga session, history buffs can give a lesson on a lesser known part of Scottish history, language lovers can teach a few words of French, Gaelic or Cantonese – whatever the interest and level of expertise, creating a Fun Palace is a great way to pass on knowledge and to learn new things.

A Fun Palace can happen in a garden, on a pavement, at a window, on a balcony or in a park. It can be for friends, neighbours or total strangers. There are lots of resources on the Fun Palaces website to help spread the word from invitations and posters to press release templates, images and social media content. The Perth Theatre team is on hand with technical and practical advice and will feature all local Fun Palaces on its website and on social media.

For anyone who needs an online ‘stage’ for their activity, Perth Theatre is hosting a Zoom Palace on Saturday 3 October. Sign-ups to the Zoom Palace already include: Pete Wishart MP who’ll be teaching the introduction to Runrig’s classic version of Loch Lomond on keyboard, Perth panto dame Barrie Hunter will give a lesson in panto dame make-up, local poet Jim Mackintosh will perform a specially written poem. Other participants include actor Andy Gray, Emma Neck, Victoria Beesley and members of Perth Youth Theatre.

The Perth Theatre team is also asking for individuals and businesses to decorate and light up their windows on the evening of Saturday 3 October for neighbours and passers-by to enjoy. Examples will start popping up after dark in the run up to the 3 October. Decorated windows and Fun Palace locations will be added to a map so that people can find them as they walk around the city.

Lu Kemp, artistic director of Perth Theatre said:

“We had originally planned to open the doors of Perth Theatre to the community to stage Fun Palaces as part of our 120th anniversary celebrations. Although the theatre is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, creativity and culture haven’t stopped, and, in fact, in some ways it has flourished in the community with more and more people finding innovative outlets for their activities. Lots of us have taken up new skills in small ways during this period and this is an opportunity for everyone to share these skills and pass on the pleasure they’ve got from them. It might be teaching someone to plant veg over the garden fence, building a COVID snake on street, or decorating a window for part of the evenings light up event. We’re excited to see what people have been getting up to!”

Fun Palaces is a free, nationwide campaign that supports local people to co-create their own cultural and community events, sharing and celebrating the genius in everyone. Arts, science, craft, tech, digital, heritage, sports activities – and most importantly people – will work together, have fun together and in doing so will connect our own communities from the grassroots up. Since 2014 a total of 1758 Fun Palaces have been made across

the UK and worldwide by over 40,000 local people with 560,000 people taking part, placing people at the heart of culture and culture at the heart of community. For more information, tips and resources visit https://funpalaces.co.uk

For more info, to let Perth Theatre know about your Fun Palace activity, or to book a Zoom Palace slot for Saturday 3 October, e-mail creativelearning@horsecross.co.uk by Thursday 24 September.

Horsecross Arts is supported by Creative Scotland, Perth & Kinross Council and The Gannochy Trust.

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