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Gateshead filled with Fun Palaces fun this weekend

Posted on 30 September 2022


Gateshead is set to be full of fantastic opportunities to try new things and develop new skills this weekend as part of nationwide Fun Palace celebrations. The free events, taking place on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October, will see local people and organisations welcome people into community spaces and venues across Gateshead.

On Friday 30 September, Gateshead Library will become a hub of activity. Art Diamonds will run make and share sessions in cardmaking, knitted necklaces, quilling and textiles and artist lead workshops in gardening, printmaking, and collage.

At Shipley Arts Centre on Saturday 1 October, there will be the opportunity to learn how to weave by The Shipley Weavers, create a monster pencil top or model with Mindful Monsterz and go on a nature walk with Dingy Butterflies CIC. Fingers n Thumbs textile group will demonstrate the process of making hooky and proggy mats and Equal Arts Cultural Adventurers group will showcase their pottery work. Also on Saturday, the Chopwell Regeneration Group will be hosting a chutney making afternoon at The Bank.

The free events are part of a number taking place across the UK held by Fun Palaces, a campaign promoting community at the heart of culture and culture at the heart of the community. This is held annually by and for local people.

Sage Gateshead is one of nine Fun Palace Partner Organisations in the UK, working with a local Fun Palace Ambassador to connect communities and celebrate the unique skills and passions of local people. The charity is committed to supporting people to be creative and putting creativity at the heart of local communities.

Rebecca Pereira, Fun Palaces Ambassador at Sage Gateshead, said: “Taking part in a Fun Palace is a great opportunity to share your skills, discover your city and get to know your community. We are all creative and being creative together can strengthen communities and the relationships within them. It has been amazing to see ideas flourish into events. We hope you enjoy the weekend.”

Other Fun Palaces will take place across Gateshead and beyond.  Find out more details and Fun Palaces on the map Find a Fun Palace – Fun Palaces


Media enquiries:

Jackie Thompson, 0191 4434602

Fun Palace Listings:

Art Diamond Fun Palace at Gateshead Library

Friday 30 September, 11am-4pm

Head to the Art Diamonds Takeover, which includes make and share sessions in cardmaking, knitted necklaces, quilling and textiles and artist lead workshops in gardening, printmaking and collage.

Chutney Making in Chopwell Fun Palace

Saturday 1 October, 2-4pm

Learn how to make some tasty chutney with Chopwell Regeneration Group. They have homegrown ingredients from local gardens and allotments and all the equipment for a chutney-making afternoon at The Bank. You’re able to take your chutney home to enjoy.
Booking essential, email or text 07354 452222

Shipley Art Gallery Fun Palace

Saturday 1 October, 11am-2pm

Join the Shipley Art Gallery and find out what local creative community groups and organisations get up to in the area. There will be demonstrations and opportunities to get creative with Equal Arts, Mindful Monsterz, Fingers n Thumbs, The Weavers and Dingy Butterflies CIC.

Other Fun Palaces will take place across Gateshead and beyond.  Find out more details and Fun Palaces on the map Find a Fun Palace – Fun Palaces

About Fun Palaces

In the early 1960s, director Joan Littlewood and architect Cedric Price had the vision to transform a building into ‘a laboratory of fun’ and a ‘university of the streets’. Although it never came to fruition, the concept of communities as equal cultural leaders and having a fair and active role in culture, where everyone’s brilliance is valued, has been developed by the Fun Palaces campaign since 2013.

About Sage Gateshead

  • Sage Gateshead is an international music centre for the North East and wider North. Through music, creative learning and artist development, the organisation demonstrates what music can achieve for communities.
  • Since opening in 2004, Sage Gateshead has worked side by side with partners and the wider community to help address the complex blend of social and economic challenges the region faces.
  • Sage Gateshead continues to be a major employer bringing investment and tourism into the region. We’ve generated a c. £500 million contribution to the local economy.
  • Sage Gateshead has brought social, cultural and educational value to over 10 million people and millions more via digital and broadcast activity. The scale of its artistic, learning and artist development activity places Sage Gateshead amongst the UK’s largest cultural organisations, while reaching a substantially more socially and economically diverse audience.
  • Pre-pandemic Sage Gateshead attracted 2 million visitors; 5,000 people took part in weekly music classes; 17,854 school children experienced live orchestral music and we worked with a further 2,418 vulnerable young people; more than 2,000 adults a week took part in music making designed to tackle social isolation.
  • The North East region is one of the worst affected by Covid-19. The region will be one where the recovery is slow and hard. Arts and culture have a pivotal role to play in regional and nation-wide recovery.
  • Covid-19 presents a major financial challenge to Sage Gateshead. 80% of its income has been affected, and in 2020/21 £10 million in revenue was lost. The organisation has taken swift action to overcome this crisis. 90% of the workforce was placed on furlough, significant cost savings have been sought and found, and it launched a fundraising campaign to raise £3 million to help secure the organisation during the next three years. Further challenges lie ahead; in 2021/22, Sage Gateshead estimates box office and trading income to be less than half of what would be expected in a normal year.
  • Sage Gateshead temporarily closed to the public on 17 March 2020, five days ahead of the announcement of the national lockdown. Performances recommenced in October 2020 with a season of socially distanced concerts featuring Royal Northern Sinfonia and artists across types of music, made available by live stream. Audiences were able to be present in the hall for two weekends of those performances.
  • In 2020 Sage Gateshead received a grant of £2.8 million from the Culture Recovery Fund Round One to help it through the pandemic and associated financial crisis. In 2021 the charity received a loan of £3m from the Culture Recovery Fund Round Two to support recovery. It has thanked the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and Arts Council England for this vital support.