On Saturday 1 October 2016, I took part in Mansfield Museums’ first ever Fun Palaces event. “Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign supporting culture at the heart of every community, with an annual weekend of arts and science action created by, for and with local people.” The Fun Palaces campaign began in 2014 by Co-Directors Stella Duffy and Sarah-Jane Rawlings, and producers Hannah Lambert and Kirsty Lothian. Their fabulous tagline is ‘Everyone an Artist, Everyone a Scientist.’
When Mansfield Museum’s Community Participation Officer, Sally Evans, put a call out for local people to get involved I couldn’t wait to contribute as I feel passionately about engaging local communities with cultural events.
Mansfield Museum, Mansfield Palace Theatre and The Old Library were brimming with fun, free Arts and Science activities for all ages. The Nottinghamshire branch of the British Science Association demonstrated how to make balloon kebabs, there were dancing robots, live music, animals from White Post Farm and many more exciting things to see and explore.
My activity took the form of a low tech animation workshop that explored the theory of persistence of vision via the creation of a thaumatrope (a toy that combines two images to create an early form of animation). Thaumatropes are easy to make and really effective. In short, visitors could get a taste of animation by creating a magic moving picture. The activity beautifully married Art and Science together in one activity, full STEAM ahead!