North East Connected

Free activities as the Fun Palaces campaign rolls into South Shields

A WEEKEND of free cultural and art events will be bringing people in South Shields together this week, as part of a national initiative.

On Saturday and Sunday (7 and 8 October), The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, at Market Place, is joining the Fun Palaces revolution and offering a selection of creative workshops aimed at all the family.

The Fun Palaces movement is a UK-wide initiative which brings culture, arts and science together for communities to enjoy. More than 300 venues up and down the country will be opening their doors to local people and offering free arts, crafts, tech and digital sessions.

On Saturday people can drop in from 10am-4pm and join the Junk Orchestra where participants can play junk instruments and make percussion and wind instruments.

There will also be two Animate Your Phone workshops on Saturday, with animator Sheila Graber demonstrating how to use phones and tablets to create short animations. These will be held from noon to 1pm and 2pm to 3pm but must be booked in advance.

On Sunday 7 October, BrickMetro architect Steve Mayes is heading back to The Word to host a Space Scape Lego build which will be ongoing throughout the day, and people can drop in any time from 10am to 4pm to take part.

Local artist and designer Kevin Flett will be holding 3D printing demonstrations throughout the day, showcasing some of his own work and teaching youngsters how the printers can be used.

Advance bookings are being taken for a fun, illustrated talk from 1-2pm on Sunday, where Professor Bryychan Carey will talk about how early space travel was imagined from the Tudor period onwards.

There will also be an interactive code club, where youngsters will use the Scratch programme to create their own animations from 2-3pm. Booking is essential.

Tania Robinson, Head of Marketing and Culture at South Tyneside Council, said: “The Fun Palaces initiative is something which happens every year up and down the country, and we are delighted to be able to bring it to The Word.

“We have prepared a busy programme of events with some of the region’s leading artists, and the weekend is all about encouraging people to come out and join their community in learning new skills or just expressing themselves through art, craft and science.”

For further information on the events at The Word and how to book, call 0191 427 1818 or visit

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