This October we’d like to welcome FEAST Project Manager and Fun Palaces Ambassador Jack Morrison as our Cultural Ambassador of the Month. FEAST invests in community and artist-led projects that aim to have a lasting effect through creating social, economic and environmental change. Jack works closely with artists all across Cornwall to help develop their ideas to meet the FEAST criteria. This includes projects that address community challenges, deliver quality, innovation, value for money and create sustainable legacies or continued opportunities. You can find out more about current FEAST projects here.
As Fun Palaces weekend is coming up we also wanted to highlight Jack’s involvement in this great community campaign, bringing people together across Cornwall to share their skills and passions. Read on to find out more about his work across Cornwall’s community arts and what his dream festival would be!
I am the FEAST Project Manager and a lot of my time is spent developing ideas with artists so that they fit the aims of FEAST. I am a Fun Palace Ambassador and spend much of my time talking and meeting Fun Palace Makers. I also manage the FEAST “systems”, an increasingly challenging task as the number of projects we have going live multiply in number.
I am from Helston originally but I was born in Redruth maternity ward, about six hundred yards from where my desk is now. I went to Camborne Tech, sold fruit and veg on Pool Market and studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. As a Stage Manager I worked on many international projects and was the first Stage Manager hired by the Globe Theatre in London where I remained for eight years. I moved back down in 2002 and worked all over Cornwall with companies such as the Eden Project, the Works and Kneehigh before coming to FEAST.
The best thing about coming to work each day is listening to the incredible and inspiring artists and individuals who contact Fun Palaces and FEAST.
I can’t really single out any one project, there have been so many brilliant ideas, connections, celebrations and activities. Every project has magic in there somewhere, it’s often hidden just round the back. A project about baking is actually about community cohesion, a project about knitting is actually about dyslexia.
I do like the way Cornish Communities are really creative about how things really work, I spoke to one person from a community about the Legacy and Sustainability of a project. She said they did a whip round at the end of the project and bought fruit trees for the village. They will be there in 60 years time, all being well, still fruiting and giving back to the village. That’s a lovely way to interpret sustainability and legacy.
I have been lucky enough to have been around Cornwall 365 for a long time now. It’s great to be able to tell people there are free listings for events and brilliant to see events we funded appear on your pages.
One of the most brilliant and useful things about Cornwall 365 is how warm and approachable the team is. There are all sorts of things they do and all sorts of ways you can interact with the system but sometimes it’s just great to know they are really great people too.
Well, as I tell everybody, Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign for cultural democracy, with an annual weekend of action every October. The campaign promotes culture at the heart of community and community at the heart of culture. The weekend of action uses the combination of arts, craft, science, tech, digital, heritage and sports activities, led by local people for local people, sharing their own passions and skills, as a catalyst for community-led transformation, with active participation for all ages.
There are Fun Palaces across Cornwall, as I write this there are 26 on the map, but there are probably more I don’t know about. That’s the brilliant thing about Fun Palaces, they can be huge like the one in Falmouth Gallery, town wide like Redruth Launceston or Bodmin, but maybe small enough to fit in a front room. They are happening from Penzance to Torpoint.
Look on the Fun Palace Website for more details and if you want to get involved drop me a line. Actually, if you want to get involved just do it and talk to me later….
I have come to love all the things about Redruth that surprise my friends from up country. They expect beaches and tourist shops and a quaint soft focus and bunting lifestyle as sold by the Sunday Magazines. Redruth is not soft focus, it’s brilliantly live and vibrant. I am a single parent and work part time, like many people in my community I am not affluent by any stretch of the imagination but there is a lot going on here if you scratch the surface.
I have to admit I have seen some bizarre stuff in my time here at FEAST, in some very odd locations. An Art Festival in a Banger Racing Track was particularly good, Bangers and Mash Up Festival. Mayes Creative have a touring full sized Meteorite that screens films, that’s been my most recent oddity.
Smokey Joes up BlackWater of course!
The ‘Cheap Date In Hayle’ is a good one. You go to Philps Pasty shop and purchase the bakery product of your choice, then eat it while slowly walking up to Mr B’s Ice Cream Shop. Buy a double cone and walk back with it.
Around Loe Bar from Helston, I usually walk counter clockwise through the woods and across the beach, back through Penrose. Takes about 2 hours I guess but it’s just lovely.
I don’t know if it’s different but I like to visit Madron Well once a year if I can. I love the stories in the trees, the walk through to the well and a quiet moment in the old baptistry. It’s a live tradition that goes back at least a thousand years if the baptistery is anything to go by.
I work with a lot of festivals, I would hate to think there were ones I might miss out on. You probably want to know about bands but I also work with the Cornwall festivals Network and I think the best thing about festivals are all the nooks and crannies, main stages are lovely but they can’t compete with a brilliant day in a Cornish town or village festival.
What would my fantasy festival be? I guess I’d like to step out into Helston Flora for the Hal An Tow, see the Oss at Padstow on the way for breakfast at Redruth Pasty Festival, maybe see a parade at Golowan and watch the Black Prince Flower Boat Procession go past, maybe take in some Hurling the Silver Ball over lunch at Falmouth Oyster Festival, catch some Cornish Folk Festival bands before seeing what was going on in Kehelland Apple Day, watching some dancing over Lowender Peran, grab dinner and a pint in Callington Mayfest and finish the evening with a bit of a sing at Bodmin Riding. I would be terribly disappointed to miss all the other brilliant festivals in Cornwall but maybe it could be a weeklong fantasy festival?