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WHAT IS PALAVER PARTY?
Palaver Party is a public performance event aimed at children (aged 3-8) and their families.
The performances have been specifically designed for children and family audiences by a team of LGBTQ+* artists. The events will create a fun, celebratory, and inclusive atmosphere which aims to provide high-quality and engaging entertainment which also allows young people to learn about different kinds of families (where some people have two mums or two dads) that it’s OK to love whoever you want (sometimes princesses marry princesses and sometimes princes marry princes).
*(lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer)
WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?
Palaver Parties are fun, interactive, glittery events which will include disco-style music and dancing, interactive crafting activities (to create individual fancy dress items such as crowns and hats), get some glitter face paint, and watch performances – including songs, storytelling, and dance – from a diverse line-up of professional artists all dressed in fabulous and fantastical outfits.
Audiences have the option to participate as little or as much as they want. Through gentle encouragement and participating in a range of activities over the course of the party or event children will be able to feel more confident, and feel empowered to express themselves.
All the artists involved in creating the project were asked ‘what did you need to see when you were younger?’ and have used this as a way to create an event which speaks to their experiences of growing up as an LGBTQ+ person.
Our overall aim is to spread a message of love and acceptance – that all people are equal, and that the things that make us different are the things we should celebrate about ourselves (rather than feeling embarrassed or sad about them). We want young people attending these events to understand that they can be whatever they want to be, and to feel like they have the power within them to create the things they want. Most importantly, we want everyone to attend to have fun, enjoy themselves, and feel joyful.
WHY ARE WE DOING IT?
We know that whilst many things have changed for LGBTQ+ people over the last decades there is still a long way to go for LGBTQ+ people to be safe, respected, and to achieve equality. Our understanding of what constitutes a family has changed from the outdated idea of exclusively being a mother, father, and children. In today’s society we know that families come in all shapes and sizes including single-parents, same sex parents, adoptive parents, foster families, multiple family homes etc. We want to ensure that the stories we tell to children actually reflect the world they live in, and celebrate the different kinds of families and people there are in the world – so that young people who do belong to families outside of the traditional ‘nuclear’ model do not feel different and are not treated differently by others.
Palaver is just one strategy towards doing this – we believe that in creating space for all children and families to learn about different kinds of people, relationships, and families we can create new levels of respect, care, and understanding for each other.
Whilst there have been many legal advances for LGBTQ+ people in recent history, we recognise that the world we live in is often unwelcoming and dangerous for LGBTQ+ people. In 2019 incidents of homophobic and transphobic hate crime doubled in the UK. A YouGov survey in 2012* found that two thirds of LGBTQ+ people were afraid to hold hands in public. Data collected by stonewall discovered than almost half (48%) of transgender people in the UK have attempted suicide, and their 2017 Schools Report indicated that 45% of young LGBTQ+ people experience bullying in schools. We want to be a part of changing these shocking statistics, we want to help create a world where LGBTQ+ are safe, celebrated, and supported. Palaver is a first step towards this.
OUR AIMS ARE:
- To create inclusive family programming which will provide representation for all types of families, including those with same-sex parents.
- To give all young people the opportunity to see themselves and their families reflected in the stories we put on stage.
- To provide age-appropriate positive representation and visibility of LGBTQ+ people for all young audiences, so they can learn it is OK to be different, to be themselves, and to have a family that might look different to other families.
- To build bridges between communities, raising awareness and increasing understanding leading to stronger communities, mutual respect, and celebration of different lives and identities.
- To ensure that all young people engaging with performance (regardless of their gender, identity, family make-up etc.) feel valued and validated.
- To provide safe space for families and children to encounter LGBTQ+ communities, have conversations, ask questions, learn and grow.
- To provide positive LGBTQ+ role models for children and their families.
- To let young people who may (or may not) be LGBTQ+ that they are loved, they are valid, and they are worthy.
- To remind children that everybody feels ‘different’ at some point in their lives, and to teach them that the things that make them different are often the things that make them special.
- To promote that everyone has the right to live authentically, to feel safe, celebrated, and valued regardless of their race, identity, religious beliefs, or who they love.
This information page has been created by Fatt Projects, in collaboration with Curve and The Spark.