Carnival Arts is an organisation that aims to develop the carnival sector across the UK.
In the lead up to London 2012 Carnival Arts embarked on an ambitious project: Carnival Crossroads Eastbound. Working with five cities in the East of England – Luton, Southend, Ipswich, Norwich and Cambridge - the project engaged local communities by using carnival arts to celebrate their hometown’s heritage and legacy.People of all ages got involved, designing costumes, decorating floats and making music. To help them, professional music directors and float designers were hired (some from as far away as Brazil) to give masterclasses in carnival arts.
The project culminated in July 2012 with 500 people from across the five communities performing an extravagant parade as part of Luton’s International Carnival. “In the past, carnivals have been used to bring communities together,” says the project manager. “Religion, tradition, fun, music, dancing, arts: whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it in carnival. It’s a great way to bridge community gaps and make a statement.”
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