Northampton's children invited to take part in the National Children's Carnival Week this summer

'Mini carnivals' will be popping up in school playgrounds, sports fields and secure outdoor community spaces up and down the country

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 8:00 pm

Northampton Carnival is a key partner in a national initiative inviting schools and young people to engage in carnival activities up and down the country.

The new National Children's Carnival Week will be taking place online from July 12 - 18. It was organised by the UK Centre for Carnival Arts based in Luton and aims to get schoolteachers, children and their families everywhere to get involved in a remarkable upbeat finale to what has been such a challenging academic year.

Chair of East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network (EMCCAN), Richard Renwick said: "“It is important to pass on the carnival cultural traditions and heritage for future generations to enjoy. Young people are at the forefront of carnival planning in East Midlands. Over 3,500 children learn costume design and make, dance and music each year.”

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Reigning Northampton Carnival Queen, Sharlun Watkins, performing at the regional costume competition.

The idea has proven so popular that carnival partners in Northampton, Isle of Wight, London, Bridgwater, Bristol, Norwich, Luton, Manchester and Derby have pledged specialist support, artist time and resources to the project.

The programme will provide online teaching resources and 'make carnival at home' tutorial videos for everyone to get involved at home and at school. There will be 'mini carnivals' popping up in the safety of school playgrounds, sports field and secure outdoor community spaces all over England during the National Children's Carnival Week.

Carnival parades, outdoor arts and events have been severely hit by the pandemic over the last 13 months. With cancellations being announced once again, the professional carnival sector felt the need to act.

Chief executive of EMCCAN, Donna Fox, said: "We are proud to be part of the steering group for this national initiative, working collectively to share the work of skilled artists.

"Emccan will be putting a call out in coming weeks for carnival artists to deliver online workshops as part of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation project that has begun in Derby schools and community groups.”

Schools and groups are being asked to record their projects and their own carnival celebrations and share them onto the National Children's Carnival Week page using the #kidsforcarnival hashtag.

The project aims to promote opportunities to participate in all carnival artforms including steel band, samba drum and calypso (lyric) composition. There is a national children's carnival song, 'This is our Carnival', which is being shared and taught across participating schools - it is expected to have half a million young voices taking part in the live sing-out.

Visit www.emccan.org or contact Donna Fox on 07900 083839 for more information about National Children's Carnival Week, the learning and education programme or how to take part.