Carnivals up and down the country are working together to bring a celebration full of camaraderie, vibrancy and exuberance, to every child and young person this summer. The new National Children’s Carnival Week, 12 – 18 July 2021, is the brainchild of the UK Centre for Carnival Arts based in Luton, and aims to get schoolteachers, children and their families everywhere involved in a remarkable upbeat finale to what has been such a challenging academic year.
The idea has proven so popular that carnival partners in Bridgwater, Isle of Wight, London, Bristol, Norwich, Northampton, and Derby have pledged specialist support, artist time and resources to the project, which aims to go ‘live’ on Thursday 22 April.
Clary Salandy, Artistic Director of UKCCA, explains:
‘We recognise that teachers have been under enormous pressure to keep children learning during the pandemic, so we are offering a range of carnival activities that can link to the summer curriculum. Our dream is to have all children in the UK celebrate carnival together in their schools’.
The programme will provide online teaching resources and ‘make carnival at home’ videos that can be shared and delivered in all kinds of settings, in and out of school, for everyone to get involved. During National Children’s Carnival Week in July, there will be mini carnivals ‘popping up’ all over the place, in the safety of school playgrounds, on sports fields and in secure outdoor community spaces.
Over the last 13 months, carnival parades, outdoor arts and events have been severely hit by the pandemic. With cancellations being announced once again, the professional carnival sector felt the need to act. All partners’ own events have been badly affected, which has impacted on the thousands of children and young people who take part each year, making costumes and choreography at school or at clubs and presenting them ‘live’ on the streets.
Sarah Humphrey, Schools Liaison Officer for Bridgwater Carnival said:
‘We usually run a range of carnival activities in local schools during the Autumn term in the build-up towards our usual annual celebrations. We will continue to deliver these but decided that the exciting National Children’s Carnival Week programme in July provided children with an extra opportunity to take part in an event which would enable them to share experiences and whilst learning about different cultures.’
Schools and groups are being asked to record their projects and their own carnival celebrations and share them onto the national page.
National Children’s Carnival Week (#kids4carnival) will promote opportunities to participate in all carnival artforms and there is even a national children’s carnival song, ‘This is our Carnival’ which is being shared and taught across participating schools and aspires to be the world’s greatest live sing-out with the potential of involving half a million young voices.
For more information about National Children’s Carnival Week, about the learning and education programme and/or how to take part contact: