Celebrate! The compelling case for Carnival learning


The celebratory arts are like no other. They are ambitious, energetic and bring communities together. The scale of the enjoyment, the drive for excellence and the passion for the diversity of our planet: they have so much to teach us – most importantly, how to have fun.


This Friday I am honoured to be speaking at ‘Celebrate! The compelling case for Carnival learning’ – a two day conference in Portsmouth which is bringing together policy makers, creators, teachers, universities, youth workers, school governors and carnival participants to examine and evolve the role of the participatory arts in education today.


Saturday 30th April will have a focus on accessibility and diversity with speakers from across the UK and beyond. Friday 29th April has a focus on Carnivals and Education, and the conference will be addressed by members from the Arts Council, Artswork and universities. Ian Comfort, CEO of the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) and trustee of London’s Carnival Village Trust, will be talking of the opportunities that carnival learning can bring within our current education system.


The Green Party emphasise the democratisation of access to culture and the arts – which is shared by the aims of the celebratory arts. In an age where film and television is dominated by the privileged few, we must work hard to open up the arts to participants from a diversity of backgrounds – and carnival is in the best placed position to do just that. Classroom time devoted to the arts has been reduced, pressures are on schools to stick with rigid grammar and numeracy – it is for the arts that we must find time and fight for space. And so carnival, with its plethora of opportunities and scope for cross subject learning, can be so central to the arts for our young people.

Celebrate! has been organised by Carnival Network South in association with Artswork and other groups. You can get tickets here or email carnivalnetworksouth@gmail.com if you are a Green Party member and ask about special rates.



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