- Date: 7 September 2009
- Artform: Combined arts
- Region: South East
Opened in April 2008, the Carnival Learning Centre is the first of its kind in the UK, making the Isle Of Wight an international centre for carnival arts.
The centre received nearly £500,000 funding from three major bodies, including £76,000 from Arts Council England, South East through Grants for the arts, as well as funds from Learning and Skills Council and the Isle of Wight Council.
This funding transformed a disused nightclub into a multi-purpose centre, offering staff, artists and learners a place to learn and create. The centre now houses a parade rehearsal space, frame-building workshop and a computer production suite to support design and soundtrack work.
In January 2009, the centre embarked on Europa, a 45-minute street parade and five-minute stage performance. Europa performed on 3 May in honour of the official launch of the UK Centre for Carnival Arts in Luton.
The project involved 100 people, including Italian parade scenographer and float builder Umberto Cinquini (Viareggio Carnival), Island costume director Sharon George, artist Jill Wade Smith and Mas Fusion. Cinquini and the production team created a five-metre-high float which, along with 44 dancers and a giant constructed bull, told the Greek legend - the abduction of Europa, the first Queen of Crete – which later became Europe’s namesake.
Visit the website at www.thecarnivallearningcentre.org/