- Date: 17 February 2010
- Area: South East
HRH The Earl of Wessex chats to carnival artists. Credit: Kevin Joseph
The UK Centre for Carnival Arts (UKCCA) in Luton played host to His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex as part of a Royal visit to the region on 28 January.
The Earl of Wessex was greeted by UKCCA Chair Tony Isles and Executive Director Paul Anderson, and took the opportunity to meet principal funders and partners alongside local and national carnival community members. He unveiled a new sculpture entitled Tradition, created by carnival artist Carl Gabriel, who has previously exhibited in venues including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum in London.
The UKCCA was launched in May 2009 as a state-of-the-art cultural resource to promote carnival arts and act as a catalyst for cultural regeneration and community outreach work. It is a vibrant hub for national and international carnival arts talent, attracting a broad range of visitors including carnival artists from around the globe; schools; course attendees; conference delegates; and archive users.
The £7.3 million capital project has been made possible by a dynamic partnership including Arts Council England, East, the East of England Development Agency, GO-East, European Regional Development Fund Objective 2 Programme and Luton Borough Council.
Paul Anderson, Executive Director of UKCCA, said: 'Carnival offers an unrivalled wealth of possibilities for participation, learning, enjoyment, and personal and community growth and development. The UKCCA exists to provide education, enterprise, advocacy, training, and outreach activities that promote the value, reach and powerful impact of carnival arts.
'The Earl of Wessex's visit brings the year's celebrations to a close and cements a foundation for the beginning of great things for carnival arts in the UK regionally, nationally and internationally.'