Enriching lives, connecting communities

It’s Carnevale time!

14 Isle of Wight carnival ambassadors have just returned from a fact finding trip to Massafra Carnival in Italy, joining in their annual  pre-Lenten celebrations.

The New Carnival Company, its staff and volunteers, is a partner in an 18-month Cultural Education exchange, funded through the European Union adult learning programme, Erasmus+. They took part in two of Massafra’s parades, on Carnival Sunday and Shrove Tuesday itself. (Did you know that the word ‘carnival’ comes from the Latin words ‘carne vale’ meaning ‘farewell to meat’ for Lent?)

The project is all about sharing best practice in popular art, folk song and dance and through carnival. Other partners in the programme are from Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia and, of course, Italy. Each country takes part in one another’s events and learns about the various cultural and creative approaches employed to involve their respective communities.  The five day visit included taking part in arts and crafts workshops, meeting civic dignitaries including the Mayor of Massafra, and performing live in a stage show at the municipal theatre.

Chris Slann, executive director of the New Carnival Company said ‘The Erasmus+ programme aims to create a stronger European community by supporting ordinary people from a range of backgrounds to come together to share their skills and knowledge.  It is a fantastic opportunity for the New Carnival Company and its volunteers to get new ideas and establish long-term international relations with creative partners overseas”

The New Carnival Company will host the final exchange on Isle of Wight in August, to coincide with Ventnor Carnival and Fringe Festival.

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