I created this schools-based project and annual procession in 2008 to try to keep alive Weymouth and Portland’s rich tradition of Summer Carnival in the minds of the next generation. I wanted to propose models of carnival that were more in-line with contemporary global developments and to give an opportunity for local schools to show the fantastic work they do in a public context. The project was designed to be cross-curricula, involving design, costume making, percussion, music, dance and face painting.
The ‘sea’ theme tied in strategically to initiatives around the Jurassic Coast Arts Programme and the procession was part of the annual ‘Spirit of The Sea’ Maritime Festival for Weymouth and Portland, until the final year in 2012 when a joyous procession closed the Olympic and Paralympic games interpreting ‘Oceans Of The World’.
The procession was the tip of the iceberg for the partners I brought together to deliver this project. Most of the learning took place in schools, where locally based professional artists worked with pupils from years 5, 6 and 8. It was a complex programme to organise and more schools joined as we moved toward 2012.
Partners: Weymouth College, Spirit of The Sea, Arts University Bournemouth, DepARTure, Activate, RELAYS and 21 schools.
Funders: ACESW, Awards For All, Ernest Cook Trust, RELAYS, WPBC and Dorset County Council.
Photographs: Jenny Stiling, Dave Penman, and Alan Rogers.