Ryde-based The New Carnival Company has just announced its successful bid to become a European Culture Partner in a new programme called Erasmus+, part of the European Union ‘Key Action for innovation and exchange of good practices across Europe’ scheme.
The company will receive a grant of €33,000 to fund a series of cultural exchanges between UK, Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy and Croatia over the next 18 months.
The project is called L-Paths – ‘Learning Paths across Tradition, History, and Society’. A key ambition of L-PATHS is ‘to develop the value of historic memory through the understanding and appreciation of poplar art, folk song and dance and through carnival’. Each partner organisation specialises in working with disadvantaged communities e.g. with gypsies and travellers, with refugees, with unemployed young people, with women living in isolated rural communities, and the New Carnival Company contributes its work with carnival and disability.
Company directors Chris Slann and Frankie Goldspink have just returned from Massafra in Southern Italy where they attended the first trans-national staff meeting with 8 other project leaders, 2 from each partner country.
“This is an exciting opportunity for all of us, sharing ideas, developing new approaches and being able to showcase our own carnivals and traditions across Europe. The New Carnival Company will be hosting the finale exchange of the project here on Isle of Wight, during summer carnival season 2016, where we can really show what Island carnival can do”.
Over the course of the project around 50 Island people will be given the opportunity to go and learn about other traditional celebrations and events in partner countries. The first trip is planned for August this year to Zadar, Croatia to join partner groups for a taste of traditional folk dance and song “Zadarski Tanac”.
Photographed: Frankie Goldspink and Chris Slann (back right) with EU project leaders from (clockwise) Turkey, Italy, Bulgaria and Croatia at the first transnational staff meeting last week