The UK Centre for Carnival Arts (UKCCA) is dedicated to creating work that embeds Carnival into places, into spaces and into communities. UKCCA is unique. We are one of the very few organisations committed to promoting excellence within the field of carnival arts in all its professional forms, from spectacle art, mass bands and characters, floats, steel orchestras, samba drumming and dance, calypso and soca music, sound systems, DJing and traditional forms of carnival expression to emerging urban voices of the street plus other carnivalesque forms that exist in world cultures. The UKCCA is an Arts Council England NPO – Band 1.
To be an inspirational leader committed to inspiring the future of Carnival through world class and innovative projects and programmes. We want to reach out and capture the imagination and engagement of everyone in Luton and across the UK.
Our mission is to see Carnival Arts continue to be universally recognised as a progressive contemporary Artform, which embodies artistic excellence and inclusive cultural expression.
We work collaboratively
We are curious, generous, playful and committed to exploration
We are welcoming to all and we value inclusivity
We value the integral role of our participants in our practice
We challenge behaviours
We value our relationships with our artistic community
We operate with transparency and demonstrate integrity in the way we work with people
We act responsibly towards the environment, understanding our impact and devising ways to reduce it while promoting awareness through our programmes and advocacy.
We promote inclusivity through the inclusion of artists, participants and audiences which champion, celebrate and sustain the diversity of society around us and through the curation of our artistic projects and the issues in society they address.
We are respectful of the challenges faced by others and create new ways of working to increase access
We give a voice to those who are underrepresented
What we do:
Across the year, UKCCA works with communities and cultural partners in Luton and Bedfordshire to realise their events and festivals, supporting delivery of key major events and bringing the stunning work of some of the UK’s most reputable Carnival Artists to audiences.
Major events delivered by UKCCA include the Luton International Carnival. Since 2014, UKCCA has been responsible for the production and artistic direction of the annual Carnival, which is a mirror of Luton's diverse community, with a strong focus on children and families.
Similar to most arts and cultural organisations who have been impacted upon by Covid-19, the UKCCA has adapted its programme to consider restrictions on mass gatherings in place, and in July 2021, it delivered the National Children’s Carnival Week – a showcase of online and local celebratory activities events delivered by carnival groups in and with schools across the country.