Hat Fair – the UK’s longest running annual Outdoor Arts festival – hosted a free workshop this week for Hampshire teachers to learn how to make colourful carnival costumes so they can help their pupils create their own to wear in the Hat Fair Carnival, which opens the festival on Friday 5 July at 12 noon.
The workshop, held at Theatre Royal Winchester, was delivered by The New Carnival Company – a pioneering arts development organisation based on the Isle of Wight, who specialise in carnival and outdoor public celebrations – which has teamed up with Hat Fair, to help the team, and participating schools, deliver a vibrant and fun Carnival.
Teachers were keen to get stuck in making head-dresses, collars, skirts and flagpoles, from bright fabrics, feathers, sequins and other trimmings, so they can return to schools to teach the hundreds of local children taking part in the procession this summer, to make their own.
The theme of this year’s Carnival is ‘Fabulous’ and there are ten topics for children to explore – including food, authors and books, wildlife and inspirational people.
The New Carnival Company and Hat Fair are due to run further courses, between April and June, for teachers to learn more costume design and making skills, as well as simple carnival dance steps, which they can use to choreograph routines their pupils will impress with.
Children taking part in workshops led by their teachers will have the chance to work towards and achieve an Arts Award Discover qualification. Arts Award inspires children and young people aged five to 25 to grow their artistic talents.
Also attending the workshop was Engagement Producer, Katrina Henderson, from the Live Theatre Winchester Trust’s Creative Learning Team, who said:
‘The teachers taking part in the workshop went away feeling inspired and looking forward to getting creative with their schoolchildren, ready to take part in the Hat Fair Carnival. I cannot wait to see the end result.’
The Carnival will start at 12 noon on Friday 5 July and travel through Winchester City Centre from the Great Hall to Abbey Gardens. Hat Fair runs from Friday 5 – Sunday 7 July.