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Kaleidoscope Arts – Cosmopolitan Carnival

Kaleidoscope Arts provides community based multi-arts tuition in: media, photography, music, dance, art, film and creative writing. They commission artists to exhibit work and facilitate a variety of arts based workshops. As well as this Kaleidoscope Arts also host large scale arts based events aimed at bringing communities together and to celebrate Leicester’s interesting and culturally diverse population. Kaleidoscope Arts utilise the arts to break down cultural barriers, promote integration and enhance understanding.

Crowd watching the entertainment

In June 2014 we awarded a grant totalling £1,422 from our Leicestershire and Arts Funds. The funding was used as a contribution towards a growing community event that took place in August 2014 and called the Cosmopolitan Carnival. The aim of the event was to showcase the many different cultural groups living in Leicester and included music, food, art and comedians.

The event took place on Saturday 23rd August 2014; starting at 2pm and running until 9.30pm. During the day the event had 5000+ people who attended, with over 300 artists and 35 volunteers who were involved in making the day such a great success.

Dancing fun

The main stage in Jubilee Square opened the event with a speech from the city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby. Kevin Ncube from BBC Radio Leicester compered the stage while Bizzi Dixon, a local contestant from the Voice, sang.  In this area there was also a graffiti artist who created a large piece of artwork and lots of games and activities for all the family.

Art activities

Luckily the sun was shining throughout the day and a large crowd of people, all of many different cultural backgrounds and age ranges, mixed together sitting on the grass, dancing and enjoying themselves.

High Street provided the main focus of cultural dance performances, while St Martins Square had a performance stage that showcased a mix of acoustic world music, spoken word and poetry.

Singing on stage

The event ended with a final performance from By the Rivers, which attracted a large crowd and then a grand finale film performance projected on to the BBC Radio Leicester building. The film was timed at just under half an hour and included animation and a multicultural sound track. There were also lasers and a smoke machine that was timed with the music and dance activity. Some of the cultural dance groups that had performed during the day had created dance pieces for this performance and the dances produced in the workshops prior to the event were performed. There was a huge crowd for this event: people clapped and cheered throughout and there was a standing ovation at the end!

The Cosmopolitan Carnival was a huge success, celebrating Leicester’s cultural diversity and bringing a wide range of different cultural communities together. What a great day!

Clock tower art