26 ways to Green
The 2021 Whitley Bay Carnival was on Saturday 18th September 2021. The parade began at 4pm. ’26 ways to green’ was the theme for Whitley Bay Carnival 2021, driven by our young people who want to look at how we can help shape a greener future for our seaside NE26 postcode in the face of climate change. Our focus is on what we have to lose and what we want to protect in the sea, the air and the land itself.
Banners of Hope will be flying along the coastline and the costumed promenaders will bring the environment into sharp focus, giving us a version of utopia.
As always Carnival is an invitation for absolutely everyone to get together and celebrate community, belonging and making meaningful, positive things happen whatever the barriers might be.
The Banners of Hope project came about in response to feedback from young people in the community, who wanted to focus on the issues of climate change.
We wanted to do something that could involve diverse groups in the community and introduce new skills. The main environmental concerns of young people were about rubbish on the beach and plastic in the sea.
The Banners of Hope have the slogans:
Keep our sea clean and free
The pathway to green keeps our oceans clean
There is no do poo fairy
Stand up for the planet
There’s more than 26 ways to green
Clean the sea
Sunny, clean, happy, green
The preparations for Carnival took place during 6 garden workshops with 160 attendees, 3 sessions in the Big Local building with 26 attendees. Also at Whitley Bay Fiesta on Sunday 5th September with more than 350 attendees.
The workshops were attended by whole family groups including elders and toddlers. People from residential homes also attended as did some with mobility issues, mental health issues and with dementia. The workshops were a valuable way of new residents meeting people and feeling part of the community.
The workshops were run by a highly skilled team of artists and offered prepped activities, personalised to those attending. Materials, tools and templates were provided so that activities could be as simple or as complicated at participants wanted.
Feedback from Sally Southern: Feedback from the participants has been lovely. They’ve said how much they’ve enjoyed taking part and doing something totally different particularly trying their hand at screen printing. Everyone seemed to have a real sense of pride in what they had created.
“26 Ways to Green” is produced by SALTo Arts Productions in partnership with Whitley Bay Big Local Creative Civic Change, North Tyneside Council with support from Arts Council England, Big Lottery and local businesses Pantrinis, Di Meo’s Ices and Fishermans Bay.
Led by our youngest promenaders in 2021 we are focusing on the environment on our doorstep from flowers, moss and lychens to jelly fish, and windblown seeds. The parade will be in sections of land, sea, air and the utopia. The future our children hope for.
Extravagant costumes, flags of hope, giant parade structures, families, artists and musicians all exploring ways to be green in our carnival parade through the town.
Carnival favourites Meze Mundo, The Baghdaddies, Drumdin, Baque De Ogum and guests Spark LED drummers will be adding the rhythm and music to the parade along with our own community street bands The Spanish City Rollers and Big Noise drummers.
Salto’s Richard Broderick designed and made a workshop trolley, ‘Dolly the Trolley’, which artists Sally Southern and Cath Hodson took to a total of 15 locations around the Whitley Bay Big Local area for taster sessions. 110 people attended these sessions. 145 people were involved in making 9 banners. As well as the community workshops there were 2 workshops at local schools and 2 groups at Barnados The Base also 4 whole street groups.
After the taster sessions workshops were held in the garden of the Whitley Bay Big Local building at 158 Whitley Road where Sally and Cath started work on designs, scaling up using big bold shapes and colours. This was done through printing, appliqué, collage, or other techniques. Paper flags were digitally printed and the textures created incorporated.
The banners can be seen on the sea front along the Spanish City Plaza on Saturday 18th September Carnival Day and hopefully they will be displayed in the Metro Station and at the library
Through the workshops we learned that there was a clear personal development in those who attend regularly. The artists were able to support a wide range of skills and abilities during the workshops and support community development, for example linking school families with other residents.
The Whitley Bay Big Local Garden is a wonderful welcoming space, due to Covid restrictions people were more comfortable being outside, which was possible due to good weather on most days.