Among B Arts most popular and and enduring projects, our lantern processions bring communities together with lantern-building workshops, music, and puppetry. Our artists work with local people from varied backgrounds to create a street spectacle in which anyone and everyone is welcome to participate.
We have worked with a wide range of partners and volunteers to develop two annual carnival events in Newcastle-under-Lyme: Midsummer Wakes – a daytime parade; and Midwinter Wakes – a twilight lantern parade. Both involve hundreds of people in the parades and are the result of weeks of community making and preparation.
Our processions have proven to have many social, cultural and economic benefits, uniting otherwise isolated or divided groups, and invigorating local businesses. Above all, they promote the sense of community and inclusivity at the heart of everything B Arts does.
We have decades of experience bringing events like this to locations across the UK and abroad, with the aim of giving local people the tools needed to make positive change through art.
Would you like us to work with you to deliver a lantern procession in your community? Don’t hesitate to contact us, here.
An example of work beyond North Staffordshire:
North Lichfield Lanterns (2006-9)
We worked for a number of years with a wide of partners, including local schools and childrens’ services; the police and fire services; and the local development agency. They worked together to create a lantern procession that marked the start of winter at the end of October each year. The North Lichfield Partnership now deliver the procession each year project independently of B Arts, drawing on the skills and networks created over three years of work. A documentary video about the project is on our videos page.
This project was awarded Best Community Engagement Project at the Regen W Midlands awards 2009.
Photo: Hilary Hughes