A raucous and colourful explosion of youthful frivolity snaked its way through the streets of Lewes last week, as a new round of young people staked their claim on the future!
In 2001, a group of passionate parents and teachers in Lewes came together to promote the importance of art in the National Curriculum. This campaign led to the formation of Patina (Parents and Teachers in the Arts), a charity dedicated to creating opportunities for children and teachers to engage with local artists. Since its inception, Patina has been a driving force in promoting arts education and celebrating creativity in the community, working tirelessly to foster artistic experience and collaboration between children, teachers, and local artists.
This brings us to the heart of Patina, the Moving On Parade! A captivating display of artistic expression that winds its way through central Lewes, the procession symbolises the local children’s transition from primary school to adolescence.
Each year has a unique theme for the parade, allowing the students to unleash their creativity and work with Patina Artists to create stunning sculptures, costumes, and music! This year’s theme, ‘All the World’s a Stage,’ was accompanied by the ‘Twilight Tales’ storytelling event. Professional storytellers captivated the whole community as we watched the sunset behind the parade sculptures. By promoting Theatre and performance in collaboration with the local drama group, Kaleidoscope, the children were encouraged to explore their emotions around moving on and take ownership of their own stories, safe in the knowledge that we will be there to support them along the way!
The Moving On Parade holds a significant place in Lewes’s cultural calendar, eagerly anticipated by both the children who participate and the wider community. It is a joyous celebration, honouring the achievements and growth of children as they embark on a new phase of their educational journey. Over the years, more than 8,000 children have experienced this unique rite of passage, leaving a lasting impact on their lives and nurturing a love for the arts. While every Moving On Parade is cause for celebration, the involvement of current year 9s, who missed their own Parade due to Covid, and the integration of students’ emotive writing into the mask’s bunting has meant that this parade felt especially meaningful.
Patina’s unwavering dedication to arts education has left an indelible mark on the community of Lewes. The organisation’s efforts have not only supported children in discovering their artistic talents but also emphasised the importance of creativity and self-expression in education. Moving forward, Patina remains committed to its mission, continuing to raise funds, coordinate with artists, and advocate for the arts. Their journey since 2001 exemplifies the power of a passionate community coming together to prioritise arts education. Through their initiatives, this remarkable charity has sparked creativity, inspired collaboration, and facilitated a celebration that resonates throughout Lewes.
As we look to the future, Patina’s impact will continue to flourish, leaving an enduring legacy of artistic expression and empowering generations to come.