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Paul Anderson

MBE Chief Executive

In Feb 2003 Paul became the Chief Executive of the Luton Carnival Arts Development Trust’s now called the UK Centre for Carnival Arts (UKCCA). Since this appointment Paul and his team have gone on to successfully raise the finances to build the UK’s first Carnival Centre and complementary carnival arts development programme to position UK carnival communities and artists internationally. Paul has gone on to secure investment from non traditional arts funders to build and establish an exciting range of educational projects, programmes and initiatives including a national carnival archive, a specialist suite of learning for carnival arts starting in schools building towards a Foundation Degree and a range of master classes designed to bring street, carnival and outdoor artists together.

Through innovation and successful application of carnival arts to national agendas in, education, archiving, tourism, community cohesion and regeneration Paul has raised £7.5 Million to build UK’s first dedicated centre for carnival arts and has secured 3 years funding from Arts Council investment as national portfolio organisation.

On average Paul and his team raise over £300,000 per annum and generates income of £150,000 to support UKCCA’s comprehensive programme of projects, events and creative and professional development for the sector. Paul was awarded an MBE for his dedicated services to the Arts by the Queen of England in 2011. Paul accepted the honour on behalf the carnival community and his mother who passed away one week later.

Paul is currently working with 5 carnival towns in the eastern region to produce a super carnival band (of 500 people) performing at the Luton International Carnival 8th July 2012. East Bound is one of a few carnival projects funded to showcase the art form of carnival as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Paul is passionate about young people participating in the arts and in particular how the arts talks to, with and for our youth and has a big vision to unite carnival, street and outdoor celebratory arts into one cohesive and dynamic force for change.

The Luton Based Ghana Society was been invited to establish an annual Carnival in Accra in September 2012 and work in partnership with the UKCCA to generate support in both UK and Ghana. The Carnival event took place on Sunday 29th Sept 2012 without government and sponsorship funding support. The event brought together Ghana's rich, funny and diverse masqueraders and Asafo Troupes and ensembles onto the streets of Osu. Carnival is getting established in Ghana and it will again take place in March 2013 as part of the independence day celebrations.

Comments (2)


Hi Paul Akinpelu,

I will like to collaborate with you on the Accra carnival 2012 in my own capacity as freelance photographer.I'm Adewale Aliu by name: A young Lagos based documentary photographer.

My portfolio can be view on
I will like to seize this opportunity to use my medium as a platform through peace, tolerance and mutual understanding can be sustain. And in the course of the carnival to forestall imminent violence and bloodshedding.I will like be part your team of men whose pedigree of achievements remain incomparable to all.From Creativeafricanetwork.Glad to hear back from you.


21 May 2012, 19:01


Hi Ade
great to hear from you. As Ghana has not the scale of investment in carnival as 9Ja, we are going to be relying on voluntary support and help in year 1. Whilst this does not demean you contribution I just want you to know that we have undertook the offer to support Ghana with a longer term view in mind. If you can help as we say in UK London buck shee (cockney rhyming slang - free) you are welcome to join the team as our official photographer. We also require images to furnish our work sponsors and I wondered if you have any Lagos carnival images you could share for our marketing purposes. Naturally all contributions will be valued, acknowledged and referenced were possible. were are you based in 9ja?? My family are from Iyana Ipaja and our real family home is down town Oke pupu and Lawanson. Blessing and look forward to hear from you.

21 May 2012, 20:07
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