We´ve  been performing Mas every  year  since 1980

THE CREATIVE REVOLUTIONS

ABOUT

Elimu Mas Band has been participating in Carnivals all over the world

Elimu is Swahili for knowledge or education

Mas is the diversity of artistic practices & performances in the public realm

Academy is an operational, learning & creative platform for the certification and teaching of the arts of Carnival, and street festivals, and a Network of artists, artisans & performers

THE CARNIVAL ACADEMY
FOR EXCELLENCE.

Each one Teach one

C.A.F.E. is a learning & creative platform for the certification and teaching of the arts of Carnival and street festivals

C.A.F.E is a Network and Cultural Education Partnership of artists, artisans & performers

ELIMU MAS BAND 

Arts in Motion

 

Performers and artists showcasing their creativity on the global stage

Curating safe and secure spaces for taking risks, managing modernity and traditions, developing the cultural ecology of Carnival

MISSION & VISION

 

Vision

Elimu sees Carnival’s image as the masque, its creative crucible as the Mas Camp & its performance platform as the public realm & indoor curated space

Mission

Promoting artistic excellence, creative diversity & innovation in Mas, Music, Movement & Mayhem

Our Programmes

Elimu’s programmes include:

ASPIRATIONAL GOALS

To become a creative hub & incubator for creativity, innovation & excellence in the arts

To provide leadership and learning for practitioners, performers & partners

To become financially robust & resilient by being less reliant on public funding

To promote the arts, culture & heritage of the Caribbean and its Diaspora 

FROM COFFEE BAR TO

ACADEMY

The 70s Coffee Bar on 70 Harrow Road was a popular drop-in centre for youths in Paddington that quickly gained a reputation as a combative centre whose members were not averse to robustly challenge the frequent incursions by officers from the notorious Harrow Road Police Station.

It is this resistance that caused the regulatory authorities, Westminster Community Relations Council (WCCR), the Commission for Racial Equality and the City of estminster, to take the decision to close the centre and develop a different intervention agency to provide for the youths of the borough. And by mere chance, four Trinis were entrusted with developing the new initiative – Director Ansel Wong, Senior Youth Worker, Patricia Jaggs, Assistant Community Relations Officer, Gloria Cummins and Detached Youth Worker, Clive Olliviere,
It must have felt like a Trini Mafia in West London but this quartet enlisted the support of the local community, school children and other workers like Jo Boudry of the ILEA to hatch a plan to reopen the Coffee Bar. The Coffee Bar was renamed and reopened in 1977 as a community education centre to service pupils from Westminster who were being frequently excluded from school or truanting on a regular basis. To underscore this different emphasis from a drop-in centre, we created the concept of a COMMUNIVERSITY – a central combative community space to celebrate, educate and promote the personal development of our youths
We rebranded this centre as Elimu, Swahili for Education or Knowledge with the motto of Each One Teach One. The centre quickly became a home for other organisations and attracted many individuals wanting to volunteer to deliver our activities. The Centre housed the Caribbean Communications Project teaching Caribbean adults to read and write, Ras Angels, a Rastafarian Acapella group, a Nurseries Project support new mothers, a group of patients from the nearby Mental Health Unit and a partnership with community activists in Paris

We were in walking distance from the otting Hill Carnival footprint and it was inevitable that this event would influence aspects of our programmes. But not only that – it was a no brainer in the lives and perceptions of the Trini Quartet that managed the centre not to see the Carnival as a golden opportunity.

Our first participation in Carnival was in 1979 when a group of members filmed and edited an 8mm film on the Carnival called Play Mas. They interviewed participants, Carnival Bands and residents. The film was used as a learning resource for the Centre’s members to begin explorations on the Carnival, but most importantly it was seen as one of the positive experiences of the youths in being involved in the Carnival, not as spectators but as participants.

It is this resistance that caused the regulatory authorities, Westminster Community Relations Council (WCCR), the Commission for Racial Equality and the City of estminster, to take the decision to close the centre and develop a different intervention agency to provide for the youths of the borough. And by mere chance, four Trinis were entrusted with developing the new initiative – Director Ansel Wong, Senior Youth Worker, Patricia Jaggs, Assistant Community Relations Officer, Gloria Cummins and Detached Youth Worker, Clive Olliviere,
None of us had any experience of developing a band to participate in any Carnival and so it was learning by doing. Doing everything from scratch – using shaving brushes and stencils to print 200 T-shirts, strung out to dry on a line from Harrow Road to the Housing Estate behind the building.
In 2016, the band rebranded itself as A Carnival Mas Academy with a mission to build the capacity of individuals and organisations to produce excellence in the arts and target them for the commissioning of Elimu’s programmes.

In 2017, we registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), No. 1171774, with a Board of Trustees and Patrons.

Our first Patrons were Rev Patricia A H Stephens, Dame Jocelyn Barrow OBE, Lord Ouseley of Peckham Rye and Baroness Howells of St Davids OBE. Rev Stephens and Dame Barrow have transitioned and Baroness Howells is unable to carry out her role. We have three new Patrons – Sir Clive Lloyd CBE, Rudolph Walker CBE and Lord Ouseley.

We are proud to have had Giselle La Ronde (Miss Universe), Diane Abbot MP, Former Mayor of Brent, Cllr Bertha Joseph and Prof Andrew Ramroop CMG, OBE associated with the band