Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Book Icon

Funding boost takes Mela online for 2020

One of the region's best-loved celebrations of multi-cultural diversity has won a new lease of life thanks to a vital cash injection.

Middlesbrough Mela has received funding from Arts Council England which will see this year's event taken online for its 30th anniversary.

A six-month programme will also be put in place to develop the cultural event even further giving it an online presence all year round.

The physical event - an annual highlight at Albert Park - will now be held off until next year, but there's still plenty to get involved with.

Each year the event draws people from all ethnicities and from all parts of the region to watch live music and dance acts. There's also a market bazaar and food stalls as well as a family fairground.

Elements of the event will now be taken online - in particular, people can get involved with an incredible virtual Mela parade through a series of fun and crafty online workshops this summer.

A new website will also be created with the Arts Council grant, and over a six-month period an online Mela community will be formed that draws together people from all backgrounds across Middlesbrough.

Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Culture and Communities, said: "Mela is one of our most popular and well attended events of the year, drawing crowds from across the region and beyond.

"It's also the area's longest running multi-cultural event, and we are delighted to have secured this funding so we can provide activities and engagement through online platforms, and widen Mela's reach even further into our communities. 

"There's going to be a whole host of activities for all ages to get involved with through online workshops such as Mela carnival costume making, really fun story-telling sessions, and carnival dance routines. 

"We hope everyone gets involved."

Only 65% of applications to Arts Council England were granted this year and the Mela was one of only 395 black and minority ethnic-led organisations across the country that received funding.

Futures for Families supports young people in Middlesbrough to help them get their future back. Join our team