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Local community and Art Valley light up North Liverpool with lantern parade

8th March 2011 Art Valley - chrysalis

Spring arrived in style in North Liverpool on Sunday night as over 350 people embarked on a magical lantern parade along the Sustrans Loopline (known as the Ralla). Chrysalis brought together people from Clubmoor, Croxteth, Fazakerley, Norris Green and Walton in a spectacular visual event.

Chrysalis was run by the Bluecoat and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, through a programme called ART Valley, along with the Liverpool Lantern Company who have been responsible for local events such as the Halloween Lantern Parade in Sefton Park and the Lord Mayor’s Parade.

The impressive parade started at Archbishop Beck Tennis Centre in Walton and moved onto the Ralla, going south towards Blackthorne Avenue. Families watched from the windows of houses on the Flowers estate as the parade passed by. The parade finished at Walton Hall Park for a finale performance event featuring a community samba band run by local percussion outfit BeatLife, as well as local choir Hope Street Harmonies.

The project’s theme was around positive transformation. A member of the local community came up with the idea to use a chrysalis to represent the potential for things to change for the better in the area.

Bec Fearon, Head of Participation at the Bluecoat, said: “We really wanted to bring people together and give them a truly magical experience on the Ralla. Many people don’t use the Loopline because it has a reputation for anti-social behaviour but Sunday night really showed it in a different light.”

Over 250 people from the Alt Valley community took part in lantern making workshops in schools and community organisations across the whole Alt Valley area over the month of February. Most participants made lanterns shaped like a chrysalis.One group made a giant caterpillar and another group made beautiful butterflies using a silk painting technique known as batik.

One of the young participants, Sioux from Walton, said: “It was terrific that it came alive after the work which the kids had put into it. I was really surprised that there were so many people, it was excellent. The drummers were fantastic and it just went the extra mile.”

Geoff Jackson, Neighbourhood Manager for Alt Valley, said: “It was a superb event and I was delighted to see so many schools and community groups involved. It would be wonderful for this to become an annual event. Events like this help to highlight all the positive partnership working that goes on in Alt Valley. It was a great team effort.”

Cy Powell, Cobalt Housing, said: “Over the last two years these two world class arts organizations, working together as ART Valley, have strengthened the cultural offer in Alt Valley, providing in greater choice and more opportunities for people in the community.

“We are pleased to have contributed to the ART Valley project over the last 2 years which has played an important part in bringing members of the Cobalt communities together and proud that the Chrysalis project and the Lantern Parade are fitting tributes to this success.”

Cllr Louise Ashton, Chair of Alt Valley District Committee, said: “It was a fantastic collaboration of community groups in Alt Valley which illustrates the amazing work that can be achieved collectively.”

- Ends -

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Notes to Editors

Chrysalis was made possible with funding and support from Liverpool City Council (through Alt Valley Neighbourhood Management Services), Cobalt Housing, Liverpool PCT (through the Decade of Health and Wellbeing), Extended Learning Services, Sustrans, Liverpool Youth Service, Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College and Walton Lifestyles Centre.

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