About the Project

The Centre that Powers the Road is a partnership project between Derby West Indian Community Association (DWICA) and Derby Museums (DM) funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF).

The collaboration began in 2020 with DWICA and DM discussing how they might work together. These conversations developed into a successful funding application to NLHF. This funding enabled the partners to research the history of the association, gather together archive material, explore collections in local archives and museums, train volunteers, record new oral histories and film, take new portrait photographs, commission artworks, create a heritage carnival costume based upon DWICA’s history and power DWICA’s Derby Caribbean Carnival committee and troupe to return to the road in the Summer of 2022.

Supporting Derby and the wider region’s Caribbean Carnival organisers, makers and troupe members was central to the project after the pandemic forced carnival off the roads in 2020 and 2021. The year long work and preparations at DWICA (which is the centre that powers Derby Caribbean Carnival to take to the road) were to be highlighted, valued and celebrated.

All of this work across 2021 and 2022 was drawn together into a very special exhibition at Derby Museum and Art Gallery in 2022 which can be viewed here.

A book and this website. Many of the project outputs can be explored on this website but the project also led to key material from DWICA’s archive being accessioned into Derbyshire Record Office. If you would like more information please contact [email protected]

The partners are grateful for the NLHF for generously supporting their project and for their support in delivering it. We would also like to thank Big Lottery for funding DWICA’s Stronger Together programme and Charis Betts, Stronger Together Project Manager, who was integral to the early development of this project.