Arts and Heritage Organisations
Arts for Health (Milton Keynes) uses arts and creativity to improve health and wellbeing. We manage a collection of 390 artworks at Milton Keynes Hospital and also organise a programme of temporary exhibitions for the hospital. The art in the hospital enhances the healthcare environment and helps to engage, soothe and cheer hospital patients, visitors and staff. We also provide opportunities for people to take part in arts activities through our Arts on Prescription programme which work offers free art workshops on referral for people who experience stress, anxiety or depression. People who attend Arts on Prescription report that participation improves their health and wellbeing.
Arts1 School of Performance is an independent theatre school based in Milton Keynes offering a range of quality performing arts classes, training sessions, masterclasses and courses for students aged from 2 years through to adults. The Arts1 mission is to deliver a programme of quality performing arts classes in an aspirational and nurturing environment where students are inspired to develop their skills.
Based in its own premises “The Box Studios” in Linford Wood, Arts1 School of Performance welcomes over 600 students each week as well as running a full time specialist performing arts sixth form for students aged 16 to 19.
Arts Gateway MK is a registered charity formed after more than 20 years as the Milton Keynes Arts Association providing funding and support for the arts. Arts Gateway MK promotes the arts in Milton Keynes via their website, weekly newsletter, social networking & quarterly Mingle Networking Events.
Arts Gateway MK also manages a new creative working space, called Arts Central, on the third floor of Norfolk House East down by Silbury Boulevard, Across from the Christ of the Cornerstone Church. Located in front of the facility is the iconic Octo sculpture by Wendy Tailor.
The Black Sheep Collective came together to develop cultural programmes and events that can be used as a means of community cohesion and inclusion locally, regionally, nationally and internationally; to develop blueprints for creative communities through bold expressions of vision, often defying conformity; and to deliver a range of artistic and creative services to private and public organisations, groups and companies.
Bletchley Park is the historic home of British codebreaking and a birthplace of modern information technology. It played a major role in World War Two, producing secret intelligence which had a direct and profound influence on the outcome of the conflict. Now an internationally renowned site and accredited museum with immersive exhibitions, activities, events, visitors can discover the stories of the incredible men and women whose vital work here stayed secret for so long.
Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre informs visitors about urban geography and new city planning – as well as the historical and natural heritage of Milton Keynes. Since 1992 Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre has been based at the beautiful and important medieval Scheduled Ancient Monument site of Bradwell Abbey in Milton Keynes.
Specialist museum housing collections of Olney and surrounding area – three floors of Georgian heritage and historic gardens. Come and see where C18th poet William Cowper lived and worked and discover the life and work of his friend John Newton – who began his career as a slave trader, became an abolitionist, famous preacher and author of the poem ‘Amazing Grace’. You can also learn more about the town’s role in the lace industry.
Festive Road strives to engage and empower as many people as possible in artistic, collaborative and creative activities. They have a fully inclusive approach; working with people of all ages and abilities and from all walks of life, in schools and communities, for businesses and organisations. The company has a policy of using recycled, reclaimed and green materials and have developed some innovative approaches to mobile renewable energy sources on our carnival structures.
Independent Cinema MK is a grassroots organisation that has evolved from a desire to see more diversity and variety of film in the city, not just for the few but for the many. ICMK has developed a successful touring screening programme: Vagabond Cinema; challenging ideas around cinema exhibition, working creatively and collaboratively with organisations locally and nationally.
Inter-Action MK creates imaginative collaborations between artists and communities and is based at The Old Rectory, a beautiful three-acre, Grade II liested site next to the Grand Union Canal. Inter-Action MK runs a programme of art workshops and events at The Old Rectory. A wonderful place to be creative and to learn new skills.
Living Archive is a continuing source of wonderful stories of the new city. Such stories have inspired community documentary plays, films, sculpture, song-writing, books, dance, videos, photos and exhibitions. As a result Living Archive has a considerable community archive of primary source materials available by request.
Melanie has worked as a Professional Artist for 25 years, and from her Mosaic studio in Buckinghamshire UK where she creates stunning Public Art Mosaic in 2D Mosaic and 3D sculptural Mosaic. She works to commission throughout the UK and internationally.
In January Melanie completed a major Public Art project alongside 60 International and 20 Chilean artists, decorating the Town Hall in Puente Alto in Santiago, with a stunning Mosaic based on the flora and fauna of Chile.
Milton Keynes Arts Centre is a multidisciplinary arts centre set in the historic grounds of Great Linford Manor Park. We present a programme of exhibitions, live events and educational activities inspired by contemporary craft and design. We provide artists with access to specialist resources and the space to explore new ideas, often developed in tandem with our communities.
Milton Keynes College is the largest provider of further education and training in Milton Keynes. Offering a varied mix of academic, vocational, foundation courses and apprenticeships to a diverse set of students. The College also provides a range of part-time, work-based, community-based, and distance-learning courses. At the heart of the local community, Milton Keynes College strives to transform lives through learning.
Arts & Heritage within Milton Keynes Council is a small service within Cultural Services. We support Public Art, Heritage and Arts Development within Milton Keynes. It is a forward thinking team delivering to the respective strategies to celebrate the existing and welcome the new through collaborations, creative thinking and innovation. The team was established in 2005 to coordinate the actions that will enable the fast growing city and borough to have a rich cultural environment.
Milton Keynes Festival Fringe is an annual Festival of Fringe Arts in Milton Keynes, staging new and experimental work including; street arts, performance, outdoor theatre, visual arts, music and dance. The MK Fringe collaborates with organisations & partners across the region to: – Develop joined-up and fully representative festival programmes, including some commissioning, as well as open entry opportunities, for local and regional artists.
Milton Keynes Forum was founded in 1989 as the civic society for Milton Keynes with the intention of encouraging informed participation in the life and development of the city. We hold regular meetings on topics of interest for both members and the wider public and are particularly interested in protecting the modern built heritage of the city. We were the first body to suggest that thecentre:mk should become a listed building.
Milton Keynes Gallery has a changing programme of international contemporary art exhibitions and occasional off site artist’s projects. A stimulating programme of public talks, tours, artist-led workshops, education activities and family days cater for all ages.
Milton Keynes Heritage Association is a federation of over 60 heritage and community organisations interested in heritage and making it more accessible. Many are local historical and archeological societies with extensive archives and museum objects of their own, some even having public reading rooms or access to historic venues. Access is primarily via talks, lectures and their extensive online website.
The Milton Keynes Islamic Arts Heritage and Culture group aims to promote Islamic arts, heritage and culture through education. They believe that the study of art and material culture transcends the ethnic, linguistic and religious division that plagues the modern world. The group won the Partnerships Award from Voluntary Arts England, which recognises excellent work. Their Islamic Art Banner project enabled local art students from MK College to explore Islamic culture through contemporary and traditional art.
Milton Keynes Museum is a fantastic day out for all the family with interactive, themed galleries, exploring the history of the area since 1800. Housed in a beautiful Victorian farmstead the large, changing selection of displays includes working telephones, a street of shops, agricultural barn, hall of transport and much more. Wonderful, homemade food in the Granary Tearoom.
Milton Keynes City Orchestra gave its first performance under the baton of its Founder Conductor, Hilary Davan Wetton, in February 1975. Over 35 years since, it has built a national reputation, establishing itself as the live classical music resource for Milton Keynes and the surrounding area. It plays an important part in the cultural life of the city, engaging particularly with the education sector, the business community and as a valuable arts resource.
Milton Keynes theatre offers a wide and varied programme of first class dance, drama, musicals, opera, comedy and children’s shows.
MÓTUS is a celebration of all forms of dance across the city of Milton Keynes and looks to enhance dance activity for all; whatever age or ability. It aims to be inclusive and innovative in approach and delivery; working together with dance artists and more collaboratively with other art forms and the wider community in Milton Keynes. MÓTUS also provides and celebrates links with national companies, for example Theo Clinkard, Ffin Dance, Anjali and Motionhouse; who all performed in MÓTUS 2014, to strengthen, promote and develop further dance activity in the area.
Urja Desai Thakore is the Director of Pagrav Dance Company, established in 1997.
Pagrav Dance Company promotes traditional Kathak Dance in its purest form, whilst giving it a modern context and presentation. Alongside full performances, the company ails to provide a platform for emerging dancers based in Milton Keynes and London. In 2009 Pagrav Dance Company successfully toured its first full scale work ‘Baharan’ to 8 different venues across the UK.
The Public Arts Trust is a charity set up to deal with the urgent matter of the condition of existing public art in Milton Keynes, in particular the sculptures. This is a large and potentially costly task, involving inventories, condition reports, conservation plans, sourcing of funds etc. We appreciate the need to win support from various bodies, both public and private, and to establish good working partnerships for the years ahead.
An intimate 250 seat theatre and gallery space. The theatre programme comprises comedy, contemporary drama and family-friendly children’s theatre. The theatre is available for hire and supports local productions including musical theatre, big bands, choirs and dance.
Stony Stratford Literary Circle
The Stony Stratford Literary Circle co-ordinates the annual festival called StonyWords which happens at the end of January This festival celebrates the word in all its formats: writing, drama, film, music and performance. It brings together local, regional, national and international artists to contribute to the cultural life of Milton Keynes. Though based in Stony Stratford, it is an established part of the Milton Keynes scene. The Circle also arranges other events during the year, often in partnership with other groups in Stony.
The Cenotaph Trust was registered as a charity in 2011. It was formed to establish a place in Central Milton Keynes which could be used by the people of Milton Keynes for commemoration, contemplation and celebration. Working in collaboration with the Parks Trust and the Council, Gordon Young, was commissioned to design the piece. In consultation with the public, Gordon came to the conclusion that a calendar of dates marking key events in the life of Milton Keynes should be provided. His design is based on the shape of a flower, hence the name, Milton Keynes Rose, and the key dates are depicted in pillars inscribed with the date and the reason for their inclusion. Nearly half of the pillars have not been inscribed so that future dates of significance can be added. The intention is that each pillar will be the centre of an event marking the date from year to year.
The Drawing Machine focusses on promoting and engaging people in drawing, organising and leading new initiatives in drawing, providing a regular space to draw and bringing together different organisations to partner events. Successfully led drawing events at Arts and Heritage Open Places, MK Festival Fringe, and MK Heritage Open Days, and organise regular Little Draw sessions, for people wanting to get together with other likeminded people to draw.
The Parks Trust is an independent charity that cares for over 6,000 acres of parkland and green space in Milton Keynes. This includes the river valleys, ancient woodlands, lakesides, parks and landscaped areas alongside the main roads. The Parks Trust works with over 6,000 school children through outdoor learning and education opportunities, and around 200 volunteers, who provide invaluable support. Organising and enabling over 500 events each year, they make Milton Keynes a vibrant and colourful place for residents and visitors alike.
The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC), located at Bletchley Park, is an independent charity housing the largest collection of functional historic computers in Europe, including a rebuilt Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer. TNMOC enables visitors to follow the development of computing from the ultra-secret pioneering efforts of the 1940s through the mainframes of the 1960s and 1970s, and the rise of personal computing in the 1980s. In June 2010 TNMOC hosted Britain’s first-ever Vintage Computer Festival.
The Plays The Thing is a new and exciting professional theatre company for Milton Keynes. It aims to produce challenging and thought provoking work from the classical canon, to modern plays and work from new writers. It will also have an educational strand to its work, running regular workshops, master classes, courses and play readings. It will be linked to the already successful and inclusive Peppers Ghost Theatre Company.
A live music venue putting on over 350 concerts and a similar number of educational activities every year. The concert programme crosses genres – folk, world, rock, pop, classical, country, jazz – whatever you like, you’ll find it at The Stables! We also host a programme of conferences and every two years produce IF: Milton Keynes International Festival, engaging people with music and sound in unexpected ways in unusual spaces.
Walton High is proud to be home to The Venue, a 380 seat, professional standard theatre. Walton High students are always making great use of the facility, click on Whats On to see some of our upcoming productions. The high quality of both the design and finish of this fantastic facility is testament to the vision and leadership of Ms Alexander, Vice Principal, who was very ably supported by Mr Upton and Mr Letts in the Performing Arts team and by Glenn Oldfield from Milton Keynes Council’s Capital and Assets Department.
Westbury Arts Centre is a registered charity situated in the Shenley Wood area of Milton Keynes. We are based in a Grade II listed 17th Century farmhouse building, where we provide both permanent and temporary studio spaces, as well as rooms and exhibition spaces available for hire. We deliver a high quality Events Programme throughout the year for the public to come and enjoy exhibitions and events, and get involved in a range of creative workshops.
Destination Milton Keynes (DMK) has provided the city and surrounding area with another first – the first independently-operated tourist information service in the UK. The organisation is the tourism association for Milton Keynes. DMK is also the provider of key tourist services to help promote and develop Milton Keynes as a destination for business or leisure.
Milton Keynes City Centre Management (MKCCM) is an independent not-for profit members organisation, their activities date back to the mid 1990s. Funded by membership contributions, MKCCM brings together key stakeholder with an interest in Central Milton Keynes. Our purpose is to ensure the continual improvement of Central Milton Keynes by identifying, problems and opportunities that affect life and work in the City Centre.
The MK Community Foundation is an independent charity working for and at the heart of Milton Keynes. They connect people and resources to projects and ideas to create positive change and long term solutions for MK communities. Whether it’s offering resources to support the vital work of the voluntary sector or providing the solution for donors who want to give back to this community, MK Community Foundation’s focus is about enriching lives and making Milton Keynes even better, both today and for the future. Over the last 25 years MK Community Foundation has built a reputation for excellence in developing community philanthropy.