Audience Development Consultant Brief

The Arts & Heritage Alliance Milton Keynes (AHA-MK) is looking for a consultant(s) that can work with a collective of arts and heritage organisations to inform and support development of strategies that diversify, broaden and/or deepen their audiences.

AHA-MK is a strategic forum of arts and heritage organisations in Milton Keynes.  We are a membership organisation that aims to represent, develop and promote the arts and heritage sectors of Milton Keynes.  A key area of our work is audience development.

A group of organisations from our membership have come together to form a collective interested in practical audience development activity.  The collective have attempted some work using surveys and the Audience Finder approach, but are in need of greater support to develop their knowledge and understanding and to make a meaningful difference to their audience development practice.

AHA-MK is looking for a consultant(s) who can work with six cultural organisations to develop audience research techniques, create bespoke solutions to meet challenges and opportunities, and support organisations through implementation and evaluation.  This contract requires a hands-on approach embedding best practice and developing understanding of audience development theory through mentoring and practical experience.

The deadline for applications is: 18th December 2015.

For more information and details of how to apply please download the full brief: MK Audiences Consultant brief final.

Great War MK Remembered

On 6th November 2015, the Great War MK partners are presenting the finale to their WW1 centenary project – a powerful performance of dance, drama, poetry, music and film.  Drawing on the different elements produced over the last two years, Great War MK Remembered will provide a poignant evening for all.

This showcase will bring together a patchwork of creative responses to WW1 in an evening of entertainment, commemoration and reflection.  The evening will celebrate the talent and achievements of the Milton Keynes arts and heritage community and will include performances of original music composed by young people, moving dramatic performances from Pepper’s Ghost Theatre Company, haunting poetry, and breath-taking choreography with dancers from Shenley Retirement Village and Initiate Youth Dance Company.  There’s also a rare chance to see the spectacular replica of a WW1 tank created by carnival company Festive Road and animations made by children working with Independent Cinema MK, in what promises to be an uplifting and poignant finale of the Great War MK project.

Great War MK Remembered is a unique opportunity to see the work of eleven fantastic organisations from the Milton Keynes region on one night, in one spectacular showcase performance. 

Great War MK Remembered will take place at 7.30pm on 6th November at The Venue MK, Walton High.  The show is being produced by local production company, Full House.

Tickets are £3 each or £10 for a family of four, available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/eventsmk 

Manny Ademolu, Young Singer/Songwriter for Great War MK said:

This project has been great … it has challenged my skills as a songwriter to create a new piece of work that conveys a matter that still affects us to date. And working with a passionate and talented group of musicians is a constant reminder of the beauty and power that music holds.’

Euan Henderson, Chair of AHA-MK said:

‘This is the culmination of two years’ planning, researching, creating and delivering new ways of looking at the First World War 100 years ago as experienced in the area now transformed by the Metropolitan Borough and New City of Milton Keynes.’

MK Gallery Frontline Workshop

Digitalis Showcase – 8th October

Digitalis FlyerVisitors to Milton Keynes Library can be part of the art on 8th October. The Digitalis showcase is a party to celebrate the end of this year long art project supported by the Council, MK Libraries and Arts Council England. The Digitalis project has brought together seven internationally renowned artists with over 200 library visitors and community groups in workshops, talks and performances. Some of the works made at the workshops will be on display in the library as part of the showcase. All the artists will be in the library for the event showcasing digital knitting, robot-making and 3D printing among other activities.

The Pestiferous Librarians, last seen at MK Library in the Festival Fringe in 2014, will be helping to bring the library to life with their fun and cheeky sketch show. The showcase starts at 4pm with an official opening by the mayor and some speeches before the workshops, talks and performances kick off at 4.30pm. Some noisy origami will close the show at 7pm.

Catalyst Learning Resources Online

As the MK Catalyst project draws to a close, we have compiled the resources, presentations and training aids produced over the course of the project by a range of knowledgable trainers and contributors.  These are now available on our website – here: www.aha-mk.org/catalyst

The resources address:

  • Fundraising,
  • Sponsorship,
  • Crowd-funding,
  • Membership and loyalty schemes,
  • Social media,
  • Branding
  • Marketing strategies and much more

AHA-MK Forum – 2nd September

Festive Road Tank outside MK Central Station

Join us at Arts Central (2nd Floor above MK Central Station) on 2nd September to hear about the social, financial, artistic and cultural value being produced through environmental best practice and a snap shot of some of the projects in planning for MK50.

We will be welcoming Luke Ramsay of Julie’ Bicycle to introduce us all to what environmental sustainability looks like in the arts and culture, and how cultural networks are developing collaborative responses to environmental issues. Through case studies and stories from the sector, they’ll reveal how environmental action is creating all kinds of social, financial, artistic and cultural value for the sector, and what opportunities exist for organisations and artists to engage with this growing, inspirational movement.

After lunch we will hear from some of the arts, heritage and cultural organisations that are already planning project and events for MK50 – Milton Keynes’ 50th anniversary in 2017.

For full details and booking information please see our Flyer: AHA 2nd September Forum Flyer

For the Fallen Comes to Campbell Park

Westbury arts centre dance

Experience a large-scale commemorative dance at Campbell Park against the backdrop of 500 hand-made banners all inspired by WW1.

Sunday 5th July – FREE Event – two performances at 3pm and 5pm.

Westbury Arts Centre have been working with talented textile artist Vinny Stapley, schools, community groups and residents of Milton Keynes, between then they have produced over 500 commemorative banners. These banners will form part of a large-scale dance piece, choreographed by Helen Parlor, Effie McGuire-Ward and Chris Bradley, that involves over 100 dancers and will move around Campbell Park. Inspired by stories from the Great War and addressing themes of conflict, this will be a beautiful act of commemoration.

The banners will also be displayed at Westbury Arts Centre from 11th – 31st July.

For more information about the Great War MK project please visit our blog.