Our Annual Report collates data from our members and presents it in a one-page summary that we disseminate to our members and Trustees, as well as to Councillors, funding bodies, stakeholders and businesses – spreading the word about the great work our members deliver. By collaborating in this way, our members are able to demonstrate impact much more effectively than they can on their own.
A vibrant cultural offer lies at the heart of successful cities today. With Milton Keynes as one of the fastest growing cities in the UK and now bidding for European Capital of Culture 2023, the need for cultural guardianship within the city has never been greater. To fulfil this need, The Arts & Heritage Alliance Milton Keynes (AHA-MK) is seeking new Trustee Board members who share the organisation’s cultural ambitions for Milton Keynes.
AHA-MK seeks individuals, who are passionate about arts and heritage, to support our growing membership organisation in its remit to champion the rich heritage and the creative future of Milton Keynes.
Formed in 2003, AHA-MK has developed significantly in size and scope since its early days into a strategic forum with 38 member organisations. In 2014, we registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Our members are all contributing to the vibrant cultural landscape of Milton Keynes and actively engage with AHA-MK activity through meetings, continuing professional development and collaborative projects.
2017 will mark the 50th year since Milton Keynes was officially designated and to celebrate, MK plans to host city wide events and activities that will be open to the local residents and visitors alike.
This is a special milestone for Milton Keynes, not just because it has been 50 years, but also because some of the major contributions that the city has made over the past half-century.
Milton Keynes is centre to some of the World’s most important discoveries. It is the home of some very influential pioneers, visionaries, artists and it holds significant Heritage that has helped shape our world in ways that you may not know.
From the WWII Code Breakers of Bletchley Park right through to the set location of iconic films such as Superman IV, Milton Keynes is a treasure trove of innovation, historic relevance and celebrity stopping place; the city is bursting with heritage & culture that deserves to be recognised.
Discovering MK, The Digital Landmark Trail
Amongst the many exciting activities set to take place next year, AHA-MK and Partners are in the process of developing an innovative project that will be unlike anything the city has seen yet – A Digital Landmark Trail focusing on 50 of MK’s most iconic landmarks to date.
What is special about Milton Keynes? Some would be inclined to ask such a question; others dismiss it as a city with one to many roundabouts and a shopper’s paradise, but hidden behind the misconceptions lies a City with a remarkable heritage and cultural scene.
Discovering MK aims to showcase this and will take participants on a fascinating tour around the City, stopping at some of MK’s most characteristic landmarks and informing them about its impressive history along the way.
Discovering MK will be a fun filled trail with lots of occasions that the whole family will enjoy, but rest assured individuals of all ages and backgrounds can join in on the fun too.
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.
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.’
How about seeing a bit of theatre in a full-size replica 1st World War tank? Or watching a commemorative dance with hand-made banners? Or perhaps participating as an Old Time Music Hall audience – letting the performers know what you think of their acts! New music from young musicians, new film shows of the Great War era, extraordinary installations and exhibitions – all these are part of the Great War MK project about to explode on the Milton Keynes community.
Great War MK is a collaborative project led by the Arts & Heritage Alliance Milton Keynes (AHA-MK). It explores the impact of the First World War on the communities of Milton Keynes – an area now covering six towns, 41 villages and 1/4 million people – through research, commemorative events, participatory learning activity and community workshops. During 2015 Great War MK will be presenting events and opportunities for people to explore and commemorate the lives and the stories of the Great War.
With funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and seed-funding from MK Council, this project brings together various arts and heritage organisations, which are all exploring WW1 themes and using different methods to tell stories. The partner organisations are: Cowper and Newton Museum, Deanshanger Village Heritage Society, Festive Road, Independent Cinema Milton Keynes, Living Archive, MK Gallery, Pepper’s Ghost Theatre Company, Westbury Arts Centre through support from MK Heritage Association: Bucks Constabulary Museum, North Crawley Historical Society and Simpson History Group.
Great War MK aims to work with people of all ages and abilities, providing opportunities to take part in workshops, and activities are now developing. To find out more see our events page and Facebook or follow @AHA_MK#GreatWarMK on Twitter. You can also hear more about the projects on our Vimeo page.
Alongside these events, Great War MK is also putting a call out to any community groups or individuals that want to be part of this large-scale project: we want you to create and donate your very own hand-made poppy to be added to a WW1 banner. Using the sewing template found here (or by knitting or crocheting), we are asking for as many people as possible to create a poppy that will be included in banners used as part of an act of commemoration in July at Campbell Park. To find out more please see the blog.
Marion Hill, author and Chair of the Great War MK Steering Group says: ‘Even after a hundred years, the Great War continues to move and inspire – and with the wealth of talented people that we have here in Milton Keynes, we look forward to so much more to reflect upon – because Milton Keynes does it differently!’
The stories of Milton Keynes in WW1, of those that went off to fight, those that stayed behind and of those that did not return will be commemorated through this project and we invite all residents of Milton Keynes to remember them with us by attending a workshop or event, making a poppy or by volunteering with us – get in contact via: firstname.lastname@example.org .