Heritage Open Days, 11th – 14th September

Cowper and Newton MuseumThis year Heritage Opens Days is bigger than ever. With 50 FREE events to choose from you’ll be spoilt for choice.  Use this oppotunity to explore somewhere new, learn about a new place or visit somewhere you have never been before.

Click the link below to view the brochure: http://www.livingarchive.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/MK-HODS-2014final.pdf

The Milton Keynes Heritage Open Days website is here: http://www.mkheritage.org.uk/hodmk/

 

Fringe Comedy shows for as little as £4 #lovemk

MK Festival Fringe 2013

MK Fringe has partnered up with Comedy Cow this year to create an awe-inspiring, side-splitting, howl inducing Fringe Comedy programme. You can catch one of over 50 Comedy acts during the Fringe Festival at venues across MK including: The Crown in Stony, The Chrysalis Theatre, MK Gallery Event Space and the Red Dot Bar at MK Stadium.

Stand up acts include; the hilarious Lee Nelson, the old favourite Patrick Monahan, the Brendan Burns Show, Late Night Gimp Fight, The Beta Males and the impressive Brett Goldstein. But we are doubly excited to be welcoming our favourite home grown comedy pals McNeil and Pamphilon with their wonderful new show Secret Holding Pattern.

Many of the acts we’re presenting are home grown and most are on their way up to Edinburgh with new material that they are keen to test out on audiences at MK Fringe first!

If it’s a full comedy show you want though, on Friday 18th we’re presenting the very special Simon Jay with his new show, Is He a Bit Simon Jay? and also Augustus Stephens’s new show, This Way Madness Lies, on Wednesday 23rd. Both are at The Chrysalis Theatre and tickets are only £4!!

As if that wasn’t enough the Comedy Cow are hosting the Crown’s Big Weekender, a two day Comedy  extravaganza on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th July which includes some fantastic children’s comedy as well as featured acts like: Vikki Stone, Tom Binns, Omar Hamdi and Paul Savage.

So what are you waiting for? For more information and to book tickets have a look at MK Fringe website: www.mkfestivalfringe.com or www.comedycow.co.uk

Art in the Park returns to Campbell Park with food, art music and more, #MadeinMK

MK Islamic Arts, Heritage and Culture Group presents their annual art of integration festival, bringing a diverse selection of art, food and events to Campbell Park.  August 2nd and 3rd 2014, Saturday 1-7pm and Sunday 1-6pm. Everybody welcome, Free Entry!

Highlights include: Art wall, Healthy food cook-off, Funfair, Bouncy Castle, Face painting, Henna art design, Tug-of-war, Story telling, Fashion shows, Calligraphy and Geometry workshops and much more…

Art in the Park

 

You can download this flyer here: MKIAC Flyer Festival

Walking with Giants, Dinosaurs and Samba Bands, 20th July #MadeinMK

Once again, Milton Keynes based Festive Road will be producing this spectacular parade of giant puppets which invites guest carnival groups from across UK, participation from many local schools and community groups, as well as some jaw dropping processional structures made by Festive Road artists.

The event will begin to warm up on Midsummer Boulevard, Grafton South, near thehub:mk, from 9.30am where participants and audiences will be gathering ready to walk with the Giants.

At 12 noon the parade will process up Midsummer Boulevard, through Midsummer Place and up to MK Theatre District, where more Street Theatre is being staged, including the amazing Weirdy Beardies and the un-missable Crimplene Millionaire.

As the Giants prepare themselves, there will be a fabulous programme Street entertainment which includes a Dance workshop from FolkDance Remixed, Music performances from Rhythm of the City and other Samba groups and also Street Theatre from Jon Davison and Pocezcka!

9.30 -10am: Walking with Giants Samba – live music performance

10am-10.30: Folk Dance Remixed – dance participation & performance on street

10.30 -10.50am: Pocezcka – acrobatic performance on the street

10.50am -11.15am: Rhythm of the City and MK Maracatu Dance –dance & music performance

11.15-11.30: Body of a Clown – performance on the street

11.30: Extreme Ramblers –walkabout entertainment, Concrete Circus – walkabout entertainment

12 noon: Parade leaves

Walking with Giants forms part of the MK Festival Fringe programme, full listings here: http://mkfestivalfringe.com/whats/#all/1/list

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival, 10 amazing days in July

IF: International Festival Milton KeynesPresenting 10 amazing days including a night-time spectacle from France played out on Willen Lake, contemporary circus from Australia, family events, live music, comedy and cabaret in the exotic Spiegeltent, a monumental walk-in sculpture in thecentre:mk, specially commissioned installations and events, and extraordinary sound and light interventions that move across the cityscape.

View the full programme here: http://www.ifmiltonkeynes.org/festival-programme.html and here you can flick through an e-version of the IF brochure: http://www.ifmiltonkeynes.org/festival-news.html/flick-through-a-virtual-festival-brochure.html

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival has been transforming Central Milton Keynes with a world-class, multi-arts programme of extraordinary events in unusual places and public spaces since 2010.

Produced by internationally renowned music organisation The Stables, the Festival is underpinned by an ongoing theme of sound and music. Over 10 days, the high quality programme features artists and companies from across the world and consists of large-scale outdoor events, international productions, a highly decorated ‘Spiegeltent’ hosting comedy, cabaret and live music, pop-ups and events designed to take place in specific buildings or public spaces.

The Festival has a growing reputation for also presenting UK premieres, commissioning new work and embedding an Artist-In-Residence into its programme. IF is delivered every two years with funding from Arts Council England and Milton Keynes Council, and support from businesses, trusts and foundations.

Monica Ferguson, Festival Director and Chief Executive of The Stables: “IF: Milton Keynes International Festival is growing with each edition, and we are delighted to see it playing an increasingly strategic and important role in Milton Keynes’ cultural life as well as raising the city’s profile nationally and internationally.”

Street art, surprises and surreal experiences at MK Festival Fringe, 17th-24th July – eight slightly outrageous days

MKFF IMG_0477 (1280x960)The MK Festival Fringe; a (slightly outrageous) eight day programme, showcasing some of the most pioneering outdoor theatre, performance, visual arts, music, comedy and dance. The events are presented within the surreal and vibrant landscape of Central Milton Keynes. Unusual spaces -buses, empty shops and street corners are transformed to become our stages, theatres and galleries; we are featuring invited artists like Boogaloo Stu, as well as special commissions such as Festive Road’s Walking with Giants parade.

A jammed packed Festival Fringe with plenty of surprises! MK Festival Fringe will be based at Milton Keynes Central Library, so pop in and say hello.

For full programme and booking information please visit: http://mkfestivalfringe.com 

Some highlights include:

Breathing Room: an installation specially commissioned by MK Fringe with funding from Milton Keynes Community Foundation and support from thecentre:mk. The piece reuses defunct marketing and administrative print: that which has been generated by the ‘insiders’, the commercial outlets within the shopping centre, and also the ‘outsiders’ – charities and not for profit groups who have no home within the shopping centre – as well as municipal bodies. The civic, the commercial, and the community are represented by means of their print detritus.

The artist has allowed the non-commercial to infest, colonise, and re-claim the public space, in tandem with – indistinguishable from – the commercial. In an almost organic form, they breathe in and out, breaking out of the space.

17th -24th July, 11-4pm everyday, Fringe Space 2, Silbury Arcade, North, door 13-15, thecentre:mk

 

Pristine in Blue: Dwayne’s dad was in debt to a bank and took his own life.  Now Dwayne is involved in a group demonstrating against the bank.  Sabeena, his childhood sweetheart, joins him in an illegal squat, and all seems on track until the arrival of Laurie, a busker friend of Dwayne’s, forcing his values and sense of justice and betrayal to be challenged.  A fast moving play exploring youth and confronting contemporary issues, against an emotional backdrop of love and desire. The piece is written by Milton Keynes based writer, Neil Beardmore and directed by Rosemary Hill.

17th -19th July, 7.30pm each night, Arts Central (above MK Central Station), booking required

 

The Crown’s Big Weekender: Lunchtime kids entertainment features Mike Belgrave(BBC Worldwide’s Best in Town), and Jay Foreman with his “Disgusting Songsfor Revolting Children”. Afternoon action features Vikki Stone with her hot new Edinburgh show, Tom Binns “solid writing and sweet timing”, Omar Hamdi – the topical, political, up-to-the-minuteWelsh-Egyptian funnyman! Paul Savage “Genuinely brilliant, an all-round hoot”(Guardian) and MK’s very own Jimmy James Jones. And those are just a phew! of the actsover this jam-packed weekend.

Comedy Cow are working in partnership with the Fringe to present a variety of comedy events as well as this weekend in Stony Stratford, visit http://www.thecomedycow.co.uk for full listings and booking information.

Sat 19th and Sun 20th July, 12.30pm – late, The Crown, Market Square, Stony Stratford, MK11 1BE

 

The Librarians: ʻThe Librariansʼ is a new site-specific show by Pestiferous for libraries and their communities, using dance, comedy, physical theatre and poetry in an immersive performance. This 20-minute piece pops out of the shelves, to surprise an unsuspecting audience and encourages them to join in and see their local public space in a new way. Four librarians roam the library, archiving, shelving, organising and sometimes flying with their beloved books. The books take on a life of their own and lead us into the library to explore what lies within the pages… The audience will see exotic birds in the Wildlife area, find true love with ʻBlind Dateʼ in the Romance section and get limbered up and ready to read with some ʻBookserciseʼ in the Health and Fitness section. The piece urges audiences to join in and be part of the performance, but does allow apprehensive audience members to be passive observers.  Look out for other Pestiferous shows this weekend.

19th July, (2 shows at: 2pm and 4pm) 1st Floor Reference, MK Central Library

 

Works: Take a shed load of ideas to show the passing world; a demonstration of the fruit of two beautiful minds; earnest companions with overalls. Invention, a pet cat, a cup of tea… and a leap of faith, everyday objects, ramshackle engineering, precise timing and deadpan comedy all come into play in this chain reaction of a show. This is the first show by the recently formed duo Heywood Hix. Over the duration of the piece A Heath Robinson shed contraption is assembled by two workmen to a musical soundtrack; an evolving chain reaction takes place involving: everyday objects, ramshackled engineering, precise timing, deadpan comedy and a catapulting cat. The piece has been directed by Matt Rudkin of Inconvienient Spoof who performed at MK Fringe in 2012.

24th July, 12 noon and 3pm, Queens Court, thecentre:mk

The events listed here show a very small percentage of the Fringe 2014 programme, pick up a green brochure, follow them on Twitter or see the full programme here: http://mkfestivalfringe.com/whats/#all/1/list

#MadeinMK launched at MK Gallery ‘Cadences’ preview

Made in MK LogoOur Made in MK summer programme, back by popular demand for 2014, was launched at the MK Gallery ‘Cadences’ preview on 26th June 2014.

Between 26th June and 14th September Made in MK will showcase the unmissable events that are taking place in Milton Keynes.

There are opportunities to come along to exhibitions, workshops, open days, craft events and performances. Made in MK will appeal to all ages and many events will be free. The larger events within Made in MK include the International Festival, MK Festival Fringe and the Walking with Giants Parade, MK Gallery’s summer show, World Picnic, Art in the Park cultural festival Proms in the Park and Heritage Open Days.

In the next few weeks look out for Love Milton Keynes photography exhibition at MK Hospital (http://mkartsforhealth.org.uk), Shakespeare in the Park – 4th July at Willen Lake (http://www.theparkstrust.com), Westbury Fair – 5th July at Westbury Arts Centre (http://www.westburyartscentre.co.uk), MK Museum Country Fair – 13th July at MK Museum (http://www.mkmuseum.org.uk), MK Disability Awareness Day – 13th July at MK Rose (http://www.theparkstrust.com) and much, much more.  Do take a look at our listings page for the whole programme.

To find out more about the full event programme across the summer visit www.aha-mk.org/MadeinMK. You can also follow Made in MK on Twitter using #MadeinMK or find us on Facebook and hear about our events on MKFM.

Made in MK is being co-ordinated by the Arts and Heritage Alliance Milton Keynes (AHA-MK), with support from its members and MK Council.  Media partners are MK Citizen, MKFM and TotalMK.

Dance Festival for Milton Keynes 28th & 29th June #MadeinMK

Motus Dance FestivalMÓTUS; -a dynamic Festival of Dance taking place 28-29 June in Milton Keynes!

28th June is outside the MK Gallery in Margaret Powell’s Square. We have companies which include Motionhouse, Ffin Dance Company, Theo Clinkard, Anjali and a specially commissioned wall running piece at the gallery by Vanessa Cook who was one of the aerialists for the Olympic and Paralympic Opening Ceremonies and who has performed with Motionhouse and Lyndsey Butcher.

All of the performances on Saturday are free; there is a dance on camera workshop with only fifteen places available at the gallery on Saturday which is £20 each.

On Sunday the events are ticketed and include workshops in Ballet, Contemporary, Street, Salsa, Integrated Dance and Indian dance.

There is a matinee show with Ffin Dance Company and Anjali followed by a work in progress panel and show.

Lastly at 6:30pm and 8:30pm we are proud to present acclaimed choreographer and performer Theo Clinkard and his company with his new work ‘Of Land And Tongue’ which is being performed in the round.

The festival is being supported by Arts Council England, Arts Gateway MK, MK Community Foundation, MK Council, MK Festival Fringe and The Venue MK and forms part of the Made in MK summer listing.

http://motusdancefestival.wix.com/motusdancefestival

 

#GreatWarMK website now live

‘Great War MK – From Conflict to Cosmopolis’ 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 – and examines their evolution from a time of conflict to that of cosmopolitan opportunities.

This Heritage Lottery funded project enables partners from the AHA-MK membership collectively to celebrate not only the stories from 100 years ago but also their legacy for modern Milton Keynes. Our aim is to inspire active participation amongst both native and new communities in Milton Keynes – in interviews, workshops and creative activities. Great War MK will generate film screenings, performances and exhibitions, all of which will give fresh insights into the turmoil – and creativity – of those times.

You can see the website and blog for Great War MK at www.GreatWarMK.org.uk as the projects get underway, the blog will be updated with information and images and details of workshops and events.  Our Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/GreatWarMK

Celebrating Post War Architecture with photographer James Smith

A Brutal Wilderness copyright James Smith
A Brutal Wilderness copyright James Smith

On the the 5th March 2014 AHA-MK welcomed documentary photographer James Smith to speak at our Forum, below are a few highlights and thinking points from James’ talk.  You can see more of James’ work on his website: http://j-smith.co.uk

With an encyclopaedic knowledge of New Towns and their development, James has completed signature projects in communities such as Corby, Milton Keynes, Hatfield, Luton, and most recently Harlow. Picking out often unnoticed or overlooked architectural detail; James’ photography looks at the cityscape in a brand new way.

James describes himself as a documentary photographer who carries out reconnaissance and research in the urban landscape.  He is particularly interested in the period before regeneration takes place.

By exploring new places from an outsider’s point of view, James feels that he can provide a new perspective on a town or area – being a foreigner in a community or landscape allows an artist to take an objective point of view and to identify stories or aspects that are less obvious, and can be more effective, or moving.

James prefers to shoot on overcast days – providing an anti-subjective viewpoint with neither shadows, nor illumination from sunlight.

James has worked with councils and developers on projects to document change as it happens, to understand communities better and to look at how spaces are designed and used.  These projects have helped communities to come together and aided developers in understanding the social and design challenges of their regeneration projects.

In many cases James has found that his work provides an opportunity for the parties involved in regeneration to take stock and perhaps to realise that although urban landscapes that are deteriorating need to be refurbished, by completely clearing and re-building our heritage is being destroyed.

James’ interest in post-war architecture and design principles has led him to work in new towns and his work clearly shows the different stages of construction and phases of new town buildings.  It is now possible to see several generations of new town in the urban landscape of one area, providing interesting documentation of how these different architectural styles interact.

The image above is from Milton Keynes, and shows the ongoing fight of nature to exist and thrive in urban areas.  With the continuous growth and development planned for Milton Keynes, James’ work suggests that the city might benefit from a process of documentation to collect and collate the changes that are being implemented now.  There is a wealth of information relating to Milton Keynes’ early development, but how much is being captured now?