Visitors 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.
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
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.
Forget dancing in the street, this May is all about dancing in the park!
MÓTUS Dance Festival is back again for 2015 on Sunday 31st May.
Performances will kick off in and around MK Gallery before moving on to new pastures in Campbell Park. The festival will feature professional and community dancers alikeanimating the sites in central Milton Keynes.
The event is free to attend and there are two opportunities to catch the action. Audiences are invited to meet at MK Gallery at either 3pm or 5.30pm from where they will process to Campbell Park with the performance culminating at the MK Rose.
Helen Parlor, artistic director for MÓTUS, commented: “The premise of this year’s festival is to support and commission dance artists/ companies to come and make work here in Milton Keynes. Instead of presenting pre-existing work, companies have selected sites around Campbell Park and MK Gallery to interact with, in order to create original and vibrant performances.”
The line-up of professional companies visiting Milton Keynes as part of MÓTUS includes ZoieLogic Dance Theatre, Ceyda Tanc Dance and Inverted Company (Tamzen Moulding). With influences ranging from contemporary dance to Turkish folk dance to acrobatics, the performances are set to be a visual feast.
Local schools are jumping on board with students from Denbigh School and The Grove Independent School working with professional choreographers on commissions. Young people from Milton Keynes based Initiate Youth Dance Company will also perform as part of the unfolding promenade.
Also getting involved is Mark Niel, Poet Laureate for Milton Keynes and Development Officer for the MK Rose. Mark will be presenting a newly commissioned poem and might even don his dancing shoes for the occasion.
An event which all the family can enjoy, MÓTUS 2015 will be a fun and cultural afternoon out to wrap up the half term holiday.
As a prelude to the main event, the MÓTUS team will present a work in progress platform on Friday 29th May at Centric MK in Linford Wood. Here, audience members will be able to give direct responses to the work on show – feeding into the creative process and development of new work.
This May experience an evening of new compositions, music and film inspired by WW1. Living Archive has been working with Steven McDaniel, young talented songwriters, musicians and film makers to commission new works inspired by the WW1 stories held by Living Archive. This six month project builds on the previous work of the Living Archive Band, and new music, songs and films will be screened and performed live on Friday 29 May, 7pm at MK Gallery’s Event Space by this talented ensemble of performers.
Inspired by the diaries, letters and images of people in Milton Keynes during WW1, this one-off performance will provide a space for people to celebrate and reflect on the people, the lives and the poignant and powerful stories that are still relevant today.
Steven McDaniel says: ‘It is wonderful to work with such a passionate group of young people and great that Living Archive has given them this opportunity to work together and perform live…’ This project is just one of a series of projects funded through Great War MK by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
We are looking for professional performers with a physical theatre background to be part of our Great War MK ‘Best Company’ performance in a tank. You will need to commit to specific rehearsal and performance dates. Please be aware that we anticipate a few more dates will be added to the tour schedule over the next month but that the show will only be available to tour between 19th June and 12th September 2015.
You’ll need to be used to working in a collaborative way and if you have any contemporary clown training this would also be desirable. For more information and details of how to apply download the: FR GWMK Call for performers
A Physical Theatre show produced by Festive Road
A very funny take on a very real struggle as four friends get a WW1 tank into battle.
The Best Company are on their way to the Western Front but the external conflict is not the only thing occupying the crew’s thoughts. As we see, life inside the Mark 1 tank is busy, noisy and smelly. Tension among the company escalates and a hilarious and bizarre internal conflict occurs.
As the tank spins, the characters actions become more and more surreal… war is declared and the engine judders to a holt!
Will the Best Company get the Tank started again? Will they make it to the front line? Come and find out…
Sixteen more visual arts organisations across the UK, from Derry to Milton Keynes to Southampton, join Plus Tate
Tate is pleased to announce that Plus Tate, the contemporary visual arts network, is to expand by sixteen institutions. They join the original cohort of eighteen partners, plus the four Tate galleries, to virtually double the size of the group. In 2010, Plus Tate was launched to share collections and expertise and build a network which would use Tate’s resources to strengthen the contemporary visual arts ecology in the UK. The expansion comes in the wake of the Warwick Commission Report which highlighted the importance of building strong arts organisations outside London.
The decision to extend the Plus Tate network was announced in September 2014 and applications were received through an open process in which premium was placed on a strong artistic vision, a focus on contemporary art, outstanding public programming and a commitment to local community engagement through art.
The network will now have greater geographic spread across the UK with three new venues being added in Northern Ireland, The Fruitmarket Gallery joining in Scotland and Artes Mundi in Wales. Three London venues have also been added.
Nicholas Serota said: ‘Expanding the network will significantly change Plus Tate’s texture. These are all organisations that contribute to their local community but which have a national profile. The larger network will bring different kinds of experience into the pool and facilitate greater cooperation between partners.’
Alex Farquharson, Director of Nottingham Contemporary said: ‘The Plus Tate network has made for closer relationships between a large number of leading visual arts institutions across Britain. Many of us are unique in our local environments; it is therefore invaluable to be able to share strategy, knowledge and experience with peers across the country, particularly at a time of considerable economic and political challenge. Instead of isolation and competition, Plus Tate has given rise to a collegial, mutually supportive network, committed to success in our sector, for our publics.’
Hugh Mulholland, Curator MAC in Belfast said: ‘Being included in Plus Tate …affords us the opportunity to become an active contributor to the well-established network of other galleries who already make up Plus Tate and who share our desire to be part of the national and international discourse around contemporary visual art practice.’
The new partners are:
Artes Mundi in Cardiff, Camden Arts Centre, Centre for Contemporary Art Derry-Londonderry, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, Chisenhale Gallery in London, The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Golden Thread in Belfast, Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston, John Hansard Gallery in Southampton, Liverpool Biennial, The MAC Belfast, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Modern Art Oxford, The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland, the South London Gallery and Spike Island in Bristol.
They join the original eighteen partners which are:
Arnolfini, BALTIC, Cornerhouse/HOME, firstsite, Glynn Vivian, Grizedale Arts, The Hepworth Wakefield, Ikon, Kettle’s Yard, mima, MOSTYN, Newlyn Art Gallery and the Exchange, Nottingham Contemporary, The Pier Arts Centre, Towner, Turner Contemporary, Whitworth Art Gallery, Wysing, plus the four Tate galleries.
The original cohort of eighteen Plus Tate partners is visited by over 3.5 million people every year, employs over 500 full time staff and has an annual turnover of £34 million. Research published in January, Plus Tate: Connecting Art to People and Places, revealed the significant regenerative and economic benefits of these organisations. Plus Tate has attracted collaborative funding in recent years such as that from JP Morgan for a national Plus Tate Learning Programme and £5 million from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to create Circuit, a peer-led programme for young people.
The enlarged Plus Tate group will meet together for the first time in July 2015 to set the agenda for the next phase of development to 2020.
The Arts and Heritage Alliance MK is looking for groups and individuals to create and donate poppies, to be added to a WW1 centenary banner. Part of Westbury Arts Centre’s Banner Project, these banners will be included in an act of commemoration on 5th July at Campbell Park. This event will explore themes of conflict, involving over 100 dancers at Campbell Park – everyone is welcome.
To get involved: Find some fabric and cut out a poppy using the template provided on our website (or alternatively crochet or knit a poppy). Embroidery or sparkle can be added, as well as the name of a relative or local person that was involved in WW1. Photos of the poppies can be shared at www.Facebook.com/GreatWarMK or on Twitter using #GreatWarMK). Finally attach the slip from the Poppy Brief to the poppy and put them in a poppy collection box at your local MK Library. The deadline is 12 June 2015.
AHA would also love to hear any stories about relatives or local people that served in WW1.
Great War MK is a project exploring the impact of the First World War on the communities of Milton Keynes through research, commemorative events, activities and community workshops: www.GreatWarMK.wordpress.com
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 .