Discovering MK

MK50 LOGO

Milton Keynes 50th

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

MK Views
Image Source: Milton Keynes Council Website/Homepage slides

 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.

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.

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.

MÓTUS Dance Festival returns for 2015

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.

For further information, contact Effie McGuire Ward at MÓTUS: 07986404179 / motusdancefestival@gmail.com

 

MÓTUS Production Team:

Artistic Director: Helen Parlor

Assistant Directors: Chris Bradley & Effie McGuire Ward

 

Full Programme line-up of Artists/ Companies:

Charlie Brittain, Ceyda Tanc Dance, Julia Cheng, Club Mob, John Darvell, Initiate Youth Dance Company, Inverted Company, Chloe Tasker, ZoieLogic Dance Theatre.

 

Tickets for Work in Progress Event:

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/respond-motus-2015-tickets-16846730023

MOTUS legge

Sew, Stick or Knit a Poppy for the Great War MK Project

Poppies 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.

The Poppy Brief and Poppy Template can be found here: www.greatwarmk.wordpress.com/poppies-call-out

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

Please contact Lallie for more information: aha-mk@milton-keynes.gov.uk

Help awaken the sleeping Dragon by volunteering at Festive Road’s Mid-Winter Fire Festival

“The Darkest of Nights is upon us. And the Dark Knight has sapped the last spark of the old year deep into his soul. All we see around has outgrown its use. The Dark Knight must now die and relinquish the power he holds so that the young, unburdened year can be born.

Listen carefully, the dragon is stirring! But first we need to face this Dark Knight and conquer our fears! When we are able to look into the eyes of the Dark Knight, then we can awaken the sleeping Dragon who will be reborn and bring the brightest light of a New Year.”

Join Fesive Road for an exciting evening of fire, music and solstice celebration on 20th December, from 7pm at Campbell Park.

Paraffinalia leaflet

 

Festive Road are looking for volunteers to help with Paraffinalia:

  • Do you fancy helping to make fire sculptures in the workshop next week?
  • Or maybe you can help us set up the event at Campbell Park on 19th Dec?
  • On the night of 20th Dec we’ll need lots of help with stewarding, car parking, rigging and feeding braziers to keep folks warm.
  • We will also need litter pickers after the event!

If you think you can help we’d be very grateful for any extra hands and feet…email jessica@festiveroad.org.uk to get involved.