Watch the MAKE video. Created with the children from Brooklands Farm Primary and Two Mile Ask Primary. Sponsored by MK City Discovery Centre:

Imagine a world where our children grow up without experiencing art, poetry, drama, dance, music…

Imagine cities, towns and villages devoid of communities with creative skills and inspiration…

Back in 2013 Arts Council England (ACE) became concerned about the dwindling commitment to include cultural education in the curriculum. Not only does every child have the right to experience arts and culture, but the benefits of taking part in cultural activity impact on mental and physical well-being, provide new perspectives on the world, and increase transferrable skills such as communication and creative thinking. As a response to this crisis, ACE supported Bridge organisations to launch Cultural Education Partnerships in different localities to address the cultural education needs specific to that area. From that initiative Artswork, the Bridge organisation for the South East, supported the development of MAKE.

MAKE (Milton Keynes Arts Education) is a call to action to children and young people in Milton Keynes and those who work with them and look after them. Together we create a bespoke model for cultural education that could only happen in Milton Keynes, for our children and young people.

MAKE has published a collaborative Cultural Education Strategy based around three key strands:

  1. Happier, Healthier, Young People
  2. Exploring, Discovering and Enabling Inclusive and Environmentally Friendly Creativity
  3. Careers, Skills and Opportunities

Since 2015 MAKE has built capacity and networks that align to these strands. The work has has increased the take up of Arts Awards for over 2,000 children and young people, and 33 schools in Milton Keynes have now signed up to the Artsmark journey.

Pilot Projects

In 2017 MAKE facilitated pilot projects around mental health and wellbeing with organisations such as MK Arts for Health, the Christian Foundation and MK SNAP that focussed on self expression through creative pursuits.

You, Me, Together

MAKE commissioned Artis Foundation to to produce the You, Me, Together project film which asked the question ‘how do young people talk about Mental Health?’ which won a Creative Learning Guild Award in March 2019:  From the success of this film, MAKE worked with Artis again to deliver the Schools Connect programme which offered 600 children from 10 schools the opportunity to take part in drama-based workshops that explored self-expression and emotional resilience. Facilitation skills were shared in CPD sessions with teachers.

Space to Replace

MK Gallery have led on the Artswork Schools Network investment project, Space to Re:place, which addressed what children and young people think and feel about place-making also resulting in a film.

Young Creatives

In 2019 MAKE developed and secured funding for the Young Creatives project, a youth-led programme with a focus on developing confidence, resilience and skills needed for transition and progression into FE/HE and work.

 “This project allowed me to explore my creative side and it has helped me see what I’m interested in. The connections I’ve built and the assistance I’ve received in bringing my ideas to life have been great” – Ahmad, Young Creative

The Big MAKE

During the lockdown of 2020 MAKE ran a project called The Big MAKE funded by Artswork and Engage. MAKE engaged over 800 children and young people from 13 local schools and beyond in creativity. It worked with artist Johnny Clapham to create 120 quest boxes for year 6 students who were in isolation that explored the theme of transition and change. MAKE was awarded an Arts Council England grant to develop The Big MAKE #2, which will be led by children and young people.

MAKE aims to create a town full of creative thinkers. As Milton Keynes develops, it is important that the city generates innovation and creativity within its economy and cultural offering. Igniting creative thinking through cultural education inspires new generations who will equip the city with the progressive skills it needs to excel through our most powerful and exciting resource – our children and young people.

MAKE change. MAKE a difference. MAKE it last.

Email if you have any questions about MAKE’s charitable initiatives.

 MAKE Social Media

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The Arts and Heritage Alliance MK manages MAKE. Together we nourish and support the creative and cultural wellbeing of our children and young people. Charity number 1158874.

MAKE is supported by Milton Keynes Council and Artswork, The South-East Bridge.