Art in the Park returns to Milton Keynes

Art in the Park
Art in the Park

Art in the Park Festival, organised by Milton Keynes Islamic Arts Heritage and Culture (MKIAC) returns to Campbell Park for its eighth successive year with the theme of Migration on July 1 & 2.

This celebratory multicultural festival has grown to attract more than 11,000 people annually and provides a platform for local emerging talent to share a stage alongside internationally respected musicians, dancers, visual artists, chefs, storytellers and poets.

Art in the Park is delighted to be included in the MK50 major event programme - to mark the city’s anniversary.

In light of it being such a historic year, festival organisers have prepared their most ambitious event program to date.

The Festival bursts into life with a vibrant Parade of Colours setting off from Christ the Cornerstone Church at 1pm and making its way across through the city and concluding at Campbell Park at 2pm. The parade will be managed by carnival education company Route Canal Arts who will seamlessly integrate the acrobatic and musical talents of London’s Kinetika Bloco with a supercharged street festival troupe made up of performers from local schools, MK Dhol Band and Wolverton Samba Band.

The Mongolian Yurt will play host to some exceptional spoken word artists, poets and storytellers sharing their thought provoking material and inviting specially invited panel members to share their views on some urgent and topical issues.

This year Swedish journalist Caroline Hobkinson will be welcomed, and you can learn about the background and inspiration that has propelled artist Maya Yousseff to international fame.

There will also be discussions around food stories from Sudan with Omer Eltigani and the history of the migration of coffee with Abdul-Rehman Malik. The programme will wrap up with a conversation with performers from the Syrian Orchestra.

The main stage will offer festival goers a chance to see highly acclaimed singers, bands, musicians and dancers showcasing some of the finest diversity arts, including Shaam the UK’s most accomplished Nasheed group and two exquisite Yemeni groups. The inclusive live music stage will also showcase so of the best of local and community performance groups.

The headliner on Saturday will be Hawidro an enchanting Egyptian band with a strong Nubian traditional influence. This will be followed on Sunday by the Birmingham based Aashiq Rassoul, an all-male music ensemble who deliver a repertoire of classical Qasida, Hamd, Naat, Qawaali and modern Nasheed.

Food lovers are in for a treat with a generous range of multicultural cuisines available at the Art of Food Festival consisting of mouth-watering food demonstrations and live cake-decorating competition by participants from the local community. There will be one-minute omelettes whipped up students cooking alongside established chefs overseen by award winning Chef Alan Paton of Layla Beaumont.

If the rising food envy makes you peckish, then pop over to the food quarter to sample an interesting range of multicultural cuisine from plenty of foodstalls.

Alongside all of this Art in the Park Festival will also include of community stalls, a live art installation by RARA, funfair and interactive activities.