Summer of Culture coming to MK

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City residents can look forward to an action packed summer with all manner of events lined up to give London, Paris and New York a run for their money in the entertainment stakes.

Officers at Milton Keynes Council have been working with partners throughout the city to pull together a massive programme of arts, heritage and sports celebrations to run from May to September this year.

Arts Council England has given its backing in the form of a grant of nearly £100,000 – one of its largest project grants - to pay for artist fees, artistic direction and a marketing campaign to tie dozens of events together in the Summer of Culture.

The key players involved are the arts, heritage and sports officers at Milton Keynes Council, Fringe MK:Westbury, which will be providing the artistic direction, the Milton Keynes Parks Trust and Destination MK, which is providing the marketing campaign [which if you’ve been listening close enough to Heart FM you will realise that it has already started!].

Milton Keynes’ Summer of Culture will kick off with Arts & Heritage Open Places May 11 to 20 when artists will offer workshops, tours, talks and activities at venues across Milton Keynes. The festivities will continue through June with Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Campbell Park, Connected Earth communications week-long event between MK Museum & Bletchley Park [encompassing Alan Turing Centenary] and the Olympic endorsed MK Games which will run for six weeks.

Soaring into July is the Torch Relay coming through Central Milton Keynes and Bletchley followed quickly by the MK Festival Fringe and IF: the International Festival which was first launched in summer 2010 and featured such diverse events as Architects of Air in Station Square and Asleep at the Wheel by Janek Schafer.

More cultural events and activities are planned in for August and September, with the summer culminating in the 7th year of Heritage Open Days from 6th-9th September.

Councillor Peter Geary, the Cabinet member responsible for Arts and Culture, said: “There is something to suit all tastes this summer in Milton Keynes, so please get involved and enjoy one of the many activities available. Our city is a marvellous, mulitifaceted place to live and work and the Summer of Culture will reflect this.”

A business-card sized leaflet outlining the dates, events and locations, will shortly be distributed via local pupils, or people can collect a copy or collect one at your local library or information point. A digital version is available at: www.mksummerofculture.co.uk

If you have an arts, heritage or cultural event already planned or would like to be part of this programme, please email arts@milton-keynes.gov.uk