The festival, organised by Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture, was back to celebrate its 20th anniversary and mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Crowds turned out over the weekend to enjoy the carnival atmosphere which featured international artists live music and demonstrations, community stalls and creative workshops.
The festival’s theme this year was Venturing Out, bringing together friends and families to celebrate the rich and diverse communities of Milton Keynes against the backdrop of Campbell Park.
Anouar Kassim founder-director of MKIAC, said: “We were so proud to bring back MKIAC’s Art in the Park Festival, after a two year hiatus.
"This year has special significance for all of us and we promised an inclusive, joyful celebration. Art in the Park is a unique event for Milton Keynes’ vibrant cultural scene because we represent everyone. With performers, food, crafts, arts and music from Milton Keynes’ diverse cultural backgrounds, this festival is a shining example of how we can bridge divides through arts and culture.”
Milton Keynes mayor Cllr Mohammad Khan said: “MKIAC brings diverse communities together through their meaningful and inclusive arts and culture programmes. I have seen first-hand how they inspire young people to embrace their cultural heritage and how they provide creative outlets which have positive impacts on their mental health. This is why I chose them as my Charity of the Year in 2021- 2022.
"Established 20 years ago in response to rising hate crimes they have been able to bring communities together successfully in Buckinghamshire and neighbouring towns.”
Among the attractions were the ‘performance village’ and the ‘art village’ which hosted various interactive workshops alongside four exhibitions of MKIAC projects showcasing the diverse range of arts projects aimed to promote shared learning, community cohesion and cultural understanding.
There was also entertainment from London based carnival company Kinetika Bloco and Milton Keynes based outdoor arts company Festive Road while the ‘food village’ offered a number of exotic and cultural food stalls such as Flavours of Zanzibar, Kiln Farm Gurudwara and Cafe Crema.
Photographs by Jane Russell.