Milton Keynes Arts Week (MKAW) was launched with a fanfare on Sunday.
Arts Central welcomed the world through its doors at Norfolk House where the event was started with a multi-cultural celebration.
This year’s annual Festival of Nations is the third produced by the charity Arts Gateway MK - which brings together the creative heritage of all our diverse communities.
This year it was also the launch of new project, Milton Keynes Arts Week, which is running from September 24 until October 2.
The highlight of the festival was the performance by Blabul Al Sharq, who was accompanied by his family as refugees who recently arrived from Damascus. Belal and his three small children were touched by their welcome to Milton Keynes, and took the festival as an the opportunity to say thank you.
MK Arts Week was opened by Deputy Mayor David Hopkins and Mayoress Susan Hopkins, delighted again to support the creative efforts of Arts Gateway.
MKAW brings together over 100 exhibiting artists, and a programme of performances than involve dance, music, drama and poetry.
The Deputy Mayor, said: “This is just the sort of artistic and cultural activity the city will need as we move towards becoming European Capital of Culture.
“I’m delighted to launch the very first Milton Keynes Arts Week and look forward to great things.
“Next year, MKs 50th Birthday year, will be an opportunity for MK Art Week to become even more impressive.”