A new lottery-funded programme working with the skateboarding community of Milton Keynes to capture and tell the city’s unique skate story
MK Skate will be taking place Throughout half term week, October 27 to November 2, offering free and affordable activities for children, young people, families and adults to enjoy.
And there are two free exhibitions revealing MK skate history.
An on-street exhibition, running till 6 January, tells the story of the skate spots where near impossible tricks have been performed. These include the Pritchard Gap named after iconic skateboarder Matt Pritchard; The Battle of the Beige where skateboarders went head-to-head with corporate landowners; and the building of The Buszy.
The exhibition runs in the underpasses of Midsummer Boulevard and is accompanied by walking map. On November 2 and 9, there are morning and afternoon guided tours, starting at MK Gallery, to show the uninitiated how to see the city with skateboarder’s eyes.
Starting with the radical punks in the early 1980s, through to the impact of US skate films and tours in the 1990s, and on to 2020 Olympic dreams, an indoor exhibition in centre:mk, running until December, captures the personal histories of the generations of skaters, both hobbyists and sponsored, who have grown up in the city.
Their stories are shared through a display of their personal collections featuring pro skateboards, stickers, 1970s polaroids, 1990s baggy jeans, VHS and cine film, zines, and a rare pair of trainers named after The Buszy.
The exhibition also looks at the materiality of the culture - fashion, graffiti, magazines, music, film and photographic documentary – and, as such, features a new commission from renowned street artists, James Jessop and James Carey, as well as film footage covering three decades.
Exhibitions are accompanied by a week of half-term activities for young people and followed by a series of talks and films exploring some of the subjects in greater depth.
Workshops include: Skate Photography with Leo Sharp; Zine Making; Fashion Craft, Deck Painting with artist Tom Guilmard; Street Dancing with Swarf; and an introduction to making skate films led by Ryan Gray.
Tickets for under-18s cost £2.75, with the exception of deck painting which is priced at £23.50 to include the cost of the deck.
Plus, on Sunday, October 27, Leo Sharp will be running a skate photography workshop for adults, supported by pro skater James Bush. Bookings through: mkskate.org
MK Skate is made possible by a £97,800 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, funding and support from Milton Keynes Council, and is supported by centre:mk.
An additional oral history archive and digital app are created by and available through Living Archive Milton Keynes.
More information on: mkskate.org