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Arts festival prepares to shine a light on city

MILTON Keynes is set to be bathed in light as the city prepares to bring together its technology and communications heritage, its diverse community and Islam’s uniquely artistic cultural background.

Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture is putting the finishing touches to preparations for  the City of Light festival, a reflection of the group’s mission to bring Islamic contributions to art, maths and science to the fore through an exploration of Milton Keynes’ technological past. 

The event takes place between October 6 and 10 at venues across the city including Bletchley Park, Midsummer Place and Station Square. It will include workshops, seminars and cultural performances featuring a combination of art, science and technology.

The main event, on October 9 in Central Milton Keynes, is a parade of light and music and a spectacular light show that will be seen right across the city.

MKIAC’s founding director Anouar Kassim said: “The City of Light festival will unite Milton Keynes’ wonderfully diverse communities to learn about, engage with and understand one another. MKIAC was founded on the belief that art can bridge divides and this festival is a shining example of that.”

Activities over the five days range from Islamic art workshops to a STEM careers fair, from climate change discussions to the light and sound parade.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for businesses interested in supporting the festival. To find out more, email mkiac@mkcollege.ac.uk.

In partnership with artists Maryam Smit and Hasret Brown, MKIAC has held workshops in schools and communities across Milton Keynes on traditional Islamic art patterns. The art produced during these workshops will be digitalised, animated and screened as part of the light show at Station Square.

Some of the art was created by newly arrived Afghan refugees, who participated in the creative workshops to help them to adjust to their new home, develop a greater sense of belonging and express themselves through familiar art practices.


October 6

Panel Discussion: Using technology to amplify diverse cultural narratives in the art and culture sector. Bletchley Park, 11am-2pm. Registration: https://bit.ly/2VE9h7

October 7

Panel Discussion: Creativity to tackle the Climate Crisis. Milton Keynes College, Chaffron Way, 11am-2pm. Registration: https://bit.ly/3nAMq8H

October 8

Careers Festival: Focused on STEM roles. Suitable for all ages. Midsummer Hall, 10am-4pm. More information: https://www.mkinnovates.co.uk/

October 9

Careers Festival: Focused on STEM roles. Suitable for all ages. Midsummer Hall, 10am-4pm More information: https://www.mkinnovates.co.uk/

Sense of Unity Light Parade Featuring music from internationally renowned German company Dundu and Worldbeaters. Travelling from Midsummer Place, Milton Keyes, down Midsummer Boulevard to finish at Station Square. Time: 6pm. Meeting Place: Midsummer Place. 

Community Art Digital Animation and Community Performances at Station Square 7pm

Seb Lee-Delisle’s ‘Laser Light City’ Light Show. Station Square, 8pm

October 10

Community Art Digital Animation and Community Performances from Eternal Taal Bhangra Group and the Fusion of Caribbean Steel Drum Band at Station Square. MK Central Station Square, 3pm

Seb Lee-Delisle’s ‘Laser Light City’ Light Show 7pm

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