Festival focuses on city living in the future

Jul 06, 2019

ARTISTS, architects, designers and urban planners will descend on Milton Keynes in September for the inaugural Festival of Creative Urban Living.

The free programme of exhibitions, events, creative workshops and performances runs on Midsummer Boulevard from September 26 until October 13.

The festival has been commissioned by Milton Keynes Council, funded by Arts Council England, and is programmed and curated by experimental architectural practice raumlaborberlin.

Its main theme is an exploration of ‘The Built, The Unbuilt and The Unbuildable’, looking at art, design and architecture in urban environments.  A campus of unexpected and playful temporary buildings including The Meeting Place will be set up along Midsummer Boulevard to help visitors to enjoy Central Milton Keynes today and think about what it might become and look like in the future.

Alongside city centre events, two other creative projects – Bike School and Beds United – will run throughout the festival so visitors can experience different parts of Milton Keynes.

Raumlaborberlin is looking for local people to get involved with all parts of the Festival, with £600 bursaries available for up to ten creative local thinkers and makers.

Cllr Jenny Marklew, cabinet member for culture, said: “The Festival will show what an amazing place Milton Keynes is to live and explore.  We have a unique identity with some incredible architecture and design matched only by the creativity of the people who live and work here.”

The Meeting Place 

A temporary public space where people can come together, to sit, enjoy a hot drink and free performances, talks and screenings.  The team have allocated ten slots on the programme for local organisations and individuals and are looking for ideas to showcase the fantastic creativity within Milton Keynes, from drawing classes to cooking schools, sewing clubs to book readings, open mic poetry to yoga classes.

The Meeting Place will have seating, power, a PA system and projector, and staff will be on site to support ‘performers’.  Slots can be for between 60 and 90 minutes.

Interested in taking part? Send ideas and questions to culture@milton-keynes.gov.uk by 6pm on June 28.

Bike School 

Milton Keynes is the perfect city for cycling, with the Redways giving access to almost anywhere by bike or foot.  Bike School will offer a two-week free programme of guided Redway bike tours, bike repair and maintenance, free bike hire, pimp my bike, cycle-in cinema and a programme of discussions which will explore how Milton Keynes can become climate neutral by 2030.

Dedicated bike enthusiasts are invited to get in touch to help spread the word about the event, or even to lead cycle tours or workshops.  Email the team at BikeSchool247@gmail.com

Beds United 

The unique layout of Milton Keynes, with residential areas hidden behind trees and green spaces, means some visitors wonder where people live. Beds United is a way for visitors and local people to find out.

Residents are invited to host an overnight guest, whether that is someone visiting for the Festival or who already lives in a different part of Milton Keynes. The team hopes to find at least one host for every neighbourhood.

Hosts will get to meet each other, have dinner at MK Gallery, exchange ideas and stories and also have their portrait taken by a specially commissioned photographer. Guests who sign up for the Beds United experience will not get to choose where they stay. The Festival team will pair up hosts and guests. No money will change hands, hosts will be reimbursed for with any costs for food or laundry.

If you would like to welcome a guest, email culture@milton-keynes.gov.uk

Raumlaborberlin are also looking for a Festival volunteer team to help look after visitors.  Please email culture@milton-keynes.gov.uk .

For more details on the festival, visit www.afcul.org

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