Funding secures future of international arts festivalSep 23, 2011
The events will take place next year and in 2014. The success of the inaugural IF:Milton Keynes International Festival last year has also led to Milton Keynes Council committing £100,000 of funding towards the 2012 event.
The money will underpin the Festival’s ambition to become a biennial landmark event in the UK arts calendar. IF:2012 will present a world-class multi-arts programme in Milton Keynes over ten days next year (July 20-29).
The festival is being produced by The Stables at Wavendon. The pilot event last year was produced in response to Arts Council England’s ambition to help to develop the artistic infrastructure in Milton Keynes, with the funding awarded acting as a catalyst to draw in a range of other public and private sector partners.
The event attracted audiences totalling more than 90,000 and organisers estimate it brought more than £4.5 million of economic benefit to the Milton Keynes area.
Festival director Monica Ferguson, who is also chief executive at The Stables, said: “We are delighted that Arts Council England and Milton Keynes Council have recognised the significant impact that IF:2010 had in Milton Keynes and beyond, and have recognised the opportunity the festival presents by investing in its future.
“The funding will enable us to commit to a programme of UK premieres, new commissions and rare appearances by world-class artists who will engage in new ways with existing and new audiences, while helping to build one of the UK’s fastest growing towns into an international city.”
Milton Keynes Council chief executive David Hill said: “The success of IF:Milton Keynes International Festival in 2010 was another example of how, by working together and being ambitious, Milton Keynes can continue to grow into one of the UK’s most innovative and exciting places to live, work and visit.
“Milton Keynes Council recognises the value and importance of cultural investment to support the economic and community development of the area, and
Arts Council England regional director Sally Abbott added: “Festivals should always be about bringing together the best artists for the biggest audiences possible with the broader cultural sector – and all in the most imaginative way.
“With the support of everybody in Milton Keynes, and all the local organisations and stakeholders, I have no doubt that IF:2012 will build on the extraordinary achievements of the first festival and on the sense of community pride it created.
“The event will help engage and inspire new audiences in Milton Keynes and be of great economic and cultural benefit to the area.”