Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant world of art and culture as Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture (MKIAC) proudly presents the 14th edition of Art in the Park festival, set to take place on May 13th at Campbell Park. Guests can expect a jam-packed day of creativity and connectivity through a combination of music, visual art, creative workshops, a parade and delicious food that reflects the diverse communities of Milton Keynes.
This year's Art in the Park theme of ‘Roots and Foundations' promises to take the community on a captivating adventure with mesmerising performances and talented artists from across the globe. Supported by Arts Council England and Milton Keynes City Council, the free day event is one of the many official celebrations for the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and The Queen Consort hosted in the city.
Amongst the event's dynamic lineup of performances are Raka, an 8-piece ensemble that plays traditional music from the Balkans, Ayan De First and The Oduduwa Talking Drummers, who present authentic Yoruba, Ibo and Hausa music from Nigeria. Visitors will also have ample opportunity to indulge their taste buds with an array of authentic cuisines, hailing from Lebanese and Turkish delicacies to exotic dishes from the Caribbean, India and beyond.
As part of the celebrations, the Carnival of Colours Parade makes a grand return. The vibrant parade of musicians, dancers and entertainers will commence from The Point at 2.15pm, making its way through the streets of Milton Keynes before arriving an hour later at Campbell Park. This year, it has plans to be bigger and better than ever, with former favourites such as Ayan De First, Oduduwa Talking Drummers and Route Canal joining the festivities!
This year's event invites artists and audiences to explore and reflect on the deep connections between culture, history, identity and the natural world, with a particular focus on how art can be used to shine a spotlight on climate change. Inspired by Islamic arts, MIKAC uses the arts as a vehicle to overcome societal divisions and provide a sense of community in Milton Keynes. The registered charity has also secured NPO status and is part of Art Council England's Investment Programme for 2023-26.
Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes City Council, said, "We're delighted to be able to help make this year's Art in the Park bigger and better and part of the community celebrations for King Charles's Coronation.”
Anouar Kassim MBE, Founder-Director, Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture (MKIAC) says: “This free, one-day event is a joyous riot of community, music, art, food, and performance that goes far in representing all of Milton Keynes' diverse cultural influences. The theme of ‘Roots and Foundations' references our cultural heritage that is the bedrock upon which we build our future. But, let us use this opportunity to recognise the vital role that art and culture play in raising awareness and inspiring action towards the sustainable future we must make happen.”