SDG HEALTH CITIES AND COMMUNITIES
Opportunities to participate and engage with the arts and heritage are important for the positive effects they can have on personal wellbeing, on community building and cohesion, place-making and on developing a creative mindset among individuals.
Creativity is now one of the most in-demand skillsets among employers as it helps drive innovation and change.
MK Futures 2050 states as one of its seven ‘Big Ambitions’: ‘Make Milton Keynes a leading cultural city by global standards.’ The Milton Keynes Creative and Cultural Strategy 2018–2027 seeks to address the challenge that the cultural offer in Milton Keynes neither reflects the city’s size nor the diversity of its communities.
Inclusion and diversity
The low level of engagement among some communities in the mainstream cultural offer is a result not only of cost, but also of perceptions that the offerings are not sufficiently relevant to them and do not reflect or represent them and their lives.
The Arts and Heritage Alliance MK (AHA-MK) is driving a programme of change to embrace what different communities bring to the cultural landscape in Milton Keynes, as well as building relationships between community-based groups and the mainstream cultural sector, which is increasingly delivering a diverse cultural offer.
As part of this, funded by MK Community Foundation, six
diverse artists were co-commissioned in 2022 to develop creative projects which will occupy mainstream cultural spaces/networks in MK.
There is a track record of successful events hosted by diverse communities celebrating their own unique cultural heritages, including Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture (MKIAC) which has delivered inclusive arts and cultural programmes for 20 years. The African Diaspora Festival Day MK was launched in 2017. India Day MK was launched in 2019 and the 2022 festival attracted 11,000 visitors.
Milton Keynes Cultural Education Partnership (MAKE)
was launched in 2016. This advocates for the importance of creative skills and cultural wellbeing of children and young people across Milton Keynes.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
This had a major impact on the cultural sector with some venues closing for up to 18 months.
National government and MK Council funding helped these organisations survive the Pandemic and supported their long-term sustainability.
Many organisations pivoted to online delivery methods during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Given the pressure on costs for arts, heritage, and cultural organisations, and on affordability for many residents, what can be done to support participation so that all can enjoy the enrichment offered by these cultural experiences?
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Have any questions? Feel free to get in touch with our team.