We are delighted with how MK Litfest went in September. Thanks to funding from the Arts Council, MK Community Foundation, MK Council and ourselves, Arts Gateway, we were able again this year to give the city a big literary event. 1,500 tickets were sold over the five days, and another 200 were given to deserving audience members. 24 events were held, mostly writers reading or in conversation, but we had a strong programme of workshops. The headline events, all very well attended, were Paul Mason, Carrie Gracie, Dan Cruikshank, Kassia St Clair, Chris Ryan and Attila the Stockbroker. Sadly Jack Monroe had to pull out of everything including us for a month due to ill health, leaving an empty slot in the programme.
This year we moved across from Holiday Inn CMK, to the brand new MKGallery extension. There were teething pains in the build-up and planning, but the venue and its team came up with the goods in the end and the venue was fantastic. Izzy Pirillo again designed and built the main set, put together at Arts Central with a great deal of help from Hayden Otton and Luke Jenkins. Huge books straddled the stage, and presenters sat in armchairs created out of old books, while punters hung their comments on a spectacular magic tree (now standing in Arts Central).
Many thanks to our team of Litfest volunteers, to the Litfest Organising Committee, and to Arts Central’s own Jane Charles who was in conversation with Textile historian Kassia St Clair. And thanks to all of you who came along to the events. If you came, make sure you tell us how it was and how we could improve. If you didn’t come, let us know what you’d like to see. We’ll be doing it all again next year.
Calling all creatives in or near Milton Keynes. We’re growing our studios for artists, creatives and designers who would like to develop their practice in a 40-strong family of mixed creatives.
For the last five years we’ve made our home at Arts Central, now at 20 Burners Lane, Kiln Farm. We can provide a desk or studio, from £10 per week, including wifi, electric power and heating. You’ll find creative collaboration within our family of artists, crafters, makers, writers, fashion designers, film-makers, photographers and designers. We are not-for-profit so you pay what you need and can afford.
Come and see what’s currently available, starting with a 2m x 3m studio, up to four times that size, solo or shared.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone our chair, John Best on
AGMK/AC again face a significant building challenge, as we respond to the requirements of MKCouncil’s Building Control who are keen that we comply with 2019 Building Regs. Whilst our layout is OK, and passes fire service requirements, BC are requiring us to strengthen all our partitions, bolt them down and apply flame-resistant paint. We’re also taking the opportunity to create another 20 studios to the revised spec. We don’t just want people with strong DIY and construction experience, we can take willing beginners, tea-makers and creative entertainers.
You and others have been very supportive of Arts Gateway in the past, helping us build various iterations of Arts Central, and with other projects. Any chance you might have some spare time to help us again over the next 12 weeks, the timescale we are given? We realise people’s lives and commitments are very different, so are drawing up a programme of work-sessions that fit people’s availability. If you’re likely to have time over April and May, please join us every Saturday from 1pm.
In any event, if you’ve not seen 20 Burners Lane lately, do come and have a look around.
We are in the process of redeveloping our existing website and will be carrying our number of changes so the site may not be working as it should for a while.