Artists impression of the City Club's 'playscape'
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MK Gallery ‘City Club’ unites city for 50th anniversary celebration

Posted on 15 March 2016

Milton Keynes’ 50th anniversary will be celebrated in style via new ‘City Club’ project.

Led by MK Gallery, ‘City Club’ is an exciting new programme of arts and culture, created with artists Gareth Jones and Nils Norman.  ‘City Club’ will bring together artists and communities from across Milton Keynes in celebration of the city’s 50th anniversary.

Many of the activities will invite local communities to get involved. ‘City Club’ will also provide important talent development opportunities for local artists.

City Club will reconfirm the important role that arts and culture has had in developing Milton Keynes as a unique place and a great place for people to live, work and visit. Hedley Swain, Arts Council England

New central spaces

MK Gallery aims to refresh areas of the city centre around the Gallery, Theatre and entrance to nearby Campbell Park, creating welcoming spaces that everyone can enjoy. ‘City Club’ will take inspiration from the iconic original designs for Milton Keynes and will focus on three types of public space; the piazza, playground and garden.

City-wide activity

‘City Club’ includes new public art commissions, a programme of live events with The Stables, digital projects with Bletchley Park and other partners, numerous talks, workshops and community engagement programmes.  Freee Artist Collective and artist Vito Acconci will create a new large-scale mobile sculpture called ‘Citizen Ship’. The sculpture will visit residential estates, schools and playgrounds, ending its journey outside MK Gallery ready for the October 2017 celebrations.

Artist impression of Milton Keynes City Club
City Club: new infrastructure. MK Gallery. © Gareth Jones and Nils Norman

Legacy

‘City Club’ is designed to strengthen the network of arts organisations across Milton Keynes. It aims to increase the profile and impact of cultural activities in the city, and to prepare a Milton Keynes bid for European Capital of Culture 2023.

Funding from the Arts Council’s Ambition for Excellence fund will support the first phase of ‘City Club’. Audiences and partners engaged through this phase will enjoy future use of world class art facilities via MK Gallery’s £11 million renovation and expansion.

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “MK Gallery’s ‘City Club’ is an exciting new project and we are delighted to be able to support it through our Ambition for Excellence fund. It will see artists and communities from across Milton Keynes work together to recognise an important milestone in the city’s history through a programme of new artworks, events and residencies. But more than that, it will also reconfirm the important role that arts and culture has had in developing Milton Keynes as a unique place and a great place for people to live, work and visit.”

Anthony Spira, Director, MK Gallery, said: “We are thrilled that Arts Council England is continuing to support the arts in Milton Keynes. This award will enable the gallery and dozens of partners across the city to work more closely in partnership to deliver exciting projects for larger and more diverse audiences, in time for the city’s 50th anniversary.”

For more information about the Arts Council’s Ambition for Excellence fund please click here.