The Art In The Park Festival is set to return at Campbell Park in Central Milton Keynes after two years of delays caused by the covid pandemic.

The festival is organised by Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture (MKIAC), with the festival being a celebratory one to mark both the group’s 20th anniversary and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Milton Keynes will host cross-cultural musicians, international artists, carnival entertainment, live demonstrations, community stalls and creative workshops during the weekend of Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May at Campbell Park.

For 2022, the festival’s theme is venturing out with a chance for friends and families to come together and celebrate the rich and diverse communities of Milton Keynes after a turbulent two years.

Anouar Kassim MBE, Founder-Director of MKIAC says, “We are so proud to bring back MKIAC’s Art in the Park Festival, after a two year hiatus. This year has special significance for all of us and we promise an inclusive, joyful celebration.

“Art in the Park is a unique event for Milton Keynes’ vibrant cultural scene because we represent everyone. With performers, food, crafts, arts and music from Milton Keynes’ diverse cultural backgrounds, this festival is a shining example of how we can bridge divides through arts and culture.”

Cllr Mohammad Khan, Mayor of Milton Keynes says, “MKIAC brings diverse communities together through their meaningful and inclusive arts and culture programmes. I have seen first-hand how they inspire young people to embrace their cultural heritage and how they provide creative outlets which have positive impacts on their mental health. This is why I chose them as my Charity of the Year in 2021- 2022.

“Established 20 years ago in response to rising hate crimes due to 9/11, they have been able to bring communities together successfully in Buckinghamshire and neighbouring towns.”

As part of the attractions, one venue will be a performance village will provide visitors with memorable performances from local and international musicians, dancers and storytellers.

One such group is the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, who are a spectacular celebration of their vibrant and colourful lifestyle, their music and dance a heady, exciting and hypnotic reflection of this enchanting region, whilst Modou Touré, of Dakar, Senegal, known for playing highly-groovy rhythms all inspired by his West African heritage and Kefaya, an award winning international collective performing global folk, will also feature.

Our art village will host various interactive workshops for all to get involved and learn a new skill. Workshops such as calligraphy, turkish marbling and geometry will be available at £2 per person for a 1.5 hour session.

Four exhibitions of MKIAC projects will also be on display to showcase the diverse range of arts projects aimed to promote shared learning, community cohesion and cultural understanding.

Led by London based carnival company Kinetika Bloco and Milton Keynes based outdoor arts company Festive Road, the Carnival of Colours event promises to be an immersive experience of colour and sound.

Working with local schools and organisations, community performers and children will parade through the streets of Milton Keynes starting at the Point at 2pm and finishing at Campbell Park at 3pm. All are welcome to join.

The Food village will host a number of exotic and cultural food stalls such as Flavours of Zanzibar, Kiln Farm Gurudwara and Cafe Crema who will be providing visitors with a variety of mouth-watering food from around the world.

The festival will also include a community village, a funfair and interactive activities for all to enjoy.

For more information on the festival please see http://www.mkiac.org. Follow the conversation on Social Media: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ArtintheParkMK and Twitter @MKIAC #ArtInTheParkMK