Just some of the images that we have collected so far through Great War MK events…
These images show early development of For the Fallen, a commemorative dance piece that will take place at Campbell Park on 5th July. Inspired by WW1, the conflict and the stories or war, this dance will involve over 100 performers and will feature 500 banners created by the people of Milton Keynes. Choreographed by Helen Parlor, Effie McGuire-Ward and Chris Bradley this large-scale dance will be a beautiful act of commemoration.
Helen, Chris and Effie are currently looking for dance groups that are interested in being involved in this project – young or old, amateur or professional they want to hear from you. More information can be found here: Dance Great War MK Flyer.
The banners that will feature in For The Fallen are being created in artist-led workshops with experienced textile artist, Vinny Stapley. There are plenty of opportunities to take part in public workshops – see our events page, or you can use our template to create and donate a poppy to the project, more info here.
We need your help! We are looking for people that want to create and donate a poppy, to be added to a WW1 centenary banner as part of Westbury Arts Centre’s Banner Project. These banners will be included in an act of commemoration on 5th July at Campbell Park. This event will be a beautiful piece of dance exploring themes of conflict, involving over 100 dancers and moving around Campbell Park – everyone is welcome.
To get involved: Find some fabric and cut out a poppy using our template (or if you prefer, crochet or knit a poppy). You can add embroidery or sparkle and add the name of a relative or someone from your village that was involved in WW1. When you are happy with your poppy take a photo to remember it by (you can share on Facebook or on Twitter using #GreatWarMK) attach the slip from the Poppy Brief and send it to Westbury Arts Centre or put it into a Great War MK Poppy Box at your local MK Library by 12thJune 2015. We would also love to hear any stories that you have about relatives or people who lived in your village that served in WW1.
The Poppy Brief and Poppy Template can be found here.
Great War MK is a project exploring the impact of the First World War on the communities of Milton Keynes through research, commemorative events, activities and community workshops. You can see our upcoming events here.
How about seeing a bit of theatre in a full-size replica 1st World War tank? Or watching a commemorative dance with hand-made banners? Or perhaps participating as an Old Time Music Hall audience – letting the performers know what you think of their acts! New music from young musicians, new film shows of the Great War era, extraordinary installations and exhibitions – all these are part of the Great War MK project about to explode on the Milton Keynes community.
Great War MK is a collaborative project led by the Arts & Heritage Alliance Milton Keynes (AHA-MK). It explores the impact of the First World War on the communities of Milton Keynes – an area now covering six towns, 41 villages and 1/4 million people – through research, commemorative events, participatory learning activity and community workshops. During 2015 Great War MK will be presenting events and opportunities for people to explore and commemorate the lives and the stories of the Great War.
With funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and seed-funding from MK Council, this project brings together various arts and heritage organisations, which are all exploring WW1 themes and using different methods to tell stories. The partner organisations are: Cowper and Newton Museum, Deanshanger Village Heritage Society, Festive Road, Independent Cinema Milton Keynes, Living Archive, MK Gallery, Pepper’s Ghost Theatre Company, Westbury Arts Centre through support from MK Heritage Association: Bucks Constabulary Museum, North Crawley Historical Society and Simpson History Group.
Great War MK aims to work with people of all ages and abilities, providing opportunities to take part in workshops, and activities are now developing. To find out more see our events page and Facebook or follow @AHA_MK #GreatWarMK on Twitter. You can also hear more about the projects on our Vimeo page.
Alongside these events, Great War MK is also putting a call out to any community groups or individuals that want to be part of this large-scale project: we want you to create and donate your very own hand-made poppy to be added to a WW1 banner. Using the sewing template found here (or by knitting or crocheting), we are asking for as many people as possible to create a poppy that will be included in banners used as part of an act of commemoration in July at Campbell Park. To find out more please see the blog.
Marion Hill, author and Chair of the Great War MK Steering Group says: ‘Even after a hundred years, the Great War continues to move and inspire – and with the wealth of talented people that we have here in Milton Keynes, we look forward to so much more to reflect upon – because Milton Keynes does it differently!’
The stories of Milton Keynes in WW1, of those that went off to fight, those that stayed behind and of those that did not return will be commemorated through this project and we invite all residents of Milton Keynes to remember them with us by attending a workshop or event, making a poppy or by volunteering with us.
Westbury Arts Centre’s Banner Project aims to produce over 500 commemorative banners to be included in a large-scale dance piece entitled ‘For the Fallen’ taking place in Campbell Park. Textile artist Vinny Stapley has been working with groups to create these banners – the dance project is being choreographed by Helen Parlor, Effie McGuire-Ward and Chris Bradley.
Here are some examples of the beautiful banners being produced…
If you are interested in getting involved in this project you can either attend a public banner workshop, or if you are part of a group, speak to Westbury Arts Centre directly about running a workshop: email@example.com / 01908 501214
If you are part of a dance group, Westbury Arts Centre are also looking for more dancers to be part of the final dance piece – more info can be found on the Dance Great War Flyer.
We are also looking for people to create and donate poppies to be included on banners – more info here.
Great War MK is a collaborative project led by the Arts & Heritage Alliance Milton Keynes (AHA-MK). It explores the impact of the First World War on the communities of Milton Keynes – an area now covering six towns, 41 villages and 1/4 million people – through research, commemorative events, participatory learning activity and community workshops.
This Heritage Lottery funded project enables partners from the AHA-MK membership collectively to commemorate not only the stories from 100 years ago but also their legacy for modern Milton Keynes. Our aim is to inspire active participation amongst both native and new communities in Milton Keynes – in interviews, workshops and creative activities to produce informative and engaging new works. Great War MK will generate film screenings, music, dance, performances, archive material, exhibitions and installations, all of which will give fresh insights into the turmoil – and creativity – of those times.
Festive Road – Milton Keynes-based carnival company Festive Road are building full
size WW1 tank that will form the backdrop to their new performance informed by the tensions and challenges of frontline fighting. This outdoor artwork will be presented at night in various locations around Milton Keynes.
The Banner Project – Working with a talented textiles artist, Vinny Stapley, Westbury Arts Centre aims to create over 500 banners informed by the stories and memories of WW1. These beautiful commemorative banners will then be used to create a large-scale dance performance. Working with renowned choreographers Helen Parlor, Effie McGuire-Ward and Chris Bradley, a team of over 100 dancers will take part in this act of remembrance.
Cowper & Newton Museum – Working with Olney RFC the Cowper & Newton Museum will stage a commemorative Rugby match in January 2015 – in memory of local hero Edgar Mobbs. The Museum is also developing a Songs and Poetry Evening and an energetic Old Time Music Hall, breathing life into 100 year old music and verse, as well as presenting a new animation inspired by life in the trenches.
Frontline – MK Gallery is working with four local schools to explore the concept of conflict and how artists have represented war and wartime in their work. Groups of students will be visiting the Imperial War Museum and working with artists to develop their own artworks – culminating in an exhibition at MK Gallery project space in June 2015.
Living Archive – Working with a group of talented young people, professional musician Steven McDaniels will be supporting the development of new songs and music inspired by the WW1 stories held by Living Archive. These new songs will be performed at an event in May 2015. In addition, Living Archive will be developing digital stories bringing new life to re-mastered Living Archive Band recordings.
Independent Cinema MK – Local independent cinema company ICMK is exploring the ideas of propaganda and truth in their work creating stop-time animations with school children. These animations will form part of several ‘WW1 style’ screening events to take place around Milton Keynes, alongside other WW1 relevant film and footage.
Serving King and Country – Deanshanger Village Heritage Society have undertaken a research project to uncover information about the village in the WW1 period. Research will uncover life on the home front, those that served, those in reserved occupations – working on the land and at the famous E & H Roberts Iron Foundry. This project will result in exhibitions, creative workshops with school children, walks and archive material.
MK Heritage Association – Through support from MKHA, these local history projects also form part of Great War MK. These include:
- Simpson History Group’s research project to better understand the lives of the men represented on their war memorial, work to restore the local memorials and production of a booklet to commemorate their sacrifice.
- Bucks Constabulary Museum’s WW1 exhibition
- North Crawley Historical Society’s research project to track and commemorate all those who fought and died from their village, producing an exhibition and booklet.
These are beautiful example banners created by Vinny Stapley for the #GreatWarMK banner project produced by Westbury Arts Centre. Vinny will be working with schools, community groups and members of the public to produce a variety of banners, which will be used to create a commemorative performance.
To find out more about Westbury Art Centre’s project please click here. If you are interested in getting involved in this project or making a banner yourself please email: firstname.lastname@example.org