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centre:mk announced as headline sponsor of IF2016

Date Posted:21/06/2016

IF headline sponsor centremkcentre:mk, the shopping centre at the heart of Milton Keynes, has been announced as the headline sponsor of IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2016 with a £100,000 sponsorship package.

Described by The Guardian earlier this month as “effortlessly elegant”, the Grade II listed centre:mk was built to be Milton Keynes’ high street. Its partnership with the biennial arts festival builds on a shared ambition to raise the national and international profile of Milton Keynes as an important cultural destination.

Since its launch in 2010, IF: Milton Keynes International Festival has grown year on year. In 2014 the Festival attracted over 350,000 people with visitors travelling from across the UK and overseas to deliver an economic impact of over £7.5 million. Nonetheless, in an increasingly challenging funding environment for the arts, partnerships with the corporate sector are key to the Festival’s ongoing success. The considerable investment by centre:mk has enabled the Festival to bring new and unique commissions and installations to Central Milton Keynes and the public spaces of centre:mk.

Monica Ferguson, Festival Director said: “With public funds limited and growing ethical issues around private sponsorship, I am thrilled at the partnership with centre:mk - a place and an organisation at the heart of Milton Keynes, like the Festival itself. centre:mk is working with us to bring work by some of the world’s best artists right into the everyday places and spaces of people’s lives.”

Edward Sellick, on behalf of centre:mk’s joint owners, Hermes Investment Management and AustralianSuper, said: “We believe in excellence, responsibility and innovation, and for us, this partnership with IF: Milton Keynes International Festival allows us to achieve in all these areas. In particular, we are proud to support the commissioning and presentation of the wonderful events taking place within centre:mk. Like the Festival, we are invested in creating a vibrant, cultured and modern centre for the city”.

Kevin Duffy, Centre Director at centre:mk, said: “There’s a very compelling business argument for bringing thought-provoking and engaging art events to centre:mk and Milton Keynes. We see this support as integral to being a world-class shopping centre - for customers, retailers and visitors alike”

centre:mk will be hosting three major art and performance installations to run throughout the Festival. They are:  

Magic Carpets 2016 by Miguel Chevalier and Sound Spheres by Ray Lee, commissioned by IF: 2016 and centre:mk
centre:mk’s Middleton Hall will be transformed by Magic Carpets 2016, created by international digital artist Miguel Chevalier who is working in a retail environment for the very first time. Chevalier will create a magical world of light and colour, covering Middleton Hall in a huge kaleidoscopic ‘carpet’.

Inspired by Milton Keynes’ unique city-scape, the carpet’s designs and colours will swirl and shape-shift, making this a mesmerising and joyous experience for visitors. Sound artist Ray Lee has created ‘sonic spheres’ for people to hold. These silver spheres generate sound and react to the changes in the projections and the heat of people’s hands.

Liquid Gold is the Air by choreographer Rosemary Lee and film-maker Roswitha Chesher
Commissioned by IF: 2014 and winner of the 2015 Light Moves Festival Prize, video installation Liquid Gold is The Air will be located in Queen’s Court, the open air space within centre:mk and screened within a specially-made garden room with a wild flower roof created by Milton Keynes-based horticulturalists Bridgman & Bridgman. The three screens simultaneously play fleeting vignettes from the live outdoor production of Under The Vaulted Sky, presented at the Festival in 2014.  

Ground Resistance by Wesley Goatley and Georgina Voss
Created in association with the Open University, this immersive sound and visual installation within a shopping unit in centre:mk will explore how ‘smart city’ Milton Keynes appears through the data that it generates and what this data reveals about the concept of the ‘smart city’ itself. Audiences will be invited to walk through a projected representation of Milton Keynes, watching live data pulsed from utilities and communications networks, with sounds that respond live to the data, creating a unique sonic experience which changes with each visit.