From 26 September 2019 – 6 January 2020, Milton Keynes will celebrate its role and place in international skateboarding culture with a major National Lottery funded heritage programme and exhibition, MK Skate.
Milton Keynes has played a seminal role in the development of UK skateboarding culture, and since the late ‘80s and early ‘90s it has been regarded by many as the skate capital of the UK. It sits alongside the Undercroft at London’s Southbank and the Rom Skatepark in Hornchurch in Essex as one of the three seminal places for skating in the UK, and is the only city-wide in scale.
MK Skate is a timely celebration of skateboarding in the UK and its particular relationship to Milton Keynes. As part of A Festival of Creative Urban Living, it also explores the specific contribution the city’s modernist architecture has had on the development of the scene, including on the development of pioneering UK skate talent, as well as the impact the cultural impact the city has had internationally through skateboarding.
The MK Skate on-street exhibition will be hosted in a series of underpasses throughout Milton Keynes, along Midsummer Boulevard at Malborough Gate, Saxon Gate, Witan Gate and Elder Gate. The on-street trail will highlight areas of the city which were significant skating spots, where skating pioneers and celebrities have left their mark on the city. Milton Keynes’ shopping centre, centre:mk, will host an exhibition in one of their shopping units from 27 September until 22 December.
MK Skate will be accompanied by a week of half-term activities between 28 October to 1 November. Workshops and events will be organised by photographer Leo Sharp, dancer Mark Calape, and artist Tom Guilmard. The workshops will allow young people to garner skills in deck painting, photography and street dance.
MK Skate has been made possible by a £97,800 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, funding and support from Milton Keynes Council, and is supported by centre:mk. The oral history archive and digital app are created by Living Archive Milton Keynes.
• MK Skate’s on-street exhibition – (26 September 2019 – 6 January 2020)
• Skating exhibition in centre:mk – (27 September – 22 December 2019)
• MK Skate’s half term activities – (28 October – 1 November 2019)