On 16 September 2023, for Heritage Open Day, Milton Keynes Arts Centre celebrated the art and culture of Afghanistan. Over the day, more than 600 people visited our site at Great Linford and had the opportunity to try miniature painting and calligraphy with the artist, Samira Kitman; to make and fly kites with Ahmadzia Baktyari; to listen to traditional music and to eat traditional Afghan food.
The event was supported by a grant from The Radcliffe Trust and came about through meeting and working with a group of Afghan women then living in bridging accommodation in Newport Pagnell.
Milton Keynes Arts Centre is committed to celebrating the rich tapestry of cultures that makes up this migrant city of Milton Keynes, and to using the arts to bring all of its people together. We are now inviting Expressions of Interest from cultural and heritage-based groups in Milton Keynes to work with the Arts Centre in developing an event for Heritage Open Day in September 2024.
The deadline for Expressions of Interest is Friday 1 December 2023.
How to apply
Please email email@example.com with details of your group, an outline of your group’s purpose, how an event at Heritage Open Day might support this purpose and who the event would be designed to reach. Please be aware that Heritage Open Day events must be free and cannot be used to generate income for your organisation.
We look forward to hearing from you.
For Heritage Open Day 2023, Milton Keynes Arts Centre celebrated the rich cultural history of Afghanistan and its people. Joined by the Afghan artists, Samira Kitman, who demonstrated the use of traditional Afghan designs and techniques to make greeting cards; and by Ahmadzia Baktyari, with whom visitors made and flew kites. Veronica Doubleday sang traditional Herati folk songs and played daireh, accompanied on the dutar and rubab by John Baily and on the tabla drums by Yama Shah. Traditional Afghan food and drink was provided by the Wolverton restaurant, Khyber Chefs.
This event was dedicated to the group of Afghan women we met and who we wish well in their new homes; and to the volunteers of the Mead Centre, Newport Pagnell who befriended and supported them. The event was supported by a grant from The Radcliffe Trust. We also gratefully acknowledge the loan of Afghan rugs by Gooch Luxury Rugs in Milton Keynes for the event.
9 out of 10 people said [Open House] "provided an important addition to the cultural life of the area"