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Business plays its part in creating '10 Amazing Days'
THE BUSINESS community of Milton Keynes has been playing its part in preparations for the second IF: Milton Keynes International Festival.
IF organisers are promising ‘10 Amazing Days’ between July 20 and 29, with outdoor spectaculars, family shows, comedy, cabaret, international theatre and live music.
The festival has been developed and produced by The Stables theatre at Wavendon, with support from Arts Council England, Milton Keynes Council and other key partners, funders and sponsors.
Festival director Monica Ferguson says the support of the business community has been vital.
IF began with £500,000 of core funding from Arts Council England and Milton Keynes Council but has had to raise a further £500,000 from businesses, trusts and individuals in order to stage its top-notch programme.
Monica says: “Each time we come to develop the Festival’s programme we know we will have to raise considerable funds to bring the best possible artists and events to the city. In return we offer some great opportunities for businesses to do business differently in an unique setting.”
One event has required a new approach to sponsorship. As The World Tipped is an ambitious outdoor multi-media performance combining dramatic film visuals and a glorious soundtrack with breathtaking aerial performance.
Telling a powerful tale of ecological crisis, the performers are suspended high above the audience in the night sky as they battle with the effects of drastic environmental catastrophe.
The production required an equally epic budget to deliver it. Rather than approach businesses seeking a single sponsor, the Festival decided to undertake ‘corporate crowd funding’, securing four supporters for this one production.
Each has ethical and ecological values at its core and a strong connection to Milton Keynes: The Co-operative, The Open University, Milton Keynes Parks Trust and Niftylift.
“We asked corporate partners to line up together to bring this incredibly powerful and impressive production to Milton Keynes,” says Monica. “That has meant equally sharing credits and working closely together. With such a strong ecological message in the production itself, it was important that the companies we worked with shared these values.”
As The World Tipped, presented by the pioneering Wired Aerial Theatre, takes place in Campbell Park on July 25 and 26 at 9.45pm. Tickets are available in advance for £2 or £3 on the gate. A range of corporate hospitality packages are available surrounding events across the 10 days.