Black Sheep|Collective

The Black Sheep Collective came together to initiate, create & explore new works in the arts.

Drawing on our individual arts practices, those of our associates and our shared creative drives, we nurture bold expressions of creativity often defying conformity. We believe in breaking new ground and using the arts as a means to reduce barriers and foster the development of creative communities. We work in many settings and environments in the UK and internationally.

  • We value meaningful interactions between the arts/artists & audiences, fueled by shared creative drives.

  • We harness the power of the arts to transform lives & initiate sustainable community cohesion.

  • We create situations where artists & audiences meet on different levels, from performance & exhibition to interactive projects & community engagement.

  • We offer a range of creative based services from research & development, consultancy, design & new/digital media, advice & guidance, design, project & event management to evaluation, training & programming.

  • We are committed to using responsibly sourced materials & a socially responsible supply chain.

  • We operate all our projects/activities against & in response to Social Progress Indicators.

  • We believe in Social & Community Business, responsible trading & meaningful impact.


Georgia Tillery – Productions & Education Director (CIC Director)

Danny Quinn – Commissions & Business Director (CIC Director)

Sian Philpott – Pyrofinalia & Street Arts Director (CIC Director)

Sam Jackson – Bar Bar Black Sheep Manager

Ally Bee – 4&20 Black Birds Manager

Moss Bancroft – Projects & Media Assistant

Jade Cook – Education Assistant

Yvette How – Accounts & Finance

Black Sheep Collective CIC is governed by a Board of Directors and a steering group of voluntary advisers and experts.

Social Enterprise associates & advisors

Amanda Dudman – Business Development Specialist

Thomas Doyle – Independent HR Specialist & CIC Shadow Director

Sue Quinn – Director, Social Business Alliance CIC

Peter Holbrook – CEO, Social Enterprise UK

Memberships & Awards

Suspended Coffees Global

OneMK Best Community Project 2016

OneMK Outstanding Contribution to Milton Keynes 2016

Power To Change – Community Business Trade Up 2017-18

Natwest/RBS Social Index 100

Social Enterprise Review, Investment & Impact Measurement

Annual Review April 2016 – March 2017:

2107 Suspended Coffees donated by customers, £5000 donated to local groups, community projects, young entrepreneurs, new and emerging artists, charities and community initiatives, 25 hrs of Social Enterprise & Business Start Up Advice donated, 36 Dementia Friendly Arts/Creative sessions, 3 pop-up shops held in Bar Bar for local independent traders/creatives, 21 community artists exhibiting, 5 new group start ups supported, 87 employee volunteering hours facilitated, 6 Community Performances (artistic) donated to local events, 12 open mic/platform events held for local performers, 12 Creative activities and sessions facilitated and supported, but led by local volunteers/artists and practitioners.

Wolverton Lantern Festival (2015/16 Festival Sponsor) | Friends of Wyvern Primary School (2016 Start Up Sponsor & Xmas School Disco Funder) | Wolverton Tennis Club (2016/17 Season Sponsor) | Wolverton Cricket Club (2017 Season Sponsor) | Great Linford Scout Group (2017 Scout Trip Funder) | Nourish The Children Foundation (2016/17 Sponsor of Children’s Meals in Developing Nations) | Winter Night Shelter MK (2016/17 Clothing & Refreshments Sponsor) | Wolverton Town Band (2017 Sponsor)


Annual Review April 2017 – March 2018:

Report coming soon

THAT WAS AWESOME, IT gave the night a whole new dimension, adding excitement & spectacle!

Night Club Events Manager, London

Services & | Solutions

We provide a range of creative

services, solutions,

commissions & productions,



IMG_6215performers & spectacles

From Fakir/Fire Performers to Stilt Walkers & Dancers, Storytellers to Human Statues – we create both site specific & off the shelf characters suitable for most events, venues & project briefs.

Previous clients include: Parrafinalia Mid-Winter Festival, England Rugby, Wolverton Lantern Festival, LGBT Exclusive Nightclub, The Galleon Pub, Play’s The Thing Theatre Company, Scream Park Entertainments Ltd

773765_462426933810539_1423117233_ocommunity engagement & mentoring

As a Social Enterprise all our surplus is reinvested into inspiring community engagement projects. We also offer exclusive & personalised mentoring for young, new & emerging artists & groups. From company structure & funding through to marketing & business development.

Previous clients include: Social Business Alliance CIC, Play Street, OYAP Trust, Future Wolverton, On The Verge CIC, Wolverton & Greenleys Town Council

DC0010learning & workshops

Blowing up the classroom & breaking down the barriers, our workshops cover a range of topics in the arts & social enterprise sectors. We also offer team building, corporate learning (CPD), extra-curricular programming, accreditation/qualifications & access to industry training.

Previous clients include: The Theatre Institute of Singapore, Church Without Walls, MK & Broughton Town Council, Milton Keynes College, Milton Keynes Council, SALT CIO

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 19.56.42research, development & media

Working per brief, we hunt & gather the information you need to know, when you need to know it. Working together, we can help you develop plans & we also create media & content for promotional activities, websites, advertising etc. We can help you stand out from the flock.

Previous clients include: On The Verge CIC, Amanda Dudman Coaching Services Ltd, Speaking With One Voice (VCSE Consortium), Bridgman & Bridgman LLP

enterprise support & creative growth

From bespoke advice, support & guidance to creative thinking methods & techniques. We work closely with clients to expand approaches & explore the unknown, inspiring a range of pathways forward, delivering outcomes & milestones.

Previous clients include: Social Business Alliance CIC, Social Enterprise South East Partnership, On The Verge CIC, Arts & Heritage Alliance CIO, MK Museum Trust

Untitled-1commissions & green art

We develop specific final productions, installations, performances, artworks etc for clients’ briefs, projects, events & venues. We can bring your venue/event alive from exhibitions & art collections to physical performance & production.

Previous clients include: Splice events, Broughton Pavilion, England Rugby, Bicester Town Council



One of the most exciting collectives around,

determined to break new ground!

Urban Metro Arts, Rome, Italy.

Portfolio & | Galleries

Creating spectacle & wonder from performers & characters,

to productions & site specific commissions to

community engagement & mentoring.

(Images will enlarge when clicked – hit the back button on your browser to return to this page)

Audience Feedback from “Where’s Alice?” Theatrical Production 2015

Promotional Video for “Speaking With One Voice” MK Council VCSE Research Mapping Commission 2015


An immense project that harnessed

the power of the arts 

Participant, The Visitor

What’s | Happening

Our latest projects

events, shows 

& Happenings.



Fenceless Art November 2018 @ The Centre:MK

Sat 3rd The Moving Statue 1pm | Sun 4th Dawn Iverson Acoustic Set 12pm & The Moving Statue 1pm | Mon 5th Dawn Iverson Acoustic Set 12pm | Fri 9th Living Statues 10am & 12pm | Sat 10th Open Latin Dance Fiesta 12pm & Aristocrat Statue 1pm | Sun 11th Open Latin Dance Fiesta 12pm & Aristocrat Statue 1pm | Tues 13th Dawn Iverson Acoustic Set 12pm & Aristocrat Statue 12pm | Sat 17th Aristocrat Statue 12pm, Dawn Iverson Acoustic Set 12pm, Scott Brown Acoustic Drifter Set 12pm & The Moving Statue 1pm | Sun 18th Dawn Iverson Acoustic Set 12pm, Aristocrat Statue 12pm & The Moving Statue 1pm | Tues 20th Dawn Iverson Acoustic Set 12pm | Fri 23rd Living Doctor Statue 12pm | Sat 24th Scott Brown Acoustic Drifter Set 12pm, Open Latin Dance Fiesta 12pm & Aristocrat Statue 1pm | Sun 25th Dawn Iverson Acoustic Set 12pm & Open Latin Dance Fiesta 12pm | Mon 26th Dawn Iverson Acoustic Set 12pm & Aristocrat Statue 12pm | Tues 27th Aristocrat Statue 12pm | Weds 28th The Moving Statue 1pm | Fri 30th Living Doctor Statue 12pm



Free Circus Workshops August 2018 @ The Centre:MK

Queens Court 8th July (25)

Join our Street Arts Director, Pris for a series of free circus workshops in Queen’s Court, The Centre:MK. No pre-booking required, just turn up and play – try plate spinning, poi, hooping, juggling and a range of other fun circus arts. Designed for children and young people but perfect for the whole family to try!

Monday 6th Aug 12-2pm | Tuesday 7th Aug 12-2pm | Sunday 19th Aug 12-2pm | Saturday 25th Aug 12-2pm | Sunday 26th Aug 12-2pm







Latin Dance Fiesta (Open) Thursday 13th September 2018 @ The Centre:MK


 Join a range of amateur and pro dancers for this fun, open session in Latin Dance. On Thursday 13th September in Queen’s Court, The Centre:MK. No experience necessary and even those with “two left feet” will find it hard to not join the rhythm! A cultural social event in the heart of the city, to the beautiful backdrop of the Queen’s Court Piazza.











Solstice Fire Jam @ The Peace Pagoda

Photo 15-06-2018, 10 42 08Join our Pyrofinalia Fire Collective and associated fire performers for a free evening of light and collaboration at the stunning Peace Pagoda Temple at Willen Lake, Milton Keynes. As dusk falls, the fires are lit and a range of fire artists will take to the performance space. Bring blankets, torches and friends and enjoy this amazing opportunity to see how our artists practice their craft. This event is completely free however we are collecting donations to maintain the Peace Pagoda site and support the Buddhist Temple who look after the space. Wednesday 20th June 2018 from 8pm.














Every Saturday & Sunday from 12pm, we welcome musicians, poets, spoken word artists etc to come and perform in Bar Bar Black Sheep coffee shop. Artists are welcome to busk and promote their works to the customers in store. Just turn up and play! For more details email 




New season of Writer’s Sessions, meeting every 1st & 3rd Wednesday 6pm at Bar Bar Black Sheep. This free and friendly group is open to all writers from all genres, levels of experience and interests. The only barrier, is the length of the page! Share ideas, get feedback and work on your writing in an inclusive and creative environment. For more details email



homophobia-gay-friendlyQ:OFFEE (LGBTQ SOCIAL EVENING)

Every 2nd Thursday of Month from 8:00pm onwards at Bar Bar Black Sheep Coffee House, come and grab a cup of coffee and meet new people in a relaxed, inclusive and “safe” space. This is the only LGBTQ event of this kind in Milton Keynes. Ditch the apps/online Worlds for some time out to connect, in person, over a cuppa.



A welcoming meet up at Bar Bar Black Sheep Coffee House to discuss the latest book of choice over a cuppa (or glass of wine). The group will decide each following book to be discussed & meet up every 6 weeks. Open to all – Contact  for more information


201109-coffeecozyThread Thread Wine

Our weekly handy crafts meet up at Bar Bar Black Sheep every Wednesday from 7:30pm. Come along with individual sewing and craft projects or work with others on something new. With plenty of years of experience amongst the group, you will be able to pick up tips, learn new skills and get inspired. This group is free to attend and all abilities are welcome.




28575813_1191248637671837_7725596800035828890_nMK Cannabis Social Club

TheMilton Keynes Cannabis Social Club, is a voluntary and community group dedicated to exploring Cannabis Reform, discussing health and wellbeing topics as well as providing members with a safe space to discuss issues and gain advice, guidance and support on the medical and wellbeing uses for cannabis. The group meets every first Thursday of the month at 7pm at Bar Bar Black Sheep Coffee Shop. For more information please contact



22406447_890997281064406_1037378008167441656_nErnest and the Wolf (Storytelling Event)

Join professional story teller, Lynette Hill for this free performance at Bar Bar Black Sheep on Saturday 12th May at 2pm. Hill is a published author delivering inthralling story telling events and sessions, grab a cuppa and enjoy exciting stories.



Exhibitions & Art Shows at

Bar Bar Black Sheep


Trigger Warning Friday 18th May 2018


There There performance company and Open University lecturer, Agnes Czajka and Counterpoints Arts are joining forces, and coming to Bar Bar Black Sheep to deliver a day of art and discussions on migration. The day will fuse the participatory installation, Trigger Warning with a Learning Lab disseminating identity, belonging, ‘integration’ and xenophobia in Milton Keynes. Trigger Warning contests immigrant stereotypes; hacked village fête-style games, such as ‘Hook-a-Job’, ‘Passport in a Bucket’, ‘Wheel of Benefits’, and ‘NHS photo banner’ depict and denounce deceitful Eastern European clichés. Audiences of all passports are encouraged to exchange their experiences of immigration, against a backdrop of deceptively light entertainment. By playing the games, the audience experiences the life of a typical immigrant as imagined by the British media over the last decade: the job-stealing, benefits-scrounging, non-integrated Eastern European. Devised by There There, a 50% Serbian, 50% Romanian performance duo, Trigger Warning will be invigilated by a group of local Eastern Europeans of different professional, economic and generational experiences, making room for a wider, nuanced conversation on integration and exclusion. The Learning Lab, led by Agnes Czajka, will bring together local community members, artists and academics, and pepper the day with insightful views on local migration. The conversation is open to all – come for coffee, stay for art and debate. — Trigger Warning is part of Who Are We?, a three year project running 2017 – 2019, in collaboration with Tate Exchange, Tate Modern. Game Design: Naomi Kuyck-Cohen and Universal Design Studios Graphic design: Paulina Klapetek

JUNE – DAVID ELLARD (Launch Event: Saturday 9th June @ 7:30pm)

BarBar - Exhibition Sample JPGs-2In this exhibition Ellard showcases his love of classical street photography in the tradition of Magnum photographers such as Elliott Erwitt.  The images look to convey connection, humour and recognition of the human condition. Every shot in the exhibition was taken while travelling outside of the United Kingdom (can you guess the cities or countries?)  Says Ellard: “There is something about the Stranger’s Eye that intrigues and inspires me.  I find a different energy, a different approach and connection to cities outside of the UK that I don’t know so well.  The sense of anonymity, the sense of wonder, and the sense of difference all combined to produce these images.


AUGUST – TIMOTHY B LAYDEN (Launch Event: Friday 3rd August @ 7:00pm)

22728886_10155909513949612_4637647000586549825_nOriginally from Seattle, Layden has lived in Wolverton, Milton Keynes since 2017. Previously he lived, studied, taught, produced and exhibited art around the world: working with collectives, maintaining a personal art practice and being involved in a range of socially engaged projects working with diverse groups in creative endeavours. He received a doctorate in Fine Art from the University of Barcelona, where he studied synaesthesia and the influence of sound on visual art. He experiences a form of synaesthesia that causes him a visual kinaesthetic sensory response of moving shapes with sounds. He uses this experience to inform his visual art, writing and sound art practices, which are also influenced by his love of surrealism. He will be exhibiting a series of visual art works from the 1st to the 31st of August 2018.


SEPTEMBER – MARCUS EAMES (Launch Event: Friday 7th September @ 7:30pm)

moose cannonFor all of his life, Eames has carried a passion for wildlife and conservation, growing up around animals from a young age, he believes Mother Nature is a magical thing, whilst humans all too often take it for granted. After travelling the World working with rescued animals, Eames returned to the UK to share his love of these beautiful creatures, focusing on their personality traits and characteristics; and the profound impact his travels have had on his practice.


OCTOBER – JOHN ESCO (Launch Event: Friday 5th October @ 7:30pm)

john.escoEsco has always been fascinated by the concept of imaging, irrespective of medium, technique or purpose. Through his teen years and then later, in adulthood, he experimented with various techniques and applications such as sketching, painting and drawing. Since discovering photography, about 13 years ago, he has completely and hopelessly fallen in love with it, continually looking to capture the fabric of life through the gaping lenses of his camera.



NOVEMBER – OSCAR BALDWIN (Launch Event: Saturday 3rd November @ –pm)

titian-bacchus-and-ariadne-by-oscar-baldwin-hdBaldwin is an artist and independent animator from Northampton. Baldwin’s work deals with the themes of Nature vs Technology. Mixing modern cutting edge methods and styles with traditional draftsmanship skill, creating remarkably original and engaging work that appeals to those with modern and/or traditional sensibilities. In his animation work he combines traditional drawing and computer graphics, and uses seemingly lowbrow entertainment genres like action/adventure and comedy as a vehicle to communicate philosophical and satirical ideas to a wide audience. His philosophy of beauty in art is; that in order for a piece of work to be beautiful it must perfectly balance the principles of control and spontaneity.


DECEMBER – DAVID ELLARD (R) (Launch Event: –)


Something special happens when

the Black Sheep come to town!

Corporate Client, Event Management

Bar Bar|Black Sheep

An award winning little arts bar hideaway located at 16 The Square, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5DG

Born out of extensive consultation with our local community, part funded by a crowd funding campaign, Bar Bar is a social enterprise coffee house, bar and gallery. Regenerated from a Victorian shop front, in the heart of Wolverton’s town square. Serving fresh, local produce and above fair-trade coffee, as well as spirits, wines and beers. We provide a welcome break from the “flock”. Grab a quick cup on the go or stay for a while and enjoy good company, good drinks, good art and good vibes.

Made In MK awards by OneMK - Pic Andy Handley

OneMK Best Community Project Award 2016

OneMK Outstanding Contribution Award 2016



Opening Hours

(These are general business hours, later openings are dependent on groups/events see advertisements)

Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00

Sat 10:00-16:00


+44 (0)1908 316856





Suspended Coffee & Community Investment

suspended_coffee_logo_vertical-e1449921461407Bar Bar is pleased to be part of the suspended coffee movement. Customers can purchase any item on our menu for themselves as well as post a “suspended” item for those in need, homeless or on low income to claim. At the end of each financial year, Bar Bar places all its surplus into a community account and local people can apply for seed funding to setup their own positive initiatives and projects. This means whether you just pop in for a quick espresso or stay a while with a glass of wine, you will be supporting grass roots community projects – we’re sure your coffee will taste even better with that in mind!


















College Tutor

Pyrofinalia & | M.K.S.A.N

Pyrofinalia is a collective of Fire Performers, Jugglers, Aerialists and Circus Acts, including the odd Side Show Spectacle. Working in the public realm to animate and “set light” to unusual spaces. Through site specific commissions, commercial/corporate contracts and general public and community events, we design stunning performances to excite, entertain and intrigue. We are also available for individual/private hire.

Some examples of Pyrofinalia’s work are below, including the music video for “Angel” by The Hallows (released June 2017).

For more information contact Sian (Pyrofinalia & Fenceless Artistic Director)


MKSAN (MK Street Artists Network)

The MKSAN is our premier Street Arts Social Enterprise, delivering varied projects, events and performances including “Fenceless Art”(ongoing Busking programme) based in Central Milton Keynes. After a successful month’s research and development (August 2016), The Centre:MK have commissioned Black Sheep to animate key sites around the city’s main commercial district throughout. The Fenceless Art programme will engage many different street and performance artists, working with volunteers and new/emerging artists, to showcase a wide variety of diverse arts and cultural activity. As a Social Enterprise, this programme will enable us to engage more artists/practitioners as well as setup and facilitate meaningful and relevant experiences for people to work in the creative industries.

#Fencelessart #BuskingMK #MK50 #CultureMK #MKSAN




Turning Ordinary Spaces into Extraordinary Playgrounds



Create | With Us

Vacancies, Opportunities & Training Programmes

MKSAN (Milton Keynes Street Arts Network): Street/Performance Artists & Buskers

Closing Date: Ongoing Monthly (Rotating Pool Opportunities)

Location: Central Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, South East UK

Part time: (2hr Performance Sessions – available 7 days a week)

Salary: Dependent on Artist(s)/Act (Commissioned and/or Busking & Expenses Only)

Combined Arts, Dance, Interdisciplinary Arts, Theatre, Street Arts

Black Sheep Collective CIC is a Social Enterprise committed to supporting the development of a thriving cultural scene, artistic opportunities for new and emerging artists and providing platforms for established artists to work in the public realm, often in unconventional ways. We are currently looking to expand our pool of freelance street artists and performers available to work in Central Milton Keynes. There are several ways Artists can engage, Busking (all licensing is provided FOC and performers can generate their own funds); Commissioned site specific performance work (Commissions will be made directly to artists); and Scratch Performers (expenses only) for artists who do not wish to generate funds through busking but are looking for a platform to trial new works in the Public Realm. We are particularly keen to hear from self contained, stand alone performers and artists, experienced in working in the public realm. Object manipulation, clown, statue, puppetry (including human puppetry), physical performance, character(s) and “larger than life” spectacles welcome as well as general busking artists and scratch performers looking to trail new works in a truly unique environment.

All Artists/Performers will receive the appropriate licensing and security checks FOC. Artists should contact Sian on the details below, introducing their work and providing any links or media files (Mp3, Social Media Platforms and Websites).

To discuss this opportunity or to apply, please contact 01908 316856

Bar Bar Black Sheep Staff

Closing Date: Thursday 15th November 2018 5pm.

Location: 16 The Square, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5DG

Part time: Min. 20hrs per week (2 positions available)

Salary: Starting Rate £8.00 per hour

The Black Sheep Collective is looking for two part-time barista, shop & community hub assistants (we’re not fans of “titles” – we want to work with you!) to start late November / beginning December 2018.

Bar Bar Black Sheep is a Social Enterprise Coffee Shop and Creative Community Space located on the Town Square in Wolverton, MK. It was setup in March 2016 after a crowd funding campaign. These roots are very important to us, the community initiated the space and we want them to remain at the very heart of its development, use and programming.

As a Social Enterprise, all surplus/profits are directly reinvested into community initiatives, activities, events and programmes that directly benefit people in the local area as well as address several social issues (Inc. Homelessness, Loneliness, Cultural Barriers and Social Exclusion).

Working at Bar Bar Black Sheep involves so much more than just Coffee!!! We are seeking individuals who really want to progress the role and develop it into something they are proud of and can take ownership of. This includes organising and setting up groups, supporting local volunteers/initiatives to access and use the space. Co-ordination of gallery shows/exhibitions, events and activities all designed to engage the wider community in new and imaginative ways.

The ideal candidate will have/be,

  • a year or more of barista experience

  • accurate cash handling skills

  • awesome time management & workplace efficiency

  • a strong commitment to hospitality & community

  • punctual & well-presented

  • interest/skills in Social Enterprise, Community Engagement/Investment & Social Values

  • local to the area of Wolverton / Milton Keynes

  • Volunteering experience(s)

  • Creative approach

  • Trustworthy, self-motivating, reliable and team minded

    Duties will include, (but not limited to)

  • Coffee Shop Sales Assistant

  • Customer care

  • Till operation & Food and Drink prep

  • Group organising/hosting

  • Social Media/Marketing duties

  • Stock management

  • Programming of activity and events

  • Administrative tasks

    If this sounds like you, then please send a covering letter introducing yourself, your interests/experience, your understanding of Social Enterprise/Community Engagement and why you feel you would be suited to join the Black Sheep Collective. Please also attach a copy of your most recent CV.

    Some questions you may wish to cover in your letter,

  • What experience do you have of community engagement/programming?

  • What is your understanding/knowledge/experience of Social Enterprise?

  • What do you think “adds” to a customers’ experience of an independent coffee shop? How would you achieve this?

  • What Social Issues are you interested in?

  • The Black Sheep Collective is powered by creative, new and vibrant thinking, please tell us about any experiences of progressing or changing a previous “role” to make a difference or perhaps you have some examples of collaborative work with others that make a noticeable change?

  • If you have experience of running/working in community focused events – tell us more!

    Successful applicants must be available for interview on Monday 19th November 2018.

    Please send your application to:

    Bar Bar Black Sheep, 16 The Square, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, MK12 5JD

NEW Volunteering programme coming soon!

We are delighted to announce that the Big Lottery’s Awards for All programme has funded a new volunteering initiative at Black Sheep Collective. Working with a range of creative partners, we will be launching a catalogue of volunteering opportunities across the sector in Milton Keynes (and some further afield). This unique programme will provide people with the opportunity to gain vital industry standard experience, skills, knowledge and qualifications/accreditations as well as participate in exciting, professional and live creative environments. More details to follow in Spring 2018.


Contact | Us

Get In Touch

let’s have a chat

  • 16 The Square
    Milton Keynes
    MK12 5DG
  • Phone:
    +44 (0)1908 316856
    +44 (0)1908 411185
  • Mon-Fri: 09:00 → 18:00
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