Culture

Stories of happiness at the heart of Bucks

Child at Story Stall

Residents are invited to share their tales of happiness, as the pop-up Story Stall project looks back and reflects on their successful summer of collecting stories from around Buckinghamshire.

Over the summer, the Story Stall toured the county – visiting events, markets, town centres and parks. The stall, designed by lead artist Tom Cross, encouraged people to share their stories of happiness through conversations and postcards.

Now, the Story Project artists want to invite people back to share their collective stories and experience the artists’ creative responses. The project is holding four events around the county – creating a ‘Stories of Happiness’ pop-up experience. The experience brings together a variety of displays to engage with, fun activities to do, performances to watch and mini workshops to attend too.

Bucks residents can hear live spoken word, have a go at making bunting, collect Story badges, or explore the stories of other residents.

Stories of Happiness pop-up dates

  • Friday 5 November – High Wycombe Museum unit in Eden Shopping Centre, 2-5pm
  • Saturday 6 November – Buckingham Library, 10am-1pm
  • Thursday 25 November – Elgiva Theatre in Chesham, 3-7pm
  • Friday 26 November – Petri Dish in Aylesbury, 2-5pm

No need to book, just turn up.

Summer of Stories artist sharing event

The Stories of Happiness experience will reflect on the words of happiness shared earlier this year – which included spending time with friends and family, embracing local nature and wildlife, and feeling a sense of community and belonging.

Clive Harriss, Cabinet Member Culture and Leisure, said:

“I am delighted to see how our community came together to share their stories of happiness during these difficult and challenging times. I am sure the new pop-up event will encourage people to spread the word of their happiness even further and will also inspire people to keep visiting our wonderful villages, towns and high streets.”

Tom Cross, the Story Stall lead artist, added:

“It has been amazing talking to so many people across Buckinghamshire. Of course, not everyone is happy all the time, but in our conversations, we have managed to tease out lots of brilliant things about Bucks that do make people happy – it’s great to see people’s faces light up when they remember something or somewhere that makes them really happy.”

The Story Stall programme has been created by Buckinghamshire Culture and Buckinghamshire Council, and is supported by public funding by Arts Council England, and funding from Buckinghamshire Council, Heart of Bucks and Rothschild Foundation. Part-funding for the Stories of Happiness events has been provided by Buckinghamshire Council through the European Regional Development Fund – namely the Welcome Back Fund (WBF). The WBF fund is helping events and animations across the county to encourage people back to our towns and high streets.

For more information and to see the programme for each event, please visit: www.buckinghamshireculture.org/Summer-of-Stories or see #SummerofStories on Instagram and Twitter.