Action4Youth and Buckinghamshire Culture wish to appoint an artist/creative/collective specialising in photography/moving image to work with 12-18 year olds attending The Junction Youth Hub in High Wycombe. We are seeking an artist capable of inspiring young people and encouraging them to get involved and create and shape new work together or individually. We want to see the group creating a project output that is relevant to them and their peers (this could be an exhibition, film screening, mini festival, open day, performance etc).
This Autumn, Action4Youth will launch their new youth hub, The Junction at High Wycombe Library. Action4Youth aim to offer a range of creative and cultural opportunities through a programme designed to introduce more young people to arts, culture and heritage.
Buckinghamshire’s ‘Summer of Stories’ is well and truly underway – but there’s still time for you to get involved!
This summer, Buckinghamshire Culture and Buckinghamshire Council have been working together to create a Summer of Stories, focusing on a theme of ‘stories of happiness’. The ‘Story Stall’ is part of this multi-stranded project aiming to engage people across Buckinghamshire with stories and creativity. Inspired by our strong literary heritage this project will result in animation of town centres, activity supporting wellbeing, enhancing quality of life and maintaining connection as part of wider Covid recovery. Residents of Buckinghamshire have been invited to share and celebrate their personal stories, and those of the county itself, through conversations with artists, or via ‘Story Postcards’ at artist-led pop-up stalls across the county in markets and local high streets and at various cultural and library locations.
These stalls have been present at various events throughout the summer, starting with Whizzfizzfest on the 26th June and moving around the county since then, engaging with lots of different people from the local community – and the stories told have been just as diverse as the people telling them!
One resident recounted a tale of a man who had turned an old mattress into a paddle board and was happily rowing himself down the canal, whilst another resident reflected on the fact that the pandemic had meant he was able to get out every morning to take his dog for a walk, enjoying the local parks around the county, and being able to make it home for dinner with his 12 year old son every evening – something he had never been able to do before then.
Other recurring themes within people’s stories of happiness and tales of Buckinghamshire included a love for the red kites that circle our skies, for woodlands and parks and the canal in Aylesbury.
When summer fades, these local stories will not be forgotten; the artists who collected them will create a pop-up storytelling structure that will visit town centres around Buckinghamshire in the early Autumn – sharing a collective story of the county.
It’s not too late to get involved with the Summer of Stories! If you would like to get involved and share a story of happiness, or a story of Buckinghamshire, you can find the final few pop-up stalls in the following locations:
Winslow Market on 25th August, 8:30am-2pm
Live in the Park, Aqua Vale Park, Aylesbury on 28th August, 9am-5:30pm
Black Park, Wexham on 29th August, 10am-4pm
Beaconsfield Country Fair, Beaconsfield on 30th August, 9:30am-5pm
Or pick up a postcard from one of our participating libraries or cultural organisations. There is the option to submit a story on our website, or find out more on social media using #SummerofStories.
Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Clive Harriss, said:
“The Summer of Stories has been a great way of engaging with the wider community and encouraging people to come together and share good news during what has been a difficult 18 months. I’m sure the artists have heard plenty of heart-warming stories about Buckinghamshire and it’s residents, and I look forward to seeing the final structure created by the artists in the Autumn!”
With thanks to an exciting competition and partnership with Buckinghamshire New University, Buckinghamshire Culture is now able to unveil its new logo!
Students from BNU’s BA (Hons) Graphic Design and BA (Hons) Creative Advertising courses were challenged to design a visual identity for Buckinghamshire Culture, the county’s emerging cultural partnership. The competition judging panel included design heavyweights, Frances and John Sorrell, as well as the Buckinghamshire Culture Co-Chairs, and received presentations from 5 students/student groups.
The judges were extremely impressed with the amount of work and passion that the students had put into their proposals, and found it hard to pick a winner. In the end, the panel decided to ask two of the student duos to work together to progress a set of exciting marketing ideas and a logo incorporating the idea of ‘culture bursting out of the box’. With a bit of help from a local graphic designer, these ideas have now been turned into a logo for the organisation itself, and a linked logo that will be used to promote Open Weekend, 22-25 July.
The Open Weekend logo also includes our campaigning call of ‘Buckinghamshire for Culture’, in support of our aim to celebrate and showcase the wealth and breadth of creative and cultural activity taking place in Buckinghamshire. The first Bucks Open Weekend will showcase story-themed creative and cultural activity for the public to enjoy, and we hope to see the event return annually.
Bill Morris, Buckinghamshire Culture Co-Chair said: ‘Working with the University in this way has been great! We are extremely thankful to Charlotte Ketteridge, Caitlin Martin, Tom Huianu and Lily Le Moine for all their hard work and ideas, as well as Wes Butler, who helped to produce the final versions. We look forward to rolling these out and uniting our cultural sector with the campaign call ‘Buckinghamshire for Culture!’’
Julius Weinberg, Buckinghamshire Culture Co-Chair said: “We are so pleased we are to have worked with students from one of Buckinghamshire’s Universities, it shows that we are right to think of the County as a place with lots of creative talent.”
Professor Sri-Kartini Leet, Head of School for Art, Design and Performance at Buckinghamshire New University adds, ‘It has been great to work so closely with Buckinghamshire Culture on this project – a fantastic opportunity for our students to engage with the wider creative sector. I am so proud to have seen our students develop their work and really shine, and greatly appreciative of colleagues who supported them all the way!’
Wes Butler is a local freelance designer – find out more about his work on his website.
Buckinghamshire Culture is seeking expressions of interest from filmmakers able to record, edit and produce a short film to showcase activity delivered as part of our Summer of Stories programme in 2021. Consisting of two major strands, this programme will see activity taking place across Buckinghamshire this summer – through a touring Story Stall and resulting collective showcase, and the Open Weekend over 22-25 July. The Story Stall will be toured by artists who will engage the public in conversations about their stories of happiness in Bucks. The film created will share both the delivery of the programme, as well as the experiences and impact from the point of view of the participants and artists.
Buckinghamshire Culture, Garsington Opera and Resource Productions are pleased to present an online event for the creative and cultural sector sharing digital adaptations and innovative virtual delivery skills and tips.
During the Covid-19 pandemic we have seen creative and cultural organisations innovate, re-frame and develop online content thanks to rapid learning and adaptation. To support those coming back to work, or looking for new ideas for engagement, Buckinghamshire Culture, in partnership with Garsington Opera and Resource Productions, have worked together to develop this online workshop.
This event will focus on digital engagement and will share learning and top tips, as well as first-hand experiences of those delivering online. We aim to take away some of the fear of delivering online for the first time and share tips for those that have some experience already. There will be a creative, participatory element to the session when the group is invited to devise a new Chorus with Garsington Opera’s Richard Taylor and Karen Gillingham, so you can experience online creative engagement first hand and be inspired to try your own version. We will finish with a Q&A and brief panel discussion of what further advice, input, sharing or support attendees would like to see next.
We have curated a programme of speakers from Buckinghamshire and beyond covering a range of topics:
Adapting and pivoting activities for online engagement
Sharing tips for use of digital tools such as Zoom, Whatsapp, Youtube, Google classroom etc
Engaging vulnerable people online
Supporting those with multiple needs or limited experience to engage online
Skills and performance tips for online delivery
Working inclusively online
Opening doors to collections and resources using virtual access
Increasing certain audiences who might prefer online engagement
Working with artists and practitioners in a digital space
Tips for successful online engagement.
This event has been funded by Rothschild Foundation.
Buckinghamshire Culture has commissioned Cultural Associates Oxford to develop and deliver a bespoke leadership programme for the county called Bucks Cultural Leaders. This new online leadership programme and network for leaders and innovators across the creative and cultural sector in Bucks has been designed to respond positively and proactively to the impact of Covid-19, and to support the cultural eco-system of Buckinghamshire at a time of great challenge for the cultural sector.
A multi-faceted programme of leadership sessions, peer mentoring, action research and professional development has been developed by Cultural Associates Oxford, who will bring their own experience and skills to the programme, as well as enlisting the support of external speakers. The programme will begin in February and take place throughout the year until Autumn 2021.
The application process was launched in November 2020 and the panel met just before Christmas to review an impressive collection of applications. 22 innovators and leaders from the Bucks creative and cultural sectors have been offered a place on Bucks Cultural Leaders. The response from our successful applicants has been fantastic and shows that this programme is extremely timely:
That’s brilliant news! Something really positive to look forward to, just at a time when we need to be working collaboratively. I shall get started on my reading and send the bio and pic to you.
Thanks for sending me this good news. After yesterday’s announcement and losing another project to the continued lockdown it was most welcome!
Many thanks and I am delighted to have been accepted on the course! Now for the homework…… Well done in getting this off the ground – its brilliant and much needed.
I’ve had to re-read this a couple of times to check it’s real! I am delighted to have been offered a place and I know I will get so much out of this opportunity. This news has put a spring in my step on a day that was significantly lacking in positivity for obvious reasons.
With warmest wishes and thanks to you and the team that have put this together
Participants on this leadership course represent the breadth of the Bucks creative and cultural sector, including: Amersham Museum, Buckinghamshire Archives, Buckinghamshire Culture, Bucks County Museum, Bucks New University, Buska Video, Chiltern Arts, Chiltern Open Air Museum, Fish Eye Film Fest, Garsington Opera, Milton’s Cottage, National Paralympic Heritage Centre, Obsidian Art, Queens Park Arts Centre, Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Signdance Collective, The Buckinghamshire Craft Guild, The Elgiva, The Theatre Shed, Waddesdon, Wycombe Museum, Wycombe Swan.
A complementary programme of business and cultural development workshops will also be offered to participants, their colleagues and the wider creative and cultural sector to support re-building after the pandemic. These will begin in April 2021 and be announced soon.
Bucks Cultural Leaders has been funded by the Rothschild Foundation, Arts Council England and Buckinghamshire Council.
COG: Cultural Outreach Group (COG) is a peer-to-peer network focused on developing and sharing best practice in respect of audience development, outreach and inclusion activity in cultural organisations. By working together, the members aim to develop their individual and collective ability to engage under-represented audiences and develop sustainable systems for on-going participation and co-production. COG is led by Bucks County Museum and Buckinghamshire Culture, hosted at the Museum.
COG is project funded by Rothschild Foundation which provided funding over three years (Jan 2019-Jan 2022) for a group of 8 cultural partners to test new approaches to inclusive engagement, audience development and participation at cultural venues. The funding enables the Community Outreach Officer at Bucks County Museum to support the 7 other partners to develop new relationships with target audiences and to work with them to programme new pilot activities. This includes funding for annual Sharing Days. Over time this network has grown to include further partners, who attend meetings and training, but are not benefiting from the Outreach Officer support or the pilot activity grants.
Covid-19 has interrupted delivery of COG and the group did not meet between March and October 2020. The group re-convened in November 2020 and re-aligned the project to make the most of the remaining funding period.
We wish to recruit an Inclusion Expert/Group Mentor to support the group to develop their inclusive practice, provide insight into what really good engagement and consultation looks and feels like, and help the partners troubleshoot and review their activities.
Deadline for applications: 5pm, 18th January 2021.
We have created a Christmas Quiz for staff parties, Christmas Zoom meetings, or just a cosy evening in. This quiz has a heritage feel and all of the questions relate to Buckinghamshire.
These questions have been inspired by our ongoing Bucks in 100 Objects project – and if you are feeling brainy, can be completed without looking at the list first. Or if you need a bit of help, take a look at the objects nominated so far here: http://www.buckinghamshireculture.org/bucks-in-100-objects
Let us know how you get on on social media, you can find us on Twitter (@BucksCulture) and Instagram (@bucks_culture).
And if the quiz sparks any ideas for a really important Bucks object, which tells a particular Bucks story, then nominations are still open and we would love to hear from you.
Leaders and innovators from Buckinghamshire’s cultural sector are encouraged to apply for a special leadership network, called Bucks Cultural Leaders, launching in Spring 2021. Buckinghamshire Culture have partnered with Cultural Associates Oxford to offer a free, year-long programme of leadership development and workshops supporting cultural organisations to innovate and respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Rothschild Foundation are funding this programme, with seed funding from Arts Council England and Buckinghamshire Council.
Around 20 creative and cultural professionals will be selected through an application process, to take part in a series of sessions led by Lucy Shaw, Miki Lentin, Pegram Harrison and Maurice Davies. Cultural Associates Oxford will draw on their impressive networks across the creative, cultural, business and higher education sectors to deliver this leadership programme with Buckinghamshire Culture.
Arts and culture have been more important than ever to people across the UK during lockdown – providing connection, enjoyment and distraction at a difficult time. But the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many of our cultural organisations to close, cancel events and activities, put off schools’ visits, and reduce engagement and outreach activities, as organisations struggle to survive. Bucks Cultural Leaders will provide support to help the county’s cultural professionals re-frame their offer and re-engage with the community in the aftermath of the pandemic. This much-needed and timely support aims to ensure that our treasured cultural organisations are with us, and can thrive, into the future.
‘‘We are really looking forward to working on this fantastic new programme to help cultural organisations and leaders in Buckinghamshire re-engage with their audiences. We are all living through a time of monumental change, and for the cultural and creative sectors in Buckinghamshire, this programme offers an incredibly positive opportunity to re-frame, re-think and build new networks for a new future.”
Lucy Shaw, Cultural Associates Oxford Director
This project directly supports the Buckinghamshire Cultural Strategy and will also spearhead an advocacy programme designed to evidence the value of creative and cultural programmes to all parts of people’s lives – including: their physical and mental health, education and skills development, the vibrancy and prosperity of high streets and connection and community. It will also deliver Arts in the Community Training for freelancers, community leaders and artists in 2021.
“At this very strange time, we are really pleased to be able to work with great partners to support our cultural organisations. And that we have been able to put together such a prestigious and high-quality project to support our cultural organisations to get fighting fit for the recovery from Covid, and to show how culture can be part of that recovery.”
Bill Morris, Buckinghamshire Culture Co-Chair
Cultural and creative professionals working in Buckinghamshire can find out more, and how to apply for Bucks Cultural Leaders here.