Culture

Open Weekend Returns!

For four days in 2022, Open Weekend will return!  Open Weekend, Buckinghamshire’s celebration of creativity and culture, will take place 28th-31st July.

The first ever Open Weekend event for Buckinghamshire took place in July 2021.  Over four days Buckinghamshire residents took part in over 70 creative and cultural activities across the county.  Open Weekend was co-ordinated by Buckinghamshire Culture in partnership with Buckinghamshire Council.

In 2021, activities were themed to stories and storytelling and included literary and heritage walks, performances, open days, trails, concerts, film screenings, exhibitions and story-telling events.  There were opportunities to undertake creative activities at home and online.  Over 3,500 people took part in activities.

In light of the enjoyment and support that the Open Weekend event received in 2021, we are extremely pleased to announce that in 2022 Buckinghamshire Culture and Buckinghamshire Council will be teaming up to run Open Weekend again.  The dates for 2022 include Buckinghamshire Day on 29th July.

The theme for 2022 Open Weekend events will be ‘trees and green’ building on the celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee in June.  We’ve shared a few starting points for ideas below – you might be inspired by:

  • A local tree, wood, park or garden – telling stories, delivering creative workshops, outdoor performance, or transforming spaces
  • Stories about trees – encouraging people to think about our landscape heritage, exploring folk tales, sharing stories and memories linked to trees
  • The environment and green agenda – encouraging people to think about re-use, recycling and sustainability
  • The colour green itself – monochrome painting workshops, nature inspired creativity, green objects from collections to base activities around.

We encourage organisations and groups across the county to start thinking about creative and cultural events and activities they could run in Buckinghamshire over the Open Weekend.  Submissions will open in April. 

Bill Morris, Buckinghamshire Culture Co-Chair said: “It is brilliant to be bringing Open Weekend back for 2022 – the first event in 2021 was a bit of an experiment, but we feel it was a real success and we have heard how much enjoyment people got from it.  It is also great to hear how many event contributors enjoyed taking part and being involved in something bigger than themselves.”

We will be publishing the Open Weekend timeline on our website soon and we are excited to see how many people will take part this year!

This programme is supported through funding from Buckinghamshire Council and Rothschild Foundation. 

Look out for Open Weekend updates on our website: www.buckinghamshireculture.org / Twitter: @BucksCulture / Instagram: @Bucks_Culture.  We’ll be using the #BucksOpenWeekend for Open Weekend content.

Culture

Opportunity: Project Co-ordinator

We are hiring text with image of umbrellas

Buckinghamshire Culture is excited to be able to share this opportunity to join our small team.

We are looking for a Project Co-ordinator who can help us steer and grow our organisation, help develop new projects that benefit Buckinghamshire residents and be part of implementing the Buckinghamshire Cultural Strategy. Working with a wide range of partners and stakeholders across the county to build new initiatives and develop the creative and cultural offer, this role is perfect for a creative and strategic self-starter with lots of ideas. This role provides a great opportunity to join a new charity and help to shape it.

The Buckinghamshire Culture Project Co-ordinator will support projects and initiatives relating to Buckinghamshire Culture’s business including delivery of the Cultural Strategy.  The Project Co-ordinator will assist with organisational, financial, programme and commissioning (of work and services) activities.  Taking a proactive approach, they will develop and deliver specific projects and programmes, in particular projects to empower under-served groups and communities through creativity and culture.  A collaborative working relationship will need to be developed and maintained with all stakeholders and partners.  

This is a part time, fixed term, employed role until December 2024.

The role will be based at Buckinghamshire New University’s High Wycombe campus, with home-working as appropriate.

The full Job Description is available here:

To apply, please submit:

  • A letter of application outlining how your skills and experience and approach align to the Job Description, Values and Person Specification – this can be written (no more than 2 A4 pages), filmed or audio recorded. If filmed or audio recorded and files are large, please submit using WeTransfer, Dropbox or similar.
  • Your CV
  • Details of 2 referees.

Applications should be sent to: Lallie@buckinghamshireculture.org

Deadline for applications: 21st February 2022, 5pm

Interviews: 2nd/3rd March 2022.

Culture

Would you like to be a Trustee?

Having registered as a charity a few months ago, Buckinghamshire Culture is now ready to build a Board of Trustees to guide and steer the organisation.

We are seeking people from varied backgrounds, and who come with diverse experiences, able to demonstrate knowledge or experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Running creative/cultural organisation(s) or projects
  • Practicing as an artist or creative
  • Fundraising
  • Buckinghamshire social context
  • Views and perspectives of children and young people
  • Legal / Human Resources
  • Accountancy.

To find out more, and for details of how to apply please take a look at our Trustee Pack:

Deadline for expressions of interest: 17th January 2022, 5pm.

We are very happy to receive expressions if interest as written statements, voice recordings or videos (for the latter two formats please send via Dropbox or Wetransfer) alongside a current and relevant CV.

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.

Culture

Story Packs – Activities for School and Home

Our talented artists have created Story-themed packs for students to try in the class room, or at home. There are making and drawing activities, poetry activities and dance activities to try.

You can download the activities here:

You can share pictures of your creations on social media using #SummerOfStories

Or via our Story Form on our website: www.buckinghamshireculture.org/Summer-Of-Stories

You can also learn more about our project and how our artists are taking inspiration from stories shared by people across Buckinghamshire on our website.

Culture

Summer of Stories Filmmaker

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.

Deadline for expressions of interest: 5pm, 10 June 2021

Culture

New Leadership Programme to help Bucks cultural professionals build back better

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.

Culture

What is your favourite Buckinghamshire object?

Buckinghamshire Culture is inviting us all to use the time of lockdown to reflect on what makes our county unique and such a special place to live.  Today it launches a public, county-wide search for the 100 Objects that best define Buckinghamshire and celebrate its story.  A past Prime Minister, an Olympic Gold Medallist, leading broadcasters, business, arts and political leaders – all living in Bucks – have already made their choices – now it’s your turn.  Find out what Denise Lewis, Tony and Cherie Blair, Gabby Logan, Sir Clive Woodward, Dr Michael Mosely and Rachael Shimmin all chose and nominate your own objects here: www.buckinghamshireculture.org/bucks-in-100-objects

Buckinghamshire has an amazing collection of artefacts dating back over 300,000 years held in Museums, stores, archives, National Trust properties, sports venues, landscapes and gardens across the county.  Taken together these objects tell the story of Buckinghamshire.  And there are even more objects which help to define us and tell our story that are not part of these collections – many of these might be sitting in our high streets, riverbanks or in people’s work places, or even our hospitals. 

This online campaign is a response to Covid-19, but also feeds into a larger project idea to develop the story of Bucks in 100 Objects.  Eventually, we will create an exhibition, publication, county trails and a website sharing the wonderful objects and heritage that can be found across Bucks.  But for now, we want to use this idea to develop connection, a sense of community and local pride.  In response to Lockdown, we want to start the process of sharing, discussing and nominating objects online – via social media.  This is chance to share favourite objects and aspects of Buckinghamshire’s history, as well as what you like about living here, and the reasons that you are proud of Bucks.

Bill Morris, Buckinghamshire Culture Co-Chair said:

The difficult times we’re all coping with offer us the opportunity to reflect on where we live.  And most of us would agree that we’re extremely fortunate to be here in Buckinghamshire.  But what makes it so special, and how can we best tell its story?  We want you all to help define 100 Objects from around the county that sum up what Bucks and its people stand for.

To follow the campaign, see #Bucks100 on Twitter and Instagram and our growing list of nominations on our website: www.buckinghamshireculture.org/bucks-in-100-objects

If you want to nominate an object, please see the information below for how to submit an object for inclusion.

If you have an object that you wish to nominate:

Email nominations directly to: culture@buckscountymuseum.org – each nomination must include: –        

  • An image or a video of the object that you feel is important to Buckinghamshire’s story – ideally images should be 1080 x 1920 pixels and no bigger than 4MB,
  • Up to 500 words providing a description of the object, what Buckinghamshire means to you, and why this object is important, this will be posted on our website with your object image. 

To be considered as one of the 100 objects, nominations must be for: –

  • Physical objects within Bucks,
  • Objects that hold some kind of heritage, cultural or community value,
  • Be available to be photographed/videoed if not actually on display
  • Objects must be suitable for people all ages.

For more information, or for a document you can share with others, please see the call out below:

Buckinghamshire Culture is a new cultural partnership formed to drive forward the Cultural Strategy for the county, we aim to work together with the sector and stakeholders to shape, build and celebrate a bright cultural future for Buckinghamshire.  This micro-project is part of much bigger plans to develop a range of county-wide creative and cultural projects for Buckinghamshire as part of the Buckinghamshire Cultural Strategy. 

Culture

Buckinghamshire community encouraged to share lockdown stories

To connect residents across Buckinghamshire during these challenging times, the University of Buckingham and Buckinghamshire Culture have teamed up to create ‘Lockdown Stories’ – a website where county residents can share their thoughts and experiences. 

‘Lockdown Stories’ is designed to help individuals tell their story, explore their creativity and build connections. Stories are posted online at Buckingham.news and shared on social media using the hashtag #lockdownstories.

Submissions so far have included, a poem from the Bard of Buckingham, Dean Jones, a comical left-field view of isolation, an example of how you can create a happy moods board and a virtual walk. Others have chosen to film activities such as reading their favourite poems or share the world from their dog’s perspective. There’s also the collaborative story, ‘Beginnings’, which encourages readers to write the next chapter themselves before letting the next person continue the tale.

The intention is to celebrate the power of stories and storytelling as ways to escape and relax, fire imaginations, make sense of the world, pass on information and traditions, share experiences, feel accepted and valued, and make new connections.

This micro-project is part of much bigger plans to develop a Storytelling Festival for Buckinghamshire as part of the Buckinghamshire Cultural Strategy. Storytelling is a theme that has long been associated with the area with several literary events already taking place in Buckinghamshire, including the Buckingham Literary Festival and WhizzfizzFest, Working with these events, Buckinghamshire Culture is planning to create a Storytelling Festival for 2022 that embraces the whole county.

The Storytelling Festival will explore storytelling in all its forms, and will include different types of arts and creative opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to experience, share and participate in stories and storytelling. The festival had originally been planned for 2021, however due to the pandemic the decision was taken to delay the first event.

Julius Weinberg, Buckinghamshire Culture Co-Chair said: ‘We are sad that our plans to develop a Festival have had to be delayed due to Covid-19, but we are really excited to work with the University of Buckingham to offer this opportunity to connect people online through creativity and stories – we cannot wait to see what people create’

Roger Perkins, Head of Journalism at the University of Buckingham adds, ‘Lockdown Stories offers a chance for each of us to show some solidarity with each other at a particularly difficult time. It’s the perfect expression of citizen journalism in the breadth of its coverage. It’ll also provide a record of what we were doing and how we were feeling for future generations.’ 

If you would like to submit your story please email Camilla.zingari@buckingham.ac.uk.  Stories can be submitted as video, film, voice recording, images, text (please note: stories must be suitable for audiences of all ages).  If you need some prompts to fire your imagination and creativity, your story might be inspired by: seeing something or someone in a new light, an unexpected ‘silver lining’ from your isolation, or an old memory or story given a new life.