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.

Culture, Uncategorized

Co-Chairs for the Cultural Partnership

Buckinghamshire Culture, the cultural partnership being set up to energise and harness creative and cultural opportunities in Bucks, is pleased to announce the appointment of two Co-Chairs.  Bill Morris LVO and Professor Julius Weinberg will work together to lead the partnership, driving forward the Cultural Strategy and Action Plan, and working closely with the Bucks Cultural Outreach Officer.  These two Co-Chairs are eminently skilled and bring a great deal of experience to the partnership. 

From 2006-2013 Bill led the team delivering the London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and Torch Relays.  Bill created the strategy and architecture for the Cultural Olympiad and was responsible for the Education team producing the “Get Set” education programme and the UK contribution to the “International Inspiration” project.  Bill now advises the International Olympic Committee and other worldwide clients in major events and complex cultural projects.  He is an Independent Advisor for Government, a Director/Trustee of an annual UK landmark event, a trustee of a national art/educational organisation and an international ambassador for a grant-giving charity from his base in Buckinghamshire. 

Julius is the Chair of Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills), the inspector of services that care for children and young people and provide education and skills for learners.  Prior to this he was Vice-Chancellor and President of Kingston University, London from 2011-2017.  Julius qualified in medicine from the University of Oxford and has completed training as a physician in infectious diseases, general medicine and public health medicine.  As a clinician, he worked within the NHS and as a consultant/lecturer in Zimbabwe.  He worked for the World Health Organization in Bosnia and was head of epidemiology programmes for the UK Public Health Laboratory Service (now the HPA).  He has over 70 papers published and has edited books and book chapters.  He throws pots in his spare time and lives in the South of Buckinghamshire. 

Over the last two years Buckinghamshire County Council has been working with partners across the county to develop a new cultural strategy for Buckinghamshire.  This Buckinghamshire Cultural Strategy has been created in response to consultation exploring the role culture can play in shaping Buckinghamshire and how the sector can work together to support the vibrancy, resilience and ambition of Buckinghamshire’s culture.  Together the Co-Chairs will use their skills and experience to support the creative and cultural sector to make the most of the opportunities available; forging new partnerships, developing innovative projects and building a critical mass of activity across Bucks. 

“As a supporter of the Bucks Cultural Strategy the Foundation is delighted that this important initiative will gain from the expertise and vision of both Bill and Julius.  As a member of the cultural partnership I look forward to working alongside them to ensure that the impact of the Bucks Cultural Strategy is felt far and wide across the county.” 

Ellie Stout, Head of Grants, Rothschild Foundation

Everyone involved in development of the Buckinghamshire Cultural Strategy and Buckinghamshire Culture would like to share their thanks to Milly Soames for being a warm and passionate interim Chair. 

The Bucks Cultural Outreach Officer post has been funded by Rothschild Foundation, with seed funding from Bucks County Council.  Arts Council England are supporting development of the Cultural Strategy and partnership.