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PRESS RELEASE – Buckinghamshire Culture Conference ‘Cultural Capital – building it – investing it – spending it’!

We are delighted to announce further programme details for the first Buckinghamshire Culture conference; titled ‘Cultural Capitalbuilding it – investing it – spending it’ to be held on Thursday, 23rd March 2023 at Missenden Abbey conference centre in Great Missenden.

The conference is for everyone in the cultural sector in Buckinghamshire. We hope to attract a broad range of people working in the arts, cultural and heritage sector including individual creatives and freelancers. We aim to broaden horizons – in terms of inspirational projects and partnerships, celebrate good practice and interesting/innovative models as well as define goals and purpose in respect of a county-wise approach to culture and how organisations align with local and national priorities.

Rachael Shimmin, OBE, Chief Executive Officer at Buckinghamshire Council will open the event. Hazel Edwards, Southeast Area Director for Arts Council England will update delegates on ACE’s latest areas of development.

Inspirational keynotes will come from Jenny Sealey, OBE, Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre, and Mark Damazer CBE, Chair of the Board at the Booker Prizes and previously controller of BBC Radio 4. There will be a remote appearance by Dr Michael Mosley with an exclusive film interview about culture, nature and their positive influence on health and wellbeing.

In the afternoon, delegates will have a choice of exciting workshops: Rachel Sharpe Head of Creative Placemaking and Public Programmes at the Royal Shakespeare Company will lead a workshop on placemaking. Other workshops will centre around co-creation, sustainability and wellbeing, storytelling as well as cultural democracy.

We will also have input from some of our partner organisations, who will update us on their latest projects in Buckinghamshire. And, of course, there will be plenty of opportunities to network, meet old friends and make new connections in the beautiful surroundings of Missenden Abbey conference centre.

More information on how to register, prices and the link to the registration can be found on the website: https://buckinghamshireculture.org/cultural-capital-the-buckinghamshire-culture-conference/

Bill Morris, Buckinghamshire Culture Co-Chair explains the idea behind the title: “Cultural capital is gained through experiencing, creating and participating in culture. It celebrates and embraces diversity, heritage and traditions. By increasing our cultural capital, as individuals and as communities we can create and innovate, invigorate solutions to society’s issues, connect our communities, improve health and wellbeing, develop creative industries and contribute to thriving economies.”

Julius Weinberg, Buckinghamshire Culture Co-Chair added: “After what have been a few challenging years, we are looking forward to organising our first large face to face event! It will be great to be in a room together and enjoy the inspiring input from our keynote speakers, as well as embarking on workshop activities that get everyone thinking! “

The conference is supported by Buckinghamshire New University, Buckinghamshire Council, and the Rothschild Foundation.

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Notes to Editors:

Buckinghamshire Culture is the 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. Open Weekend is just one part of wider plans to develop a range of county-wide creative and cultural projects for Buckinghamshire, as part of the Buckinghamshire Cultural Strategy.

Buckinghamshire New University is a leading higher education institution in the county, with state-of-the-art facilities across 3 campuses in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Uxbridge. BNU offers an extensive range of industry-focused courses, ranking in the top five for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2022. The University is represented on the board of Buckinghamshire Culture and supports the cultural partnerships work in a number of ways.

The Rothschild Foundation is a charity that supports arts and heritage, the environment, education and social welfare by awarding grants, fostering dialogue and debate, and through our support of Waddesdon Manor. Support for arts and cultural organisations is made available through our Strategic Fund

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Co-commission Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Buckinghamshire Culture – Autumn – Kerry Lemon

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Buckinghamshire Culture unveiled a new permanent art installation near the Emergency Department at Stoke Mandeville Hospital on Thursday 8 December 2022.

The two organisations, funded by Rothschild Foundation and Buckinghamshire Council, co-commissioned artist Kerry Lemon to use the creative arts to support wellbeing by working with people in a healthcare setting. The project was also designed to show pride in Buckinghamshire and the BHT community, which led Kerry to research tree varieties native to the county.

The artwork for the project was created through three workshops led by Kerry and her mentee, BNU fine art student Ella Woodcock. Patients from the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC), Care of the Elderly and the Children’s wards, as well as staff from across the Trust were invited to create colourful works of art inspired by, and using materials from, trees in the local area and particularly those in Horatio’s Garden at the NSIC. Their creations were then curated by Kerry for the final art installation.

At the unveiling celebration Dr Alison Graham, Consultant Physician at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are pleased to unveil this beautiful display near our busy Emergency Department today. Not only will it offer a new space for reflection and finding inspiration, I hope it also reminds people of the amazing therapeutic benefits creative activities can have. Making the art for this installation gave our patients and staff a chance to express emotions, try something new, have fun in a sociable setting and maybe even discover a hidden talent. So, thank you to the very talented Kerry Lemon for guiding them through this creative journey and to the Council and Rothschild Foundation for making it possible.”

Bill Morris, Co-Chair of Buckinghamshire Culture said “Kerry Lemon, patients and staff here have created a beautiful piece, which will be uplifting, inspiring and give staff and patients a sense of pride, particularly following the impact of the pandemic and the ongoing pressures. We hope that it will also inspire other organisations to work with artists and cultural partners in the county to help our residents live healthier and happier lives. It has been a pleasure to work with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to commission this work and we are very grateful to Buckinghamshire Council and Rothschild Foundation for funding this project.”

Artist Kerry Lemon said: “I was so honoured to be commissioned for this piece. Working with the patients, gardeners, volunteers, visitors, families and staff at the hospital to engage with the trees and plants in Horatio’s Garden, and lead them in a simple art activity, was very rewarding. To now see the creations from those workshops turned into a permanent legacy is really special.”

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We are hiring – Freelance Festival Producer

Buckinghamshire Culture and Buckinghamshire Council are seeking a freelance Festival Producer to work with us, our stakeholders and partners, to scope and develop a framework for a Festival of Stories.  Inspired by the literary heritage of the county, and nourished through the belief that everyone, and every landscape, has a story to tell, we want to explore and share stories of Buckinghamshire and its people through a multi-disciplinary creative and cultural festival.  We also want to create a programme of developmental and exploratory activity, leading to a high-quality future Festival that is unique to Bucks.

For this piece of work, we are looking to appoint a freelance Producer who will scope the festival including a focused vision, aims, objectives and outcomes; create a Business Plan and Delivery Plan presenting key programmes, milestones and deliverables, and including recommendations for the festival delivery model; a budget for development and delivery of both pre-festival development and the first full festival; and a fundraising strategy in order to achieve this.

We envisage this work taking place in Spring 2023, over 3-6 months.

Fixed fee of £10,000, fully inclusive of taxes and expenses

You can view the full brief for the commission incl. how to apply here:

Deadline: 9am, Monday 9th January 2023

Interviews: w/c 23rd January 2023.

For an informal conversation with our Director, or one of our Co-Chairs, please contact Helen (Helen@buckinghamshireculture.org).

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Buckinghamshire Culture Networking and Sharing Event 17th November 2022 – recording now available to watch

You can now watch the direct recording of our zoom session of the Networking and Sharing Event that happened on 17th November 2022 online.

Our amazing keynote speaker Chenine Bhathena MBE FRSA – Creative Director for Coventry 2021, UK City of Culture was in discussion with Buckinghamshire Culture Co-chair Bill Morris. Chenine and Bill explored Chenine’s experience during the Coventry City of Culture year(s) and the lessons and enduring legacies communities can utilise over longer terms from similar programmes.

We also heard from our partner organisations National Paralympic Heritage Trust about the Together We Build project. Young Creative Bucks updated us about their work and Jacqui Gellmann gave an overview of the upcoming Social Prescribing Pilot Project.

Please note these are simple online recordings of the live sessions – they have not be edited or polished – please enjoy them “as live” by clicking on the link below….

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Bucks Culture Lives! – Workshop Presentations

What does it mean to have culture embedded in your everyday life? What are the benefits of culture in Buckinghamshire, on residents, service users and the voluntary sector? How does investment in culture lead to economic change, and what does it mean to centre culture as a way of improving health and wellbeing?

Join Buckinghamshire Culture for one (or all) of 4 workshop presentations that explore how culture can impact: health and wellbeing; children and young people; vibrancy and place; and access and inclusion. Hear from leading experts, case studies and inspirational speakers and be inspired through tangible takeaways to make change with culture.

We have recorded each session and below please find access to the videos. Please note these are simple online recordings of the live sessions – they have not be edited or polished – please enjoy them “as live” by clicking on the links below….

Health and Wellbeing

  • Through culture and creativity you can transfer agency and responsibility to those with profound challenges.
  • Move away from thinking about sectors and services, and more about people and places. Move away from what we’re attempting to deliver to what people need.

Children and Young People

  • “Adults always want us to grow up instead of allowing us to be our age.” When working with young people don’t ask them what they want do or be when they are older, engage with them the present, the person they are today.
  • Investing in young people – centering them and their ideas – is crucial in engaging long-term ‘buy in’ for culture in their lives.

Vibrancy and Place

  • Collaboration that centers placemaking requires radical trust with local communities.
  • Until you give money to local communities and groups to support placemaking you are just consulting with them. Give them the resources to really empower placemaking at a community level.
  • Embedded relationships take time, they don’t fit into project funding timelines, you have to build relationships with key stakeholders over months and years – so think long-term investment.

Access and Inclusion

  • Access is not an add on, something to remember at the end of a process. It can, and should, be integrated throughout.
  • Not all venues are accessible and if they are the accessibility point of access is often different to that of main entrance.
  • With inclusion you need to think about
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Buckinghamshire Culture is nominated for Heart of Bucks People’s Choice Award 2022!

Every year Heart of Bucks welcomes supporters from across the county to our annual reception celebrations. For the fourth year, they will be running the competition to award a ‘People’s Choice’ prize of £1,000 at the event to one lucky not-for-profit group. The competition recognises the organisations whose work in the community and impact on the local area makes Bucks a better place to live.

We feel honoured to be nominated together with a line-up of 5 other organisations which have made an impact in Buckinghamshire.

You can find out more about the award here:

https://heartofbucks.org/peoples-choice-award-2022/

The prize will be announced at the event on Thursday 27th October. We are looking forward to being there on the night.

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Buckinghamshire Open Weekend – a success all round!

participants enjoying Buckinghamshire Council Archaeology Day - male person with metal helmet.
Buckinghamshire Council Archaeology Day

This second ‘Open Weekend’ in Buckinghamshire, took place over four days from 28 -31 July and showcased the breadth of creative and cultural activities across the county. The theme, ‘trees and green’, was inspired by the Platinum Jubilee 2022 ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’ project. It led to creative projects, workshops and performances which encouraged creative engagement with nature, trees, green spaces, landscape, and their heritage, combining cultural activities with being outside and the potential to benefit participants health and wellbeing.

The Buckinghamshire Culture team managed to sample some of the events and shares some of their impressions below.

Kicking off the activities on Thursday morning at Missenden Walled Garden, artist Harsha Basu’s ‘Tree of Life – Community Art Project’ involved making paints from natural materials and plants and creating a community art work that will adorn the club room at the garden.

The garden at Milton’s Cottage was the beautiful backdrop for artist Frog Morris’ ‘Tree of Knowledge’ workshop, engage visitors in making their own book inspired by the poet Milton’s work and ideas.

‘Tree Pottery’ at the Chiltern Open Air Museum meant working with clay and resulted in some intricately ornate 3-D works, using leaves as mould or working free hand.

Wycombe Arts Centre became host to two open weekend events on Friday:

The dance group Dew Dances created a beautiful performance specifically for Open Weekend, inspired by trees and childhood memories. Whilst at the ‘Journey Stick Sculpture Workshop’ young participants got creative stripping bark from branches to create a blank canvas to paint on, creating small but perfectly formed individual creative stick sculptures.

The artist led workshop ‘Let’s Goa Green’ at Wycombe Youth Space organised by FEEDBACK on Saturday morning engaged all ages in exploring the culture of Goa; creating natural colours, painting inspired by the culture of the region and in the end cooking and eating together. A complete and inspiring experience in many ways.

Marlow Museum put on a programme under the appropriate title ‘In the Company of the Green Man’. The Audience of regular museum visitors as well as Saturday afternoon shoppers was enjoying inspired by the Marlow Ukulele Orchestra or blown away by the witty words of the custom made ‘Tree Rap’. Plant sales for charity and tree themed biscuits completed the fun filled afternoon that made everyone aware of the offers of the museum and the wider creative community in Marlow.

Sunday afternoon saw the last performance of ‘Dalia’ at Garsington Opera. The team had made prices accessible throughout all 3 performances particularly for Open Weekend visitors. The community opera centering around a Syrian refugee girl finding her calling in cricket, involved school children and a wide range of members of the community in roles of the chorus – all beautifully scripted and sung in the amazing environment of the Wormsley Estate.

This is of course only a small snapshot of some of the activities the team were able to see for themselves and there was a much larger variety of brilliant events and activities happening.

Bill Morris and Julius Weinberg, Buckinghamshire Culture Co-chairs were both very happy with how the weekend went: “We would like to thank all those who have made this year’s Open Weekend such a success: the organisers, project partners and participants.

“We hope you can all build on the experiences you have had and the connections you made, growing Buckinghamshire’s reputation as an exciting place for artists to work as well as for audiences to explore activities. The concept and how Bucks organisations and individuals value being part of something bigger than themselves has come together and we are hoping to do it all again next year.”

Clive Harriss, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, added: “We are extremely proud to be able to present such a wide range in terms of geographical coverage – from Buckingham in the North to the Ivers in the South – as well as in terms of organisers involved. We had both larger established cultural institutions as well as young artists starting out on their first community led arts projects. The Open Weekend offered something creative for families and everyone in the community. We are grateful for all who got involved in the event, as well as for the residents that offered us support during the weekend.”

Organised by Buckinghamshire Culture with the support of Buckinghamshire Council and Visit Buckinghamshire, it was a celebration of all things creative and cultural that Buckinghamshire has to offer. This project is supported through funding from Buckinghamshire Council and the Rothschild Foundation.  -ends-

Notes to Editors:

If you want more information about the individual organisers mentioned in the text, please follow the links below:

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Buckinghamshire Culture Directory – A First Step – Call for creatives to sign up!

One outcome of the Artist Networking Meetings Buckinghamshire Culture has organised successfully in the past, was that a lot of our partners would find a directory on the our website useful.

We have already got a list  of venues and the institutions, which can all be found on our interactive map here, but we would like to add artists, creatives and freelancers to make them more visible. At the same time, we are working on a different presentation, in form of a directory, rather than a map.

This will include images representing artists’ work, their preferred medium(s), a tagline to describe them/their work, a short info text, website and social media links. And the page will also tell potential partners what kind of cooperation or projects the artists are interested in.
 
We would like to start the work on this by encouraging all artists, creatives and freelancers who would like to be listed in our specific Buckinghamshire Culture directory to sign up via this form.
 
It may take further work and a bit of time, so please bear with us, but gathering your information would be a first step.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Nadia@buckinghamshireculture.org in case you have any questions.

We are looking forward to receiving your information.

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Seeking Maternity Cover for Director

Our Director is going on maternity leave in October and we’re looking for someone (or some people) to handover the reins to, whilst she is away. This role will continue to build on the great work achieved to date, and will oversee the projects and operations of Buckinghamshire Culture.

The successful candidate(s) will be passionate about creativity and culture. They will manage the Buckinghamshire Culture Project Co-ordinator, and will work with a range of project contractors and stakeholders to deliver activity in support of the Buckinghamshire Cultural Strategy. This includes maintaining and strengthening the charity and its governance, as well as the range of projects and initiatives currently in delivery.

For the full details about the role, how it might be fulfilled (this could be as an employee, freelancer, job share or secondment), and how to apply, please download the job description below.

Please note that a discussion about prioritisation, dependent on an applicant’s skills and experience, will be part of the process to ensure a manageable workload can be achieved.

Deadline for applications: 9am, 16th August 2022

Interviews will take place: w/c 22nd August 2022

Please send applications to Lallie: Lallie@buckinghamshireculture.org

If you wish to speak to the current Director, Lallie or one of our two Co-Chairs, Bill or Julius before applying, please get in touch to arrange a call.

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PRESS RELEASE

Come along to Buckinghamshire Open Weekend 28– 31 July – first list of activities announced!

Open Weekend 2021- Amersham Museum Art and Stories in the Garden

We’re delighted to share the first glimpse of what is on offer as part of Open Weekend 2022 in Buckinghamshire. The event aims to showcase the breadth of creative and cultural venues and things you can do across the county. We can now share more details of what’s happening, from creative workshops to walks, performances and open days all linked to this year’s topic of ‘trees and green.’

This subject has inspired institutions, groups and individual artists to register their events as part of our collective celebration. Activities are taking place across the county. You might want to join Discover Bucks Museum, Wycombe Museum, Garsington Opera, Chiltern Open Air Museum, Hughenden Manor, Buckinghamshire Archives or Milton’s Cottage for their events.  And there are lots of opportunities to discover something new, such as: Storytelling events, backstage tours at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, painting with natural colours, walking tours around cultural content or photo walks, performances of songs to poetry readings – and much more.   The full event list can be found here: https://www.visitbuckinghamshire.org/attraction/bucks-open-weekend

Julius Weinberg, Buckinghamshire Culture Co-Chair said: “We would like to thank all those who have come forward with such interesting and varied projects. We are very proud of the wide range of activities there are to shout about this year. This shows the success of this county-wide concept and how Bucks organisations and individuals value being part of something bigger than themselves!“

Clive Harriss, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, added: “The quality of projects Buckinghamshire Culture received is really outstanding and it is great to see how the theme of ‘trees and green’ has been interpreted so creatively!  Open Weekend will be full of things to do for families, but also for everyone else who wants to experience something exciting in Buckinghamshire.”

This is the second ‘Open Weekend’ event in Buckinghamshire, taking place over four days from 28 -31 July. This year’s topic of ‘trees and green’ was originally inspired by the Platinum Jubilee 2022 ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’ project. It will encourage people to engage creatively with nature, trees, green spaces, landscape, and their heritage. Activities are inspired by, or take place near, local trees, in woodland, parkland and other green spaces. Combining cultural activities with being outside also gives this year’s Open Weekend activities the potential for particular benefit for residents’ health and wellbeing. Organised by Buckinghamshire Culture with the support of Buckinghamshire Council and Visit Buckinghamshire, it will be a celebration of all things creative and cultural that Buckinghamshire has to offer.

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

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Notes to Editors:

  • Take a look at the Open Weekend What’s On (https://www.visitbuckinghamshire.org/attraction/bucks-open-weekend ) to find out what’s happening – and try something new this July! Look out on social media for updates and details of events shared by project partners: Buckinghamshire Culture, Buckinghamshire Council and Visit Bucks.
  • Buckinghamshire Culture is the 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.  Open Weekend is just one part of wider plans to develop a range of county-wide creative and cultural projects for Buckinghamshire, as part of the Buckinghamshire Cultural Strategy. 

The Rothschild Foundation is a charity that supports arts and heritage, the environment, education and social welfare by awarding grants, fostering dialogue and debate, and through our support of Waddesdon Manor. Support for arts and cultural organisations is made available through our Strategic Fund.