See Mascots, Torches, Racing Wheelchairs and much more across Bucks

colourful graphic showing elements linked to the Paralympics

The Together We Build exhibition and events programme kicks off on 9th September and runs until 4th November at cultural venues across Bucks.  12 venues that have chosen to take part, will celebrate our County’s Paralympic heritage by displaying objects chosen by disabled Community Curators, and running events inspired by the Paralympic story.

Our project celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the London 2012 Paralympics, honouring the work of Dr Guttmann and the heritage and stories linked to this amazing event.  We are extremely proud to be working with a group of passionate Community Curators, who are bringing their voices to the project and sharing their stories too.

This is a chance to see a selection of Paralympic objects that have not been on display before, including: the Tokyo 2020 Torch, a Paralympic Athlete’s shirt designed by Stella McCartney for 2012, the Swaypole Dress and Gravity Corset from the 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony, lion and futuristic mascots and Chris Hallam’s Racing Wheelchair, among others.  These items will be on display at venues across the County and via our virtual gallery.

In October (date tbc) we are hosting an online Panel Discussion exploring the legacy since 2012.  This event will also begin to shape our thinking about an Access Manifesto for cultural venues in Bucks.

To find out more about the exhibition and events, to view our virtual gallery and to book a place for the Panel Discussion, please visit: 

Chris Hallam's Racing Wheelchair
Chris Hallam’s Racing Wheelchair

Waddesdon Manor are leading on a schools programme for this project and will create a schools resource inspired by the objects chosen by our Community Curators, as well as hosting a schools event on site in September 2022. 

Buckinghamshire Culture is leading this project.  Project partners include those who hold Paralympic collections: Buckinghamshire Archives, Discover Bucks Museum, National Paralympic Heritage Trust and Waddesdon.  And those who will host objects, displays and events for our exhibition: Amersham Museum, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Bekonscot, Chiltern Open Air Museum, Discover Bucks Museum, The Elgiva, Marlow Library, Milton’s Cottage, Queens Park Arts Centre and Waddesdon Manor.

For further information about the project and to see all opportunities as they arise please see: and #TogetherWeBuildBucks on social media.  Or contact Lallie:

Together We Build is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.  Support has also been provided by Buckinghamshire Council.


Seeking Artists for 2 Bucks Commissions

Photograph of pebbles.  One pebble, bigger than the others, has a question mark drawn on it.

Buckinghamshire Culture has teamed up with two local organisations to develop two co-commission opportunities:

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

We are working with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to appoint an artist/creative/collective to work with patients and staff on site at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire, in order to create a new 2D or 3D art installation for the site.  We are seeking an artist with experience of creative arts supporting wellbeing and working with people in a healthcare setting.  We are looking for someone capable of inspiring people and encouraging them to get involved and create and shape new work together or individually.  We want to see a final piece that shows pride in Buckinghamshire and the BHT community.

We are opening an expression of interest process, from which we will select 3 artists to receive £350 in order to visit the BHT site and explore the available spaces for their work before submitting a more detailed proposal.

A budget of £7,640 inclusive of any VAT to be charged is available to the final selected candidate for the community engagement, development, fabrication and install of the artwork.

Delivery period: September-November 2022

Deadline for expressions of interest: 9am, 10th August 2022.

For more information please download the full artist’s brief.

Wycombe Homeless Connection and Aylesbury Homeless Action Group

We are working with Wycombe Homeless Connection and Aylesbury Homeless Action Group (WHC/AHAG) to appoint an artist/creative/collective to work with homeless, or previously homeless clients and WHC/AHAG staff in High Wycombe and Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in order to share stories of homelessness through art/cultural means (this might include visual arts, photography, poetry, performance, sharing/displaying objects).  We are seeking an artist with experience of working with people with disordered lives and who is able to flex ideas and approaches according to need.  We are looking for someone capable of inspiring people and encouraging this cohort to get involved and create and shape new work together or individually.  We want to see a final piece/performance/installation that shares experiences of homelessness in interesting ways.

We are opening an expression of interest process, from which we will select 3 artists to receive £350 in order to visit the BHT site and explore the available spaces for their work before submitting a more detailed proposal.

A budget of £7,640 inclusive of any VAT to be charged is available to the final selected candidate for the community engagement, development, fabrication and install of the artwork.

Delivery period: September-November 2022

Deadline for expressions of interest: 9am, 10th August 2022.

For more information please download the full artist’s brief.

These co-commissions have been made possible with funding from the Rothschild Foundation.


Open Weekend – submissions open 25th April 2022!

The Big Picture – Queen Ælfgifu, by Emily Brown & 39 artists from Chesham

With the warmer months approaching, and July already coming into view, organisers of Buckinghamshire’s Open Weekend celebration of creativity and culture are inviting submissions.

It is the second time the Open Weekend has taken place and this year will happen over four days, from 28th-31st July. Organised by Buckinghamshire Culture with the support of Buckinghamshire Council and the Rothschild Foundation, it is an opportunity to showcase the range and breadth of creative events, activities and initiatives taking place in Buckinghamshire.

The theme for 2022’s Open Weekend events will be ‘trees and green’, building on the celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee in June, with suggestions including:

  • 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.

Organisers are encouraging organisations and groups across the county to submit their ideas for creative and cultural events and activities they plan to run in Buckinghamshire over the Open Weekend.  

Submissions for events/activities can be made between the 25th of April and 1st June via the online form at

where there is also more information and FAQs, including the criteria for events.

As in 2021, Buckinghamshire Culture will be able to give out a limited amount of micro grants for implementing projects/activities. More information on how to apply will be coming soon.

Bill Morris, Buckinghamshire Culture Co-Chair said: “In light of the enjoyment and support that Open Weekend received in 2021, we felt we had no choice but to bring it back as annual event – we can’t wait to see what people put on!  We are also really pleased to share that Visit Buckinghamshire will be supporting our What’s On listing this year. “

Clive Harriss, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, added: “We’re excited to be teaming up again with Buckinghamshire Culture to run this year’s Open Weekend, which includes Buckinghamshire Day on 29th July. It’s a fantastic opportunity for local groups and organisations to run their own cultural and creative activities and events. They can submit their ideas for these via the Open Weekend webpage.”

During the first successful Open Weekend event for Buckinghamshire in July 2021, residents and visitors had the chance to take part in over 70 creative and cultural activities across the county. 

Back then, 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. Overall 3,500 people took part in activities.

Look out for further info on Open Weekend at, on Twitter @BucksCulture or Instagram @Bucks_Culture. 

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


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. 

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.


Summer of Stories

Illustration of a lion and rabbit

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
Story Stall setup at Hgh Wtcombe Market

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!”

For more information about the Summer of Stories, visit:

This programme is supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and funding from Buckinghamshire Council, Heart of Bucks and Rothschild Foundation. 


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


New Programme Supporting Our Creative and Cultural Leaders Launches

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.


Looking for a different kind of Christmas Quiz?

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:

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.

You can download the quiz and the answers below: