Key funding statistics for projects that come under the category of ‘The Arts, Culture & Heritage’ since January 2018:
Number of grants given: 18
Total amount awarded: £35,812
Direct beneficiaries: 35,907 people
When looking at the impact that the arts, culture and heritage can have on communities, Arts Council England say it best:
“When we talk about the value of arts and culture to society, we always start with its intrinsic value: how arts and culture can illuminate our inner lives and enrich our emotional world. This is what we cherish. However, we also understand that arts and culture has a wider, more measurable impact on our economy, health and wellbeing, society and education. It’s important we also recognise this impact to help people think of our arts and culture for what they are: a strategic national resource.”
The arts can bring communities together, promote learning outside of the classroom and celebrate diversity, to name but a few positive benefits.
‘The Arts, Culture & Heritage’ is one of Heart of Bucks’ ‘impact categories’. This means that this is an area we’ve identified as making a big difference to communities in Bucks and as such we look to distribute funding to art projects at each funding round.
We have seen a wide array of supported projects since January 2018, from cataloging over 11,000 documents related to the county’s heritage at Buckinghamshire Record Society, to additional museum learning staff at Bucks County Museum Trust, to teaching children with special needs how to create puppets and perform their own puppet show with the Young People’s Puppet Theatre.
Here we shine a spotlight on 3 fantastic projects that have taken place in the last two years.
Head2Head Theatre – the ‘Toad on the Road’ project, Aylesbury
‘Toad on the Road’ is a Head2Head Theatre adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’, a touring production that takes children with disabilities and their families on a journey of fun and discovery.
With a grant of £875 from the Heart of Bucks General Fund, Head2Head Theatre were able to extend their 36-day tour of the production across schools in London and the South East to include a two-day tour at Booker Park School in Aylesbury.
The days offered the children a relaxed introduction to theatre, with an interactive walkabout performance of Toad on the Road, a visit to the sensory tent and additional games and craft activities, followed by a picnic lunch. In addition to providing a fun an educational activity for the children, the sessions also encouraged interaction between families, in turn helping to extend their support networks.
Wycombe Orpheus Male Voice Choir – Festival of Young Musicians 2019, High Wycombe
The Wycombe Orpheus Male Voice Choir (WOMVC) Festival of Young Musicians takes place annually in early March, offering talented school age musicians from Bucks the opportunity to perform publicly and receive feedback from the festival adjudicator.
With a £700 grant from the Heart of Bucks General Fund, WOMVC covered the cost of the adjudicator at the event, enabling the young people to receive constructive feedback that would further their musical education. Speaking after the festival, the fundraising coordinator at WOMVC Julian Grigg said, “The funding for the adjudicator was key for the success of the 2019 Festival of Young Musicians. The presence of a professional adjudicator allowed the Wycombe Orpheus Male Voice Choir to maintain its high standards… namely the quality of the informed scrutiny and objective judging of this event”.
Ubiquitous Theatre – A 1918 – 2018 Remembrance production of Journey’s End, Aylesbury
A moving account of life in the trenches, this community play from Ubiquitous Theatre was a Remembrance performance of the 1928 play Journey’s End by R. C. Sherriff.
The play is set in an officers’ dugout in the trenches on the Western Front on March 18th 1918, with the action taking place over three days. The German spring offensive is under way and their army has significant forward momentum; a fact known to the British troops of the time.
With a grant of £2,800 from the Heart of Bucks General Fund, Ubiquitous Theatre selected and trained inexperienced actors from the community to make up the personnel of C Company, with each actor portraying a real soldier from the war.
The play was presented to the public on four nights, culminating in a Remembrance Sunday performance which also marked the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Commenting on the project, one of the actors Julian O’Hare said, “It has been emotional, inspiring, humbling, challenging but most of all it has been fun and rewarding… I will never forget it. For now, I am Captain Hardy.”