IT WAS HARD, TOUGH CHOICE, BUT WE HAD TO MAKE IT –
THE LONG LIST FOR THE FAMILY FRIENDLY MUSEUM AWARD IS ANNOUNCED
From an overwhelming number of nominations – the largest ever – the 20-strong Long List for the Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award is announced. The Long List includes a Tudor home, an ancient colliery, a country estate, National museums and tiny two-room local ones, proving that you don’t need dinosaurs, Viking helmets or Egyptian mummies to attract kids. Any museum can be welcoming to families – and should be. Go to http://www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk/the-guardian-award/ to see who made it.
Nominations emerged from shoeboxes tied up with string and huge sticky scrapbooks of comments by children, grown-ups, aunties, cousins and grandparents. They came in the shape of DVDs, piles of handwritten letters, and hundreds and hundreds of emails from visitors passionately supporting their favourite museum. From the Highlands to Land’s End, the quality of this year’s entries was astounding. The Long List celebrates everything a museum offers – from staff who talked directly to children about art, to unisex toilets so parents can accompany their children and comfy sofas to sit down to prevent catching ‘museum knees’.
Now the Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award is firmly established as the most popular museum award in Britain, attracting more nominations that any other. And it is still the only Award to be judged by families.
Kids in Museums Director Dea Birkett says, ‘We were buried in nominations for weeks, as a team of volunteers examined each and every entry. It’s testament to all the hard work and imagination in Britain’s museums that there were so many high quality entries and it was even more difficult than usual to pick a Long List. Those that made it through prove beyond doubt that including and welcoming families brings a museum alive. It demonstrates that museums aren’t only about the past, but for the future. They’re about learning, living and enjoying – for every family.’
What Happens Next?
The 20-strong Long List will be presented to a panel of distinguished judges, chaired by Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The panel has the difficult task of drawing up a Short List. This Short List will then be road tested, anonymously, by families. These families pick the winner of the 2009 Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award.
The winner will receive a prize of 300 Mammoth Activity Sheets, designed and donated by design company Foldedsheet.com
About Kids in Museums
Kids in Museums is a national charity supporting and driving change in Britain’s museums to make them more family friendly. Kids in Museums emphasises welcoming families to museums that have not had the opportunity to visit before. To find out more about Kids in Museums and their work, go to www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk.
Kids in Museums produces the Kids in Museums Manifesto. You can download a copy from the website, or order one free from [email protected] or call 020 7022 1888.
Kids in Museums is very grateful for support from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.
Kids in Museums
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