Hastings Museum and Art Gallery has been shortlisted for the prestigious Family Friendly Museum Award, it was announced today.
Charity Kids in Museums awards the prize annually to one museum, gallery, historic home or heritage site in the UK that goes the extra mile to provide a great experience for families. It is the only museum award to be judged by families.
Throughout April and May, families across the country voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. A panel of museum experts then whittled down over 800 nominations to a shortlist.
Hastings Museum and Art Gallery is vying against five other museums in the small museum category and against 15 other museums for the overall Family Friendly Museum Award.
Kim Forward, lead councillor for culture, said: “We are really pleased to be shortlisted for this award because our programme of events pays particular attention to inclusivity and the family.
“Examples over the last year include Dino Day, Starlings Music, Ask the Expert, quiet early morning openings for A ND (autistic and neuro-diverse) children and the Hastings REAL (rigorous, engaging, authentic learning) Programme. It’s wonderful that so many people had such a positive experience in our museum that they nominated us for this award-thank you very much!”
Emmajane Avery, chairman of Kids in Museums, said: “It’s great to see Hastings Museum and Art Gallery on the shortlist for this year’s Family Friendly Museum Award.
“To make it to the shortlist in our most competitive year yet is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the hard work staff have put in to create a truly enjoyable experience for families.
“We received a lot of positive feedback from the parents of children with disabilities and with autism, showing the museum is working to welcome everyone. We wish the museum the best of luck in the next round of judging.”
The museum will now be visited by undercover family judges who will assess the museums against the Kids in Museums Manifesto. Their experiences will decide a winner for each award category and an overall winner, our Family Friendly Museum of the Year 2019. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in October.
Follow the Family Friendly Museum Award on Twitter by following @kidsinmuseums and #FamilyFriendlyMuseum.
The Family Friendly Museum Award has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England and is kindly supported by Edwardian Hotels London.
Kids in Museums began the Family Friendly Museum Award in 2004 and the prize is now in its 14th year. The award champions museums who place families’ voices at the heart of their organisations.
Previous winners of the Family Friendly Museum Award include Leeds City Museum (2018), the People’s History Museum in Manchester (2017), York Art Gallery (2016), Tullie House in Cumbria (2015), the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall (2014) and the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London (2013).
The full list of museums shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2019 is:
Large Museums Category: Museum of Liverpool; Riverside Museum, Glasgow; World Museum, Liverpool
Medium Museums Category: Bolton Museum; Great North Museum: Hancock; London Transport Museum; The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent; Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Cambridge; University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge
Small Museums Category: Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum, Dunfermline; The Devil’s Porridge Museum, Eastriggs; Erewash Museum, Derbyshire; Hastings Museum and Art Gallery; Parc Howard Museum, Llanelli; Valence House Museum, Dagenham.