Museum of the Year shortlist champions education and co-creation 11 May 2022

Art Fund has announced the shortlist for Museum of the Year 2022, which offers £100k to the winner and £15k each to runners up. The five finalists are:

  • The Museum of Making in Derby, which aims to help create a future workforce of creative, multi-disciplined young people, as well as offering events and exhibitions and a strong emphasis on co-creation with local people.
  • Horniman Museum and Gardens, London, which has been leading the way on addressing ecology and nature in the sector, as well as championing local music and reaching a diverse audience.
  • The People’s History Museum in Manchester, which tells the story of democracy in Britain while actively campaigning for social and political change, most recently with Together with Refugees against the Nationality and Borders Bill.
  • The Story Museum, Oxford champions storytelling and reading for all ages, and particularly finds ways to reach and serve the 26% of children in Oxford who live below the poverty line to improve literacy and independent reading.
  • Tŷ Pawb in Wrexham, Wales is a museum of the local area housed inside a market alongside makers and traders. It created a new space in 2021 for community conversations, play and performance.

Discussing the shortlist with The Times, Art Fund Director Jenny Waldman said that as a museum addressing democracy, the political positioning of the People’s History Museum is appropriate: “The PHM has gone from being a museum about campaigns to becoming a campaigning museum. Our view is that this is perfectly appropriate. We have total belief in the independence of museums. They shouldn’t be interfered with by us or by politicians.” Waldman also pointed to commonalities in the shortlist – a commitment to young people and education at a time of redundancies among learning staff and reduced school trips, plus encouraging participation in every age group as active, not passive museum visitors. The winner will be announced on 14th July. Times, Art Fund (short film), Art Fund (finalist details), Art Fund (twitter)