For the first time, two Welsh museums have made it to the shortlist of the Family Friendly Museum Award – the biggest museum award in Britain and the only one where children and families pick the winners. The Egypt Centre Museum in Swansea and Wrexham County Borough Museum beat almost 100 other museums to make it to the ten-strong shortlist.
Michael Sheen, actor and Patron of Kids in Museums, says, ‘It’s great to see an award where children and families pick the winner – giving them a powerful voice on what they want in a museum. Many museums in Wales are doing great work with families, in particular those who haven’t visited before, sharing and supporting new visitors to explore their heritage and culture. Fingers crossed one of them will win.’
Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates, who is also responsible for Culture and Heritage in Wales, added: “We are committed to engaging children and families with culture in Wales by making all of our museums as inclusive, accessible and enjoyable as possible. In addition to being a cost effective fun day out, local museums are great educational tools, providing hands on learning and development opportunities for all the family.
“It is great to see not one but two Welsh museums have been shortlisted for this year’s Family Friendly Museum Award. To make it to the final 10 is a brilliant achievement and testament to the hard work and efforts of staff and volunteers at both the Egypt Centre Museum and Wrexham County Borough Museum.”
Dea Birkett, Creative Director of charity Kids in Museums who run the Award, says, ‘Two Welsh museums on the shortlist just proves how dedicated, passionate, imaginative museums can crack it for families and kids. These two small museums put on a big welcome for all families, of all shapes and sizes. From the Egypt Centre’s hands-on mummification workshops to Wrexham’s Messy Museum for kids, they prove that the best museums don’t have to be massive; they just have to open up their fabulous collections to everyone.’
The full shortlist for the 2016 Award is: Egypt Centre Museum of Egyptian Antiquities (Swansea), Hampton Court Palace (Greater London), Manchester Art Gallery, National Glass Centre (Sunderland), the Novium Museum (Chichester), River & Rowing Museum (Henley-on-Thames), Towner Art Gallery (Eastbourne), Weald & Downland Open Air Museum (West Sussex), Wrexham County Borough Museum, York Art Gallery.
Over the summer, these shortlisted museums are road-tested anonymously by families, using the Kids in Museums Manifesto as a guide to their family friendliness.
Know a family who would like to be undercover museum judges and help pick the winner? Then email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more about the Award at www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk/award
Follow the Award on Twitter @kidsinmuseums #FFMA16
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