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Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021

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Earlier this week the CCA Derry~Londonderry Team visited the Science Museum in London for the announcement of the winner of the 2021 Art Fund Museum of the Year, the world's largest Museum prize!

It was an honour to have been on such an incredible shortlist of brilliant peers whom were a joy to get to know over the past two months - Experience Barnsley, Thackray Museum of Medicine, Timespan and our huge congratulations to the winners firstsite!

We want to thank the judges for selecting us, especially in a year where the prize received more applications than it has ever received before, and to the whole of the Art Fund team behind the scenes and the prize coordinator Amy Dickson - it was a pleasure and an inspiration to work with you all!

It takes a village.

From our team to every artist, freelancer, educator, technician, photographer, videographer, speaker, writer, researcher we've worked with, to every school, partner, peer, our board, volunteers, every funder, everyone who has put something in the donation tin or bought an edition, everyone who has loaned or borrowed equipment, mucked in, helped out, every supporter and every member of our audiences from all walks of life from our doorstep to those tuning in on online across the globe - THANK YOU! And a special thank you to all of the key workers who helped us all.

We have been overwhelmed by so many messages of congratulations and support from the moment the shortlist was announced and we would like to thank you all! We are still digesting all of the comments and messages and we feel honoured that we have been able to do something positive during such a difficult time.

Being on the shortlist for the prize has been a remarkable experience and we have tried to use the spotlight to highlight issues affecting our whole sector - particularly the chronic underfunding of the arts in Northern Ireland*, consequences of Brexit and mental health problems disproportionately affecting our sector** but also the talent around us including all of the artists here and our fellow arts organisations we are proud to call our colleagues and friends! The judges talked about the resilience shown by the applications this year, something all arts organisations in NI have had to be to survive in so many ways and we invite everyone reading this to support all of the brilliant work taking place across our region. Check out VAI's listings here.

Whilst the award has been announced, CCA remains an officially Shortlisted Organisation until the 2022 prize Shortlist is announced so don't be surprised to see the Museum of the Year banners for some time yet! Prize or no prize, we continue to strive to be the best we can be - and we look forward to seeing you all soon whether at CCA in person or online.

* "Based on 2020/21 budget, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland receives only £5.38 per capita, contrasting
sharply with Wales at £10.41 and the Republic of Ireland £28.52." quoted from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Response to the NI Executive Consultation on the 2021-22 Draft Budget

** "People working in Northern Ireland's creative industries are three times more likely to experience mental health problems, a study suggests." quoted from BBC article about research from Ulster Psychology Research Institute at Ulster University. James Ashe highlighted this research during his CCA Social Media Takeover in 2020.

Image: from left to right CCA's team:
Fiona Allan (Marketing & Digital Programmes Coordinator), Laura McCafferty (Public Programmes Curator), Mel Bradleys (Office Manager), Catherine Hemelryk (Director)

Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021
Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021
Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021
Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021