Museums Change Lives Awards 2022 - Museums Association

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Museums Change Lives Awards 2022

Museums Change Lives Awards 2022
Now open for your nominations

The Museums Change Lives Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding practice by UK museums delivering social impact. They promote the best examples of work by museums and individuals that support communities and engage with contemporary issues.

You can now nominate eligible organisations and individuals for our four 2022 awards.

The deadline for entries is 5.30pm on Thursday 25 August 2022

Please read the guidelines for entrants below before submitting your nomination.

PLB: Interpreting the past, designing the future
Awards sponsor: PLB

Categories and criteria 

There are three awards to be presented to institutions, and one to an individual. This section sets out the different awards and the criteria by which they will be judged.  

Institutional awards 
Best Museums Change Lives Project

This category will recognise the best practice in the field of social impact by a museum within the period of eligibility.

The judges will be looking for high quality innovative work that reflects one or more of the themes of Museums Change Lives – Promoting Health and Wellbeing; Creating Better Places; and/or Inspiring Engagement, Reflection and Debate.

Judges will look in particular for projects that:

  • Work in partnership with other organisations to deliver positive outcomes
  • Have a clear link to the museum’s collection and/or venue
  • Support community cohesion and work in collaboration with local groups
  • Diversify the museum’s audience
  • Enable audiences to take action or change behaviour in response to the work
  • Use research to underpin project delivery and outcomes
  • Are relevant to major current social or environmental issues

Museums applying for the Best Museums Change Lives Project can also apply for any of the other institutional awards, subject to eligibility.

Best Small Museum Project

This category will recognise the best example of work delivering social impact. It is only open to museums with an operating budget of less than £320k p.a. in the most recent completed financial year.

The judges will be looking for high quality innovative work that is designed to deliver social impact. Applicants should show how their work reflects one or more of the themes of Museums Change Lives – Promoting Health and Wellbeing; Creating Better Places; and/or Inspiring Engagement, Reflection and Debate.

Museums applying for the Best Small Museum Project can also apply for any of the other institutional awards, subject to eligibility.

Reimagining the Museum Award

This category will recognise the best example of a museum using decolonising practice to recognise the impact of the legacy of empire and slavery in any area of its activities. This could relate to work on collections, buildings and places, the museum workforce or collaborative practices.

Judges will look in particular for projects or work that:

  • Clearly demonstrate how their work helps to decolonise their institution or area of work
  • Align with the principles of decolonising practice set out in the MA’s guidance, Supporting Decolonisation in Museums
  • Clearly demonstrate collaboration and partnership-working with target audiences/stakeholders
  • Clearly demonstrate how the museum implemented its plans and embedded long-term change
  • Have a clear link to the museum’s collection and/or venue

Museums applying for this award can also apply for any of the other institutional awards, subject to eligibility. 

Individual award
Radical Changemaker Award

This award will recognise the contribution of an individual who has advanced the cause of delivering social impact in one or more museums.

The judges will be looking for evidence of how the individual has actively contributed in the past year to the delivery of one or more of the themes of Museums Change Lives – Promoting Health and Wellbeing; Creating Better Places; and/or Inspiring Engagement, Reflection and Debate.

It is open to employees, freelancers or volunteers.

You can nominate yourself or another person. The nominee must be a member of the Museums Association.

Eligibility  

Applications are open for three institutional awards and one individual award.  

You must be a UK-based institutional member of the Museums Association to apply for the Best Museums Change Lives Project, the Best Small Museum Project and the Reimagining the Museum Award. Freelancers should enter projects with the backing of the museum that they have worked with.

You must be an Essential or Full individual member of the Museums Association to be a candidate for the Radical Changemaker Award. This award is open to museum employees, freelancers and volunteers.

All projects under consideration must have been ongoing during the period 1 September 2021 to 1 September 2022. Projects that started before the 1 September 2021 are eligible if delivery was ongoing during the period 1 September 2021 to 1 September 2022.  

The Best Small Museum Award is only open to museums with an operating budget of less than £320k p.a. in the most recent completed financial year. 

All entrants can self-nominate for the awards.

Judging panel and awards 

The panel will comprise MA conference panel members, board members, MA staff and external partners.  

Judges may decide to move entries between categories if an entry is deemed more suitable for a different category than the one entered. Awards will be made solely at the discretion of the judges. No feedback or correspondence will be entered into about the results and the judges’ decisions are final. All entrants will be notified as to whether they are shortlisted.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the MA Conference 2022, 3-5 November in Edinburgh and online, and will receive a framed certificate and award.  

Past awards

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