Arts + Entertainment

Towner Art Gallery shortlisted for Kids in Museums’ Family Friendly Museum Award

Eastbourne’s Towner Art Gallery has been shortlisted for the prestigious Family Friendly Museum Award. The annual honour, which is the biggest museum award in Britain and the only one where children and families pick the winners, is run by the national charity Kids In Museums that is dedicated to making museums and galleries welcoming to all visitors.

credit Phil Burrowes, Avant Commercial

credit Phil Burrowes, Avant Commercial

Towner’s Executive Director Emma Morris said, “Creating a welcoming space for visitors and engaging with new audiences of all ages and backgrounds has always been at the heart of what we do at Towner. Since moving into our new building six years ago we have continued to build on the success of our children, families and early years programme. We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award and see it as a real acknowledgement of our commitment to investing in the artists and audiences of the future.”

The shortlist for the Family Friendly Museum Award is decided by a judging panel based on nominations from the gallery’s family visitors. Volunteer Emily Beckwith, 22, who was on the shortlisting panel, was impressed by the gallery’s offer for hard to reach groups:

“Towner often work in partnership to provide projects for those who may not usually visit museums.”

credit Esther Springett

credit Esther Springett

For the next stage of the award process, Towner’s offer for families and children, and those of their nine fellow nominees will be evaluated by a group of undercover family judges.

Dea Birkett, Creative Director of Kids in Museums who run the Award, said,
“It’s great to see Towner Art Gallery on the shortlist and so praised and supported by families and children. It’s a very special place that offers a very special welcome to everyone and is committed to putting young people and families at its heart and encouraging new visitors. We wish Towner the best of luck when the undercover family judges arrive!’”

For families who haven’t visited Towner yet and want to find out why so many of the gallery’s family visitors took the time to nominate them, Towner is offering free creative family drop-in sessions throughout the summer. Creative Summer Saturdays (Saturdays 11am–3pm, throughout July & August, free) offers children and young people of all ages the chance to develop skills, play and experiment with a different artist each week.  Additionally, every Tuesday throughout July and August from 10.30am–1pm Tiny Towner, is a free creative and sensory play workshop including messy play, storytelling and music-making especially for under 5s and their carers.

credit Rohan van Twest

credit Rohan van Twest

The winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award, which is supported by Philip Mould Gallery and Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, will be announced at an award ceremony at the Wallace Collection, London on Monday 17th October.

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