Notes to editors:
Details of the four shortlisted projects, with contact details, are attached.
The Gulbenkian Prize 2003 judges are: Bamber Gascoigne, author and broadcaster, Peter Jenkinson, National Director of Creative Partnerships; Joanna Lumley, actress and writer; Professor Kathy Sykes, holder of the Collier Chair in the Public Understanding of Science and Technology at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Bristol; Dr Simon Thurley, Director of English Heritage; and Eleanor Updale, historian and children's novelist.
Bamber Gascoigne and the judges may be available for interview. Please contact Colman Getty PR with requests.
The full longlist was as follows: Banbury Museum and Tooley's Boatyard Project, Banbury, Oxfordshire; Brighton Museum and Art Gallery Redevelopment, Brighton, Sussex; Cast Iron Sculpture Workshops, The Ironbridge Open Air Museum of Steel Sculpture, Telford, Shropshire; Collections, Communities and Memories Community Project, Clifton Park Museum, Rotherham; Darwin Centre Phase One, Natural History Museum, London; Downland Gridshell, Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, Chichester, Sussex; Family Falmouth Temporary Exhibition, Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall; Manchester Art Gallery; National Centre for Citizenship, The Galleries of Justice, Nottingham; New Hackney Museum, London; RRS Discovery Renewal Programme, Discovery Point, Dundee.
The Imperial War Museum has withdrawn its newest branch, Imperial War Museum North, from the Gulbenkian Prize for museums and galleries this year. The Imperial War Museum had been longlisted but felt unable to remain in the competition because its application for registration under the scheme administered by Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries will not be completed before 2004.
The Gulbenkian Prize for museums and galleries is open to all registered museums and galleries in the UK. Applicants must have opened, redeveloped, or launched a new project or innovative programme of activity that has come to fruition in the calendar year to 31 December 2002. All projects must show lasting value and complement existing activities and facilities and applicants must be able to show public support and enthusiasm for the project.
The Gulbenkian Prize for museums and galleries is administered by the Museum Prize, a charitable company created in 2001 by representatives of National Heritage, the Museums Association, the National Art Collections Fund and the Campaign for Museums. These organisations have agreed to put aside award schemes they formerly ran (including the Museum of the Year) and lend their support to this new prize.
the Museum Prize is chaired by Lady Cobham. Trustees of the Museum Prize include representatives of all four founding organisations.
The Gulbenkian Prize for museums and galleries is funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The UK Branch of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is responsible for grant aid in the UK and Republic of Ireland and runs funding programmes in arts, social welfare, education and Anglo-Portuguese cultural relations. Its publications in these areas are well regarded.
The Foundation's founder, Calouste Gulbenkian, was one of the most distinguished private collectors in the world. The Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon is well-known and loaned several major pieces of Lalique jewellery to the V&A's highly acclaimed Art Nouveau exhibition in 2000 and simultaneously mounted a major exhibition of its treasures at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is supporting The Gulbenkian Prize by guaranteeing prize money of £100,000 a year for the next five years; it is also providing some of the funding for administration.
The Gulbenkian Prize is also supported by DCMS, Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries and Christopher Ondaatje CBE, who is passionately interested in raising awareness of the range and quality of museums and galleries in Britain.
For further information and press enquiries please contact:
Liz Sich, Ruth Cairns or Julia Muir at Colman Getty PR
Middlesex House, 34-42 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JE
Telephone: 020 7631 2666 Fax: 020 7631 2699
Out of hours: 07956 612380
Clifton Park Museum, Rotherham
Collections, Communities and Memories making Rotherham's Heritage accessible
Clifton Park Museum's innovative project was designed to tap into the massive interest in local and family history within the borough of Rotherham.
By appointing a community curator, Clifton Park Museum encouraged local people to learn the skills to produce their own exhibitions and oral history archives.
Following the training, a number of exciting community exhibitions grew out of the project. For example, Harthill Village Hall was hired for a weekend in April 2002 for an exhibition by the Harthill Memories Society. So successful did this exhibition prove that it was accompanied by a school drama workshop and later led to another community photographic exhibition. The village now plans to create its own digitised community archive.
Guy Kilminster, Libraries, Museums and Arts Manager with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, who run Clifton Park Museum, says: 'We are delighted to have been shortlisted when up against such strong opposition. The project has been a great success, engaging local people with their heritage and helping them through training to identify, record and celebrate that heritage. We are really pleased that this has been recognised by the judges as being both innovative and inspiring for the people involved.'
Comments from local people involved in the project include:
'This is a new way forward for museums, teaching people to preserve and conserve their own heritage, understand it and display it for all.'
'As the project has raised the profile of local history, more people have become involved in wanting to know about their heritage.'
'The project has brought an awareness of the past to present and future generations.'
'The project has been invaluable - especially through the involvement of diverse groups of people and making the museum and its services more accessible.'
Contact: Ceryl Evans on 01709 823635
The Galleries of Justice, Nottingham
The National Centre for Citizenship and the Law
In creating the unique National Centre for Citizenship and the Law (NCCL), the Galleries of Justice effectively doubled the size of their innovative education programme, which takes a hands-on, cross-curricular approach to issues of citizenship and personal responsibility.
NCCL has also created a lively educational area called the Citizens' Zone. This incorporates: an activity point for artefact handling, drama, craft and art work; a civil and youth court for debates and interactive mock trials, fitted with live video recording equipment and an editing suite; a protest point, with resources to stimulate debate; a community gallery for the local community to design its own public exhibitions; a teacher resource centre; online resources; and a café and communication point with a suite of 6 computers. They have also fitted the original civil court with live video recording.
Tim Desmond, Head of Education, says: 'We are delighted to be shortlisted for the Gulbenkian award, to get this far is a real validation of the work we do with young people and it is much their achievement as ours.
'The creation of a national centre for citizenship and the investment that went into it, was a real risk for an Independent museum. However as the need for understanding and practicing good citizenship grows by the day, we believe that the risk has been worth it and bears fruit in the outcomes of our projects and activities.
'Our slogan is "Learn about the Past, Act in the Present, Change the Future", by reaching the shortlist, Gulbenkian have helped us get that much further.'
Comments from teachers, school governors and police officers who have been involved in the NCCL education programmes include:
'The best visit we've been on. The children were really involved and interested.'
'The value to children of these type of visits is immeasurable, as they develop not only further understanding of the subject matter, but also experience important lessons in behaviour and community responsibility.'
'The NCCL has developed a track record in this area which is impressive and, indeed, a sought-after model for reducing crime among young people.'
Contact: Peter Armstrong, Chief Executive, 0115 952 0555
RRS Discovery Renewal Programme
Discovery Point, Dundee
The exciting four-year renewal programme at Discovery Point, focusing on Captain Scott's ship, the RRS Discovery, was completed in March 2002.
The museum wanted to make the collections and the historic images of Discovery's own story as well as those of Scott's and his team's heroic journeys more accessible and interactive. Two new galleries were created: the Men of Discovery gallery tells the story of Discovery's great sail south from Dundee, the crew and their daily lives in Antarctica. The Heroes of the Ice gallery recounts the story of Scott and the crew after the 19011904 expedition, including the
fateful Terra Nova expedition.
Alongside the Discovery, the Quayside now has interactive exhibits designed to test seamanship skills.
Gill Poulter, Heritage and Exhibitions Director, says; 'Both the staff and volunteers at Discovery Point are delighted that we have made it through to the final stages of the Gulbenkian Prize this will be a major boost to morale! All at Dundee Heritage Trust know that we have a world-class museum but it is always rewarding to have impartial outside recognition of what we have managed to achieve.'
Comments taken from the Discovery Point Visitors Book include:
'Simply the best the flagship of all museums'
'Wonderful to step foot on history. Thank you'
Contact: Gill Poulter on 01382 225282
The Darwin Centre Phase One
Natural History Museum, London
The Darwin Centre Phase One at the Natural History Museum, which opened on 30 September 2002, represents an exciting and innovative new approach to science communication.
By providing an informal forum for scientists and visitors to meet face-to-face or through live webcasts, the Centre aims to break down the barriers between scientists and the public. In other words, it brings science alive. At the same time, it aims to protect and facilitate access to the Natural History Museum's unique collection of 22 million zoological specimens.
The programme of 'behind the scenes' tours Darwin Centre Explore take the public into the zoological collections, transforming otherwise inaccessible spaces into areas of public discovery and inspiration. An imaginative programme of public debates, Darwin Centre Live, led by Museum scientists, as well as live webcasts from the Centre and video links to collections areas provide even greater access for the public.
The Director of the Natural History Museum, Sir Neil Chalmers, says: 'We are absolutely delighted and extremely proud that the Darwin Centre has been shortlisted for the Gulbenkian prize. The Darwin Centre marks a new era for the Natural History Museum, opening up our vast collections for the first time, and providing visitors with the opportunity to meet the researchers who work with these collections to investigate the specific issues relating to the natural world. We look forward to developing and extending this unique visitor experience with Darwin Centre Phase Two, and are delighted to have received such recognition from the Gulbenkian Foundation for Phase One of the project.'
Visitor comments include:
'Fascinating. At long last Museum can re-identify to public with access to collections'.
'The Darwin Centre is an excellent idea showing the public a snapshot of what scientists do is fascinating'.
Contact: Rachel Craddock on 020 7942 5881