Colchester Borough Council congratulates Firstsite on winning Museum of the Year

PUBLISHED: 22 September 2021

Colchester Borough Council would like to offer its heartfelt congratulations to Firstsite, for winning the Art Fund Museum of the Year. This prestigious accolade is the world’s largest museum prize and is a celebration of the country's finest museums and galleries.

Firstsite fought off stiff competition from the Centre for Contemporary Art Derry, Experience Barnsley, The Thackray Museum of Medicine, and Timespan, to scoop the £100,000 award.

The council is proud to be a strategic funding partner for Firstsite and to support the work they do with the local community. This win not only highlights the incredible cultural landscape that exists across the borough, but the dedication and hard work of the team at Firstsite.

Led by Director Sally Shaw, Firstsite, like many local organisations, found innovative ways throughout the pandemic to connect with the local community and beyond, with the launch of its art packs supported by over 50 artists. These packs really resonated with the public during what was a difficult and isolating time for many.

The gallery is now in its tenth year and has evolved considerably over the past decade. Another hugely important initiative rightly recognised by the judges is Firstsite’s holiday hunger programme. Every school holiday, it transforms the gallery's restaurant into a school canteen offering free meals to local families in need, putting health and wellbeing at the heart of its offer to the community and cementing its importance for the local area.

The council is delighted to have been a partner on Firstsite’s journey from the very beginning and will continue to work with them into the future, to help grow and support this innovative cultural hub now rooted in the centre of Colchester’s community.

Councillor Darius Laws, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Business and Heritage for Colchester Borough Council, said: “The council is dedicated to continuing to fund and support the wonderful work that Firstsite does, to help grow local talent and promote Colchester as a thriving cultural destination. Huge congratulations to the team for a well-deserved win and happy tenth anniversary year.”

Page last reviewed: 22 September 2021


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