Chichester’s Novium up for museum ‘Oscar’

The Novium museum in Chichester. Photo by Kate Shemilt
The Novium museum in Chichester. Photo by Kate Shemilt

An innovative community arts project has put The Novium Museum in Chichester in a shortlist of top museums in the prestigious Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence.

The 24-hour Inventive Factory was held in October as part of the Museums at Night initiative and is up in the ‘Project on a Limited Budget’ category of the Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence.

The annual Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence are considered to be the ‘Oscars’ of the museums world - recognising excellence, innovation and ground-breaking exhibitions from galleries and visitor attractions across the UK and Europe.

Cllr Gillian Keegan, cabinet member for commercial services at Chichester District Council, said: “It is a real honour that The Novium Museum has been shortlisted for the Project on a Limited Budget award alongside some really fantastic and worthwhile projects.

“It just goes to show that innovation and hard work can make a small budget go a long way. The 24 Hour Inventive Factory was the most ambitious event we’ve ever delivered, and the success of the event from start to finish is a real testament to the passion and commitment of the entire team.”

The 24 Hour Inventive Factory event was the result of The Novium Museum winning Culture 24’s national Connect! Museums at Night competition. Thousands of people voted for the museum to host the event, which came with a grant of £3,000 and was also attended by Turner Prize nominated artist Yinka Shonibare MBE.

The project took its name from quirky local inventor, Colin Pullinger, who created the first human mousetrap which is on display in the museum today. Pullinger ran his own Inventive Factory in Selsey and the museum came up with the idea of transforming areas of the museum into various ‘Inventive Factories’.

The result was a vibrant 24-hour festival combining music, performance and art which involved people from across the community including amateur and professional artists, community groups and students.

The Novium Museum has been shortlisted alongside Gallery Oldham; Oxford University Museum of Natural History; Jewish Museum London; West Cheshire Museums and Big Heritage.

The winners will be announced by comic Marcus Brigstocke at an awards ceremony in London on Wednesday, May 18.

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