Hastings Museum & Art Gallery has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Lockdown Project’ category of the Museums Change Lives Awards 2020. 

#HastingsDigitalMuseum began at the beginning of lockdown and ran until the museum reopened after 24 weeks of closure, reaching over 1.45 million devices and many virtual visitors. The museum team quickly adapted to create opportunities to engage in cultural activities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

PICTURE: Dave Young

Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for Regeneration, Culture and Tourism, said: “It is great to see the museum being recognised for the hard work it put in. Officers spent the many months of lockdown organising digital projects so that the exceptional history and art pieces they have could continue to be enjoyed by the public. Alongside this a range of new activities were developed to engage with different ages, including the Unbuilt Room, an online immersive game, the LGBTQ+ Zine activity and the Hastings Digital Quilt which proved to be incredibly popular with a range of ages.”

The award nomination builds on the Museum’s impressive recent successes including receiving a TripAdvisor ‘Traveller’s Choice Award’ and increasing footfall with 63,500 visitors across the year leading up to the pandemic, a 20,000 increase on 2018-19. 

Once again accessible to the public ‘Hastings Open 2020’ (until 3rd January 2021) features both local and international artists. An open call earlier this year saw over 1500 artworks submitted for consideration. Chosen by a guest panel of practising artists and gallery owners it highlights the truly remarkable local contemporary art scene along with special pieces from around the world.

The museum is open Thursdays to Sundays and has introduced new COVID-19 secure measures. Contactless transactions are encour-aged but cash can be accepted. Visitors need to book a free timed ticket via www.hmag.org.uk

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