A project giving budding curators in Leeds the chance to work with one of the country’s top contemporary art collections has scooped a prestigious industry award.
Leeds Art Gallery’s Youth Art Collective received the Volunteers for Museum Learning award for Yorkshire from The British Museum and the Marsh Christian Trust during an online ceremony attended by some of the country’s most celebrated museums and arts institutions.
Through a series of innovative events, sessions and workshops, the Youth Art Collective gives young people aged 14-21 unique opportunities to work with experienced artists and curators as they take their first steps into working in a museum or gallery.
The group recently worked on a photography and video project to document their lives and the different ways they have dealt with isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Working on Zoom with local independent filmmaker Nick Singleton, they produced a film which captured their individual experiences at home.
Angie Thompson, Leeds Museums and Galleries’ youth engagement officer said: “We’re so proud to have received such a prestigious award and for the group to get this recognition for their amazing hard work, creativity and imagination.
“It’s truly inspirational during these challenging times to see a group of young people show so much enthusiasm and commitment to arts and culture and to see their passion and determination rewarded.”
The awards celebrate the work and achievements of museum volunteers across the UK, with the British Museum and the Marsh Christian Trust working in partnership for the twelfth year in a row.
The aim of the Volunteers for Museum Learning award is to recognise those volunteers who engage directly with museum visitors.
Sir Richard Lambert, chairman of the trustees at the British Museum said “Museums across the UK rely on the contribution of volunteers to ensure their collections reach and inspire as many people as possible. The efforts of volunteers up and down the country in 2019 are an inspiration as we all continue to navigate the challenges presented to us all in 2020.”
This award marks the second year in a row that Leeds Museums and Galleries have taken home a coveted Marsh Award.
Last year, volunteers at Temple Newsam House won the award for Blot on the Landscape, an exhibition exploring the fascinating history of deep shaft, drift and open cast mining on the estate.