Art Fund judges visit the Polar Museum

It’s time to show your love for the Polar Museum at Cambridge University’s Scott Polar Research Institute this weekend.

The Art Fund Prize nomination has given us a wonderful boost and we want to encourage as many people as possible to vote for us in the online poll.

Heather Lane, SPRI

On the Bank Holiday weekend of 29 April – 2 May, the Polar Museum invites the public to celebrate ‘Love Your Museum Weekend’ as part of its bid to win the £100,000 Art Fund Prize.

As well as visiting the Museum on Saturday, members of the public are also encouraged to vote in the online poll run by the Arts Fund as the Prize judges look to narrow Those entering the poll (details below) have the chance to win an iPad.

The Polar Museum, Cambridge is among ten institutions long listed for the prestigious accolade of ‘Museum of the Year’. It was selected for its development project, Promoting Britain's polar heritage: developing the Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute. Other contenders for the Prize include the British Museum, Mostyn in Wales and the Roman Baths Museum, Bath.

The Polar Museum will be open on Saturday 30 April and will host a range of drop-in family-friendly activities. These include: try on polar clothing, draw a penguin to join the giant penguin huddle, make your own snowflake, find out about expedition newspapers and create your own polar adventure headline. There will also be a chance to look more closely at Inuit sculpture at 11am, 12pm and 2.30pm with the Keeper of Collections, Heather Lane. Visitors are also invited to make a penguin tag to saying why they love the Polar Museum.

Over the course of the weekend the museum will also be asking the public to comment online in support of its bid to win the £100,000 accolade.

Keeper of Collections, Heather Lane, said, "We hope that many new visitors will come to the Polar Museum as a result of the Love Your Museum event. The Art Fund Prize nomination has given us a wonderful boost and we want to encourage as many people as possible to vote for us in the online poll."

Love Your Museum Weekend also marks the last chance for the public to show their support for their favourite long listed museum before the judges meet to decide on the short list, which will be announced on 19 May.

On Saturday, 30 April, the public are also invited to participate in a Twitter competition in celebration of Love Your Museum Weekend. People are invited to tweet why they love museums by using the hash tag #ilovemuseums. In doing so they can enter a draw to win a free National Art Pass, giving a year’s free entry to over 200 charging museums and galleries and 50% off entry to major exhibitions across the UK. Tweets must be entered between 10am and 1pm on Saturday 30 April.

Free events and activities will be held at nine of the ten long listed museums and galleries.

Meanwhile, judge Jeremy Deller has created an audio diary series chronicling his experience as Art Fund Prize judge for BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. Jeremy took recording equipment with him on all of his visits to the long listed museums. The diaries will be broadcast on Radio 4 during the first half of May, prior to the shortlist announcement.

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