The Leading Culture Destinations Awards,

By | Category: Travel news

Design Museum interior. Image © Design Museum

The winners of the Leading Culture Destination 2017 awards have recently been announced.

The purpose of the awards is to celebrate museums and cities for their dedication to cultural vitality with winners chosen based on the quality and reach of their contributions to the international cultural sphere.

The judges review everything from audacious programming and management structures, to cross-sector collaborations and Michelin-starred restaurants, late night openings and music performances, with an overarching focus on a visionary approach to these cultural initiatives. The Awards continue to indicate a cultural growth trend away from traditional artistic hubs such as Paris and New York and the organisers claim that some established cities no longer have the same draw for artists, and as nations such as Mexico and Thailand seek social development to match the growth in the industry. However, the award winners for Leading Cultural Destination of the Year demonstrate that western countries have not completely lost their edge, and continue to work towards maintaining a wealth of cultural activity.

One of the more interesting awards – given for the first time this year- was the  Sipsmith ‘Best Museum Late Night Experience’ prize which draws attention to the “transformation of museums into late night social hubs engaging the next generation of cultural nomads with innovative programming.” This was won by New York’s Rubin Museum of Art.

The overall winner was London’s Design Museum which also picked up the European award for Best New Museum of the Year. The British Museum collected an award for Digital Museum Experience of the Year and Climate Control at Manchester Museum won the Climate Smart Award.

I was intrigued by the fact that one of the world’s oldest cities possessing a culture extending back thousands of years, Athens, won the Emerging Cultural City of the Year award!

Among other awards, Hirschhorn Museum in Washington DC won the Exhibition of the Year with itsYayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” offering and the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon won the Museum Architecture of the Year award. The Etihad Museum in Dubai collected the Best New Museum of the Year for the Middle East and Africa just as the MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in the Thai city of Chiang Mai picked up the award for the Asia/Pacific region. In the Americas, that award was won by the Tippet Rise Art Center in Fishtail and Casa Wabi in Puerto Escondido in Mexico walked off with award for Latin America.

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