CCA Derry~Londonderry shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021!

CCA Derry~Londonderry has been selected as one of the five finalists for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021, the world’s largest museum prize.

The Centre for Contemporary Art has been exhibiting emerging artists from Northern Ireland alongside international peers since 1992. Today CCA creates opportunities for audiences to experience ambitious, experimental and engaging contemporary art and supports the development of artists through commissions, solo and group exhibitions, public programmes, artist residencies, alongside its own publishing programme. In the past year, it has supported 65 artists with paid for opportunities including social media takeovers, as well as developing its CCA Supports programme. This includes an online platform providing artists with information on emergency support through Government schemes and initiatives, crit groups, surgeries along with a series of Round Table podcasts. Moreover, CCA has continued to engage with the community by displaying artwork in its windows, it presented the biennial exhibition URGENCIES 2021 in spaces across the city such as in shop windows, theatres and a shopping centre, and delivered activity packs to hundreds of schoolchildren, essential in an area of social deprivation.

The other four shortlisted museums are:

We are over the moon to have been shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021! The past year was tough for everyone in so many different ways and I am really proud of our small team for being able to do something positive during this seriously difficult time. We worked so hard to make sure we could continue to fulfil our mission - to create opportunities for audiences to experience ambitious, experimental and engaging art, and for emerging artists to develop successful careers. Whilst we couldn't pursue our mission in our usual manner, we found flexible and creative ways to work with artists and audiences that could operate in a pandemic that made sense and aimed to maintain integrity through everything we did.

Being shortlisted for this award is incredible – it's a real boost and we are so glad we could create employment and signpost support for artists and others at a time when so much was halted, particularly in our context where the toll of years of cuts and standstill funding in our sector means there is no safety net, especially for artists. We are honoured to be on this fantastic shortlist with our fellow nominees and extend our thanks to everyone we worked with over the past year; every artist and creative freelancer, all of our funders, supporters, cheerleaders and audiences, for inspiring us, getting involved and helping us make CCA Derry~Londonderry what it is today!

– CCA Director Catherine Hemelryk

Art Fund annually shortlists five outstanding museums for the Museum of the Year prize. The 2021 edition reflects the resilience and imagination of museums throughout the pandemic. At this moment of museums re-opening and starting their recovery, the 2021 prize highlights and rewards the extraordinary ways in which museums have, over the past year, served and connected with their communities. The winning museum will be announced at a ceremony in September and will receive £100,000. The other four shortlisted museums will each receive £15,000 in recognition of their achievements.

The members of this year’s judging panel, chaired by Art Fund Director Jenny Waldman, are: Maria Balshaw, director of Tate and chair of the National Museum Directors’ Council; Katrina Brown, director of The Common Guild and Art Fund trustee; Suhair Khan, strategic projects lead at Google; and artist Thomas J Price.

Art Fund has supported Museum of the Year since 2008. Its forerunner was the Prize for Museums and Galleries, administered by the Museum Prize Trust and sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation from 2003-2007. The prize champions what museums do, encourages more people to visit and gets to the heart of what makes a truly outstanding museum. The judges present the prize to the museum or gallery that has shown how their achievements of the preceding year stand out, demonstrated what makes their work innovative, and the impact it has had on audiences.

Please direct any initial media enquiries to:

Jane Quinn/Dennis Chang at Bolton & Quinn
+44 (0) 20 7221 5000, or

Ruth Findlay at Art Fund
+44 (0) 20 7225 4840,



Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry 10–12 Artillery Street
Derry~Londonderry BT48 6RG
+44(0)2871 373538 |

Opening times: Tuesday–Saturday noon–6pm
Free admission

About CCA Derry~Londonderry:
CCA is a publicly funded space within the historic city walls of Derry~Londonderry. CCA creates opportunities for audiences to experience ambitious, experimental and engaging art and for emerging artists to develop successful careers. CCA fosters a wide range of artistic, curatorial and critical practices through five programme streams: research and production, exhibition-making, public programmes, publishing and residencies.

CCA is a member of Plus Tate:
Plus Tate is a network, which comprises 35 cultural institutions – including the Tate galleries – that have strong artistic vision, a focus on contemporary art, outstanding public programming and a commitment to local community engagement through art. Plus Tate aims to support the development of the visual arts across the UK.

CCA has a range of safety measures to ensure staff and visitors can enjoy exhibitions with the knowledge that every precaution is taken. This includes hand sanitisers at entrances and exits, track and trace, screens and heightened cleaning schedules. All who are able to wear a mask are invited to do so and a dedicated isolation room is available in the event of the onset of symptoms.

For media enquiries:
Fiona Allan
Marketing Assistant, CCA Derry~Londonderry
10-12 Artillery Street, Derry~Londonderry, BT48 6RG, Northern Ireland | +44(0)2871 373538 | @CCADLD

CCA is supported by:

Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry Ltd NI1041649 | Registered Charity Number NIC101414

CCA’s Current Programme

Irish Modernisms

Exhibition in CCA’s galleries and online seminars considering the legacies of modernism in the North and global contexts, featuring artists James Ashe, Rachael Campbell-Palmer, Phillip McCrilly, Grace McMurray, Ben Weir.

CCA Introducing 2021
24 hour social media takeovers by emerging artists from NI and beyond @CCADLD on Twitter and Instagram

Family Summer Activity 2021: IMAGINE. MAKE. PLAY.
An artist-led activity by Vasiliki Stasinaki for all the family

CCA Supports
Workshops, sessions and information resource for artists


CCA Project Space
CCA Graduate Award winners selected from this year’s the University of Ulster’s Fine Art degree show, Susan Hughes (MFA award) and DreamBean (BA award).

2021 Digital Residencies
Following Alberta Whittle’s digital residency, the next residencies are by Ciara Finnegan and Cat and Éiméar McClay.

Images (find here in Dropbox folder)

  1. URGENCIES 2021 Christopher Steenson, Electricity (Annascaul), 2019 and Clouds (Venice floods), 2019. 35mm negative scanned to digital. Location: Old Cathedral School, London Street
  2. Working remotely, CCA’s Director installing ‘OlfactoStroll’ (2021) by Jan Uprichard in CCA’s Project Space
  3. Screenshot of social media takeovers at @CCADLD (2020) Images: James Ashe, Borbála Soós, Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh
  4. Screenshot of digital residency Creating Dangerously (2021), by Alberta Whittle
  5. Research Associates Peer Support session, Alessia Cargnelli presentation (2021)
  6. Schools Workshop Either/Or by Niamh Seana Meehan (2020)
  7. Schools Workshop: Shedtastic Lucky Bags by Denzil Browne (2020–21)
  8. Screenshot of CCA Podcasts available at Spotify, iTunes, Anchor, and Google
  9. CCA entrance at 10–12 Artillery Street
  10. CCA façade at 10–12 Artillery Street

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry, on Wednesday 28 July, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow

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CCA Derry~Londonderry shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021!