Cancelled: Children in Museums Award 2020


We confirm with regret that the 2020 Children in Museums Award has been cancelled as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many thanks to all applicants, our panel of judges, partners, sponsor, and award directors, for all efforts put into the this year’s award edition. We are looking forward to join forces with you again for the 2021 award edition!
To help you navigate this unique situation, find answers to the most burning FAQ below.


Why was the award cancelled?

Like everyone else, our work was highly affected by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and its measurements to contain it. Thus, the reasons leading to the decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the Children in Museums Award are numerous. Here is a short summary of our main concerns and considerations:

  • Travel restrictions constrict opportunities for on-site judging visits.
    These visits are the back-bone of the judging process and are highly important to ensure a fair and in-depth assessment of the short-listed candidates. Coordinating judges from all over the world to visit applicants from all continents admist a pandemic is simply impossible, let alone irresponsible considering the potential risks.
  • Lockdowns and new health and safety regulations lead to a distortion of competition.
    Back in autumn applicants entered the contest with their lastest innovative projects. Today, many museums are still closed, some have just reopened in a very constricted setting. Clearly, most are not at their best while trying to navigate this very dynamic situation and cannot showcase every wonderful aspect of their latest exhibitions and programmes. It would just not be ethical to judge these fabulous projects when they are basically on a stand-by or emergency-mode.
  • Ensuring transparent judging criteria.
    We deliberately decided against changing the existing judging protocol mid-process, just to be able to go through with this year’s award edition. Our 2020 applicants entered with projects they see fit to reach high marks in the existing catalogue of judging criteria. It would be very questionable to change the process after closing the call. In general, our criteria are constantely assessed by our intependent  judges and directors. Adaptions are carefully developed and we do not feel comfortable creating new ones within weeks, withouth proper consideration and consultation.

If you want to learn more about our judging process, visit the CMA main page


Will the CMA take place in 2021?

Yes! The call for applications will open in autumn 2020. We hope to be able to make up for the lost year by having an even bigger and inspiring award season 2021. Don’t forget: even if you entered a Children in Museums Award competition before 2020, you are allowed to re-apply with a new project! We will announce the new round of applications in the award section of our website, our newsletter, facebook and twitter.


We sent an application for 2020, do we get a refund?

Existing candidates for the 2020 award will be transferred automatically to the 2021 award without further charge. In case of a withdrawel of your application a refund is unfortunately not possible, like during past editions. Our award office reached out to all applicants with a detailed letter in June. If you are in need for further information, contact our award coordinator:


We are planning to apply for 2021, will there still be an open call?

Yes. The 2021 application form will be available in the late autumn. We are looking forward to having a lovely mix of 2020 and 2021 candidates.We will announce the new round of applications in the award section of our website, our newsletter, facebook and twitter.


As the first round of judging already took place in 2020, will this influence the short-list of 2021?

No. The judging process for 2021 will start from scratch and points will not transferred from past assessments. Everyone will have the same chances, regardless of their year of application.


Is it possible for 2020 applicants to get some feedback on their applications?

No. As we will still run an open call for applications for 2021, we unfortunately cannot provide any information or feedback on your application. We are committed to ensure a fair and independent judging process.


Who will be the judges for 2021?

The same panel of judges as in 2020. All judges agrreed to have their terms prolongued for one year, hence no new judges will be appointed for the 2021 edition. View are international panel of judges.


Who can apply?

Applications are welcomed from children’s museums; from education, children’s and youth departments in museums; science centres; and from other cultural institutions with a particular emphasis on children’s programming. Museums may be long-established or recently opened. However, priority is given to programmes which display recent innovation. Candidates can compete as such or apply with a special (temporary) programme or exhibition. We accept applications from everywhere in the world!


What are the winner’s benefits?

The winner of our travelling Miffy trophy and a cash prize sponsored by Mercis B.V. will be announced in the course of a festive evening event. Nominees will be named honorary ambassadors of the 21st Century Children Project co-funded by the European Union, as the represent best practice examples of future-oriented museum spaces for children.


My question was not answered by this FAQ collection, who can I contact for further information?

Our award coordinator Ann Nicholls is happy to help you out with any further questions. Contact: