Thirty one museums from around the world have been shortlisted for the prestigious 2015 Leading Culture Destinations Awards' 'Best Emerging Culture Destination' accolade. The Award scheme, now in its second year, seeks to recognise and celebrate the success of cultural institutions worldwide, now more than ever defining themselves as centres of attraction for a range of social and leisure activities as well as simply enjoying works of art.

In recognition of this, the Leading Culture Destinations Awards jury judges the Emerging Destinations shortlist, which is made up of selected institutions from six global regions under five headings: Architecture and Spatial design; Exhibitions and Programming; Eating and Drinking; Shopping; and the Digital Experience. 

These same five criteria form the judging categories for the established institutions awards, whose shortlist is to be announced in early September.

Florian Wupperfeld, Co-founder of Leading Culture Destinations, said:

“We are delighted to present the second edition of the Leading Culture Destinations Awards and are particularly excited to be recognising emerging institutions across varied regions for the first time this year.

London, Paris and New York might be world leaders in museums and cultural institutions, but a growing number of cities in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America are starting to provide serious competition.

Until now, most awards for the cultural sector, have been country specific. The only global ranking lists are based on footfall, making them entirely quantitative and not qualitative.

The museums selected for the Leading Culture Destinations Awards are making a vital contribution to the

international cultural panorama and should also be considered in view of their visionary approach and offer, from iconic architecture to audacious programming and management structures, from cross-sector collaborations to Michelin-starred restaurants, late night openings and music performances.”

We want to recognise innovators and leaders from around the world, and to become a platform to discuss the challenges and opportunities that characterise the sector while sharing the best practices by both established and emerging institutions.”

Now in its second year, the already well established and much respected scheme has expanded to include 'Emerging Cultural Destinations' from all over the world, sparking lively debate across creative communities everywhere about the changing role of museums and galleries. The 'Emerging' shortlist includes the recently opened Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, and the spectacular Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, China, designed by internationally renowned museum architect Steven Holl.

Gail Dexter Lord, Co-Founder of museum consultancy Lord Cultural Resources and Chair of the Leading Culture Destinations Awards 2015 Jury, said:

“Museums are among cities' most valuable assets. The cultural capital that museums generate is a central factor for sustained economic empowerment. Emerging cities are increasingly investing in culture, and museums in particular, to attract visitors and establish their global “soft” power.

Museums around the world are fast adapting to current changes - from visitors' attitudes to funding policies - in order to maintain, or establish their status.

The Leading Culture Destinations Awards aim to shine a light on the most exceptional experiences museums offer their visitors and to share the best practices to respond or adapt to the changing, global cultural landscape.”