AMaGA’s MAPDA & MAGNA Awards 2021
2021 MAGNAs & MAPDAs open for entries now, Australian Museums and Galleries Association, March 2021
Museums & Galleries National Awards
The Museums & Galleries National Awards, or MAGNAs, began in 2011. They recognise excellent work nationally in the categories of exhibition, public programs and sustainability projects.
The MAGNAs are open to all Australian cultural collecting institutions who are members of Australian Museums and Galleries Association except Indigenous Programs or Keeping Places which is open to all. Become an organisational member of AMaGA.
The MAGNAs will be awarded at the AMaGA National Conference in June.
The Awards are intended to:
- Encourage the continuous improvement and development of Australian museums and galleries
- Inspire and recognise best practice and innovation in the collecting sector
- Enhance the profile of museums and galleries in local and wider communities.
In 2014 the MAGNAs became a member’s only benefit, and free for entry to all AMaGA organisational members.
Call for entries: 18 March 2021
Entries close: 30 April 2021
Level 1: Project budget less than $20,000
Level 2: Project budget $20,000 – $150,000
Level 3: Project budget $150,000 – $500,000
Level 4: Project budget more than $500,000
- Permanent Exhibition or Gallery Fitout
A physical or virtual interpreted presentation of materials owned or borrowed by the institution. (PREVIEW QUESTIONS)
- Temporary/Travelling Exhibition
A temporary physical or virtual interpreted presentation of materials owned or borrowed by the institution. (PREVIEW QUESTIONS)
- Interpretation, Learning and Audience Engagement
Community development and education projects developed by the institution to interpret and communicate the collection and stories. (PREVIEW QUESTIONS)
- Indigenous Project
A project or program developed specifically for Indigenous communities or by Indigenous people. May include gallery or exhibition development or interpretive programming and learning projects. (PREVIEW QUESTIONS)
Projects including community research, curatorial/collections research, post-doctoral research, and ARC level or equivalent research. (PREVIEW QUESTIONS)
- Rapid Response Collecting Project
Contemporary, rapid response collecting projects, including resulting exhibitions, in response to emergencies, crises or other upheaval – collecting history as it happens. (PREVIEW QUESTIONS)
- Make sure your membership is up to date
- Preview the 2021 questions
- Go to the awards entry form from 18 March
- Fill in the entry form – you can save and go back as many times as you like
- Submit the entry
- Your entry will be approved by AMaGA
- Wait for judging
Consider the following when completing the entry form:
- Project achievements
- What was the rationale behind the project? What issues are being considered?
- How is the project innovative or original?
- How is the significance of the objects conveyed?
- How does the project utilise sustainable best practice to ensure conservation of objects and the broader environment?
- How was the project received by the public?
- How does the design of the project emphasise its meaning?
- How does the project contribute to local or national cultural tourism, education or development?
- Supporting documentary materials, including reports, visitor comments, media, exhibition books, education materials, etc (not counted in page limit)
- Supporting graphic materials, including photos, plans, web pages, etc (not counted in page limit)
- Any other information to support your entry
* We understand that not all project entries will address all example criteria equally.
The panel of judges will be selected from staff from a variety of organisations, including museums, galleries, libraries and educational institutions. The judging system includes an easy recusal system to avoid any conflicts of interest.
A call for expressions of interest will be sent out in February to build on the established pool of judges.
Judges are asked to consider the following, where relevant, when evaluating each entry:
- Original and creative idea, innovative concept
- Innovative approaches to collaboration including co-design, community outreach, crowd-sourcing
- Innovative use of the organisation’s collection and other resources such as research
- Adherence or consideration of National Standards, national or state curricula, Indigenous Roadmap, etc
- Production quality and technical values
- Successful incorporation of social engagement and networking/sharing opportunities
- Evaluation methods used and results
- Ethical presentation and communication of sensitive content such as Indigenous, military, ethnicity, etc.
- The MAGNA Awards are open to all non-commercial museums, galleries, zoos, botanical gardens, historical societies, libraries, keeping places, science centres and other cultural and collecting institutions who are members of Australian Museums and Galleries Association.
- The Indigenous category is open to members and non-members.
- Commercial galleries, auction houses and publishing interests are not eligible.
- Only members of AMaGA are eligible to enter the MAGNA Awards.
- The MAGNA Awards are free to enter.
- Organisations can enter as many submissions as they want but each project/program can only be entered in one category.
- The Awards are not open to International entrants.
- Entries must come from organisations, associations or not-for-profit companies.
- Entries by individuals are not eligible.
- Entrants may submit multiple entries in any categories, but these can only be entered in one category.
- An impartial judging panel drawn from relevant sectors, and including a member of the museum-going public, will judge the entries.
- The judging panel reserves the right not to make an award in a category if it considered no award is merited; or to make a joint award in a category.
- Entries will not be returned.
- The winner of each entry will receive an award and certificate, and acknowledgement on the AMaGA website. Entries of high distinction will be recognised as Highly Commended.
- All entries will be credited as indicated on the entry form. Ensure the details on the entry form are correct and legible.
- By submitting an entry, the entrant grants permission to AMaGA for the reproduction of winning entries for purposes of publicity and promotion at no charge; entrants must warrant they have the right to allow such use by AMaGA
Museums Australasia Multimedia & Publication Design Awards
The Museums Australasia Multimedia & Publication Design Awards are all about design and communication. (For project-based programs (exhibitions, public programs, etc) you probably want the MAGNAs). The awards began in 1994 and are still going strong. The structure hasn’t changed much, however we have fiddled with the categories to reflect the changes made in the last two decades in how our institutions are communicating with the public.
The MAPDAs are sponsored by Australian Book Connection.
There is a fee to enter MAPDA (see below).
19 February 2021: Call for entries
14 April 2021: Entries close
9 June 2021: Awards Ceremony, Canberra
NOTE: We will be having a bookstore at the AMaGA National Conference where past MAPDA entries (books and catalogues) will be available to purchase. Profits from sales will go to Museums Australia Fund, the association’s charity. The potential sale of past entries is a long-standing Condition of Entry of MAPDA (see below). Our last conference bookstore was in Sydney in 2015. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the National Office on email@example.com.
An application for use on a mobile device
A printed book that is not an exhibition catalogue
- CHILDREN’S BOOK
A book or activity book made for children
- CHILDREN’S E-ACTIVITIES NEW
Online children’s activities, e-learning or games
- EXHIBITION BRANDING PACKAGE
A collection of images showcasing the branding of an exhibition (not corporate branding) EXAMPLES
- EXHIBITION CATALOGUE (MAJOR)
Exhibition catalogue more than 64 pages
- EXHIBITION CATALOGUE (SMALL)
Exhibition catalogue less than 64 pages
- EXHIBITION WEBSITE
A website created to accompany a physical exhibition
- FILM NEW
Pre-recorded video chats, behind-the-scenes tours, advertising or online/offline sizzle reels, documentaries or in-exhibition films
Corporate branding, RAPs, annual reports
- INFORMATION BROCHURE
Information brochure, calendar of events, museum tour guide/map etc
- INSTITUTION WEBSITE
A website created for an institution
An invitation for an exhibition opening or other event – must supply hard copy
A periodical, not an annual report
- ONLINE EXHIBITION NEW
A born-digital exhibition presented entirely online
A poster made to advertise an exhibition, organisation or program
- VIRTUAL TOUR NEW
A streamed or web-based virtual tour of a museum or gallery or hybrid exhibition
MAPDA Entry Levels are based on your organisations operating budget.
- Level A – Annual operating budget up to $8million.
- Level B – Annual operating budget over $8million.
Note: MAPDA charges a fee for entry. The fee applies for each entry submitted. Members of Australian Museums and Galleries Association or Museums Aotearoa receive a discount.
Inclusive of GST the fees are:
- Level A – Member: $49.50
- Level A – Non-member: $71.50
- Level B – Member: $71.50
- Level B – Non-member: $99
Enter more than 5 items and receive a discount of 10%
Enter more than 10 items and receive a discount of 20%
(this will automatically be calculated in the checkout)
WHO CAN ENTER?
Museums, galleries, libraries, archives, zoos, botanical gardens, science centres, historical societies – any non-commercial collecting institution can enter.
Designers may enter on behalf of an organisation they have worked with, however it must be entered under the name of the cultural organisation with their permission.
- The MAPDAs are open to all non-commercial museums, galleries, zoos, botanical gardens, historical societies, libraries, keeping places, science centres and other cultural organisations.
- Commercial galleries, auction houses and publishing interests are not eligible.
- Members and non-members of Australian Museums and Galleries Association are eligible (note the differentiation in entry fee).
- Entries must come from organisations, associations and non-profit companies, not individuals or designers.
- An entry is defined as printed or electronically designed graphic material intended for public distribution.
- Entries must have been produced between 1 January and 31 December the year prior to the awards.
- Entries should be posted with the registration form, payment and entry form attached to each entry to arrive at MA before the closing date.
- All publications will be credited as indicated on the registration and entry forms. Please ensure names are listed correctly and legibly.
- Entries will not be processed until payment is received.
- Museums may submit multiple entries in any category, but these can only be entered in one category.
- A series of publications may be submitted as one entry (e.g. newsletters, magazines, posters, online).
- One copy only of any publication must be supplied in its intended form – printed materials as hard copy. Multimedia and website entries to note the URL address for viewing or upload a file.
- An impartial judging panel drawn from the museum and graphic design sectors will judge entries.
- The judging panel reserves the right not to make an award in a category if it considers no award is merited; or to make a joint award. Decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
- Ensuring an entry’s timely arrival, good condition and correct information is the responsibility of each entrant.
- Publications will not be returned. Entries become the property of AMaGA. Entries may be used for exhibition purposes. Publications may be sold to raise funds for Museums Australia Fund – AMaGA’s charity.
- By submitting an entry, the entrant grants permission to AMaGA for the reproduction of winning entries for the purposes of publicity and promotion at no charge; entrants must warrant they have the right to allow such use by AMaGA.
- Enter MAPDA
- Pay the fee
- Package your physical entries and post them to us
Please print your invoice and attach it to your physical entries and post to MAPDA as soon as possible. You do not need to post anything for electronic entries.Post to:Australian Museums and Galleries Association
PO Box 24
WEST DEAKIN ACT 2600For courier deliveries or drop-offs:
Australian Museums and Galleries Association
9-11 Napier Close
Deakin ACT 2600
Our MAPDA judges are all volunteers. We select judges so that we have at least two graphic designers, an artist, an Indigenous person, a curator, a printer and someone with marketing experience. Due to the fact that the judging is in Canberra, our judges are often from the east coast, or Canberra specifically, but we try to branch out and have a few non-locals each year.
Entries are judged based on:
- Original creative idea, innovative concept
- Design skills in the expression and extension of the idea through suitable typography, photography, illustration, form structure and material use
- Sensitive use of images and photography
- The publication’s ability to communicate effectively and meaningfully – is it fit for purpose?
- Production and technical values, suitable stock, production process, colour quality and consistency, embellishments or incorporating ecological concerns.
- What constitutes a series of publications?
- How should we attach the entry form to the entry?
- Who can enter?
- I’m an individual with a self-published book. Can I enter?
- I have to submit my branding entry on an A3 board. What do you mean?
What constitutes a series of publications?
A series of publications is considered ‘as having the same design element ’ – a series of materials (e.g., a multi-volume set of books), where each individual component has clear and recognisable graphic similarities to the others and cannot be accurately judged alone.
Otherwise, you must either enter just one component of the series or enter multiple components as separate entries. For example, you cannot enter a book, poster and invitation for the same exhibition as a series, or catalogues that have been produced by one institution that have no design connection. However, you can enter three brochures with the same design but different information as a series.
To put it simply, same design, different exhibitions, OK.
Different design, different exhibitions, not OK.
How should we attach the entry form to the entry?
The entry should be attached using removable tape or removable sticky dots. Please do not use ordinary sticky tape, paper clips, masking tape or staples(!!) as the judges may need to remove the entry form to accurately judge the entry.
Who can enter?
The MAPDA awards are open to all non-commercial museums, galleries, zoos, botanical gardens, historical societies, libraries, keeping places, science centres and other cultural organisations.
I’m an individual with a self-published book. Can I enter?
Individual entrants are taken on a case-by-case basis. Please call or email us and we can give you an answer based on your circumstances. Remember that you will be up against institutional entrants, some with very large budgets.
I have to submit my branding entry on an A3 board. What do you mean?
The easiest thing is to show you. For some examples of how you can enter your branding, click here.