Meet the 2021 Digital Culture Awards Shortlist!

Arts Council England and the Digital Culture Network are excited to announce the first Digital Culture Awards – celebrating digital and tech innovation in arts and culture.

Since 2019, the Digital Culture Network has worked with over 1100 organisations and individuals and we never cease to be inspired by the innovation and agility our sector displays. This has never been more apparent than over the past 18 months, where organisations have embraced digital technology to reach and engage audiences in the most innovative and creative ways and at an incredible pace, demonstrating the real opportunities that digital can offer to support our sector as we move forward.

So, to celebrate your dedication and creativity, we’re on the hunt for the very best in digital transformation, digital engagement and use of technology in arts and culture in England. With 8 categories including digital storytelling, digital inclusion, income generation and emerging digital leader, there’s something for everyone.

When is it?

Submissions for the 2021 Awards were open from 29 September to 8 November but are now closed.

We’ve announced the Shortlist for each category – head to our Shortlist page to meet them.

Who’s involved?

We’ve partnered with an exciting range of inspiring industry-leading Judges from the worlds of tech and the arts. For more info head to our Judges pages.

How can we get involved?

Check out the Shortlist! It’s a collection of brilliant stories of digital transformation and innovation so make sure you take a look and get inspired.

Meet our Shortlist!

Join us for our virtual Awards Ceremony on 20 January 2022. Come along to cheer on your colleagues, peers, and friends!

Join us for the Awards Ceremony!


All organisations eligible for Arts Council England funding can apply. You just need to work for (or with) a not-for-profit arts and culture organisation in England and be submitting a project or activity which was implemented in the last 2 years. Funded disciplines include: Dance, Theatre, Music, Visual Art, New Media, Combined Arts, Literature, Museums and Libraries. You don’t currently need to be in receipt of funding. Sector Support Organisations are also eligible to apply.

Your entered project or campaign must have taken place (wholly or in-part) during the 2-year eligibility period of 1 October 2019 to 31 September 2021.

As Arts Council England is a publicly funded body, sadly we are unable to offer cash prizes, but winners will get recognition, publicity and will be featured in a Digital Culture Network Case Study.

Fame! If shortlisted, you and your entered project(s) will be shared on Arts Council and Digital Culture Network comms channels and put on the radar of tech and arts sector experts. We will produce shareable video assets for the shortlists and the winners will be featured in a Digital Culture Network Case Study on this website. You can add our “Digital Culture Awards Shortlist/Winner 2021” banner to your emails and other external comms and will receive a digital certificate and even a physical trophy!


In the first round, each category will be longlisted by an expert team of Digital Culture Network Tech Champions and the Arts Council England Innovation team. In the second round, an independent industry expert Judge will pick their top entries which will be the Shortlist for each category. For the 2 People’s Choice categories, we’ll then open it up to you to pick your favourite. All winners will be announced during the live virtual Awards event.

You can enter the same category multiple times as long as you are entering a different project or campaign.

You can, but please ensure each entry references the category criteria.

To view the entry form you will need to register on the Zealous platform. You can then explore the forms for each category. You can draft and edit your entry as often as you like up until which point you press the “submit” button. We’ve tried to make entering as simple as possible – all we’re asking for is some background on the project, your contact details, a few supporting assets and 3 questions specific to the category.

Safely and in accordance with the Arts Council England privacy policy. Your application will be shared with Judges for the longlisting and shortlisting round. If you make it to the shortlist round, parts of the application will be shared publicly. More information about what we will share publicly can be found in the Guidelines for each category on the Zealous platform. Your contact details will not be shared with the Judges or publicly.

Us! Please get in touch on and one of our team will be able to help you.