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1 year ago · · Typical

2022 Digital Culture Award Winners

In January 2022 the Digital Culture Network hosted the first ever Digital Culture Awards, celebrating the best in digital and tech innovation in the creative and cultural sector. We selected nine outstanding Winners from 430 entries. To see more about the winning entries, visit our 2022 Winners case studies here.  

We launched the 2023 Digital Culture Awards in November with submissions coming in from across the creative and cultural sector in large numbers, from both organisations and individuals. As we continue to encourage you to enter and showcase your digital skills, we think there’s no better time to speak to some of our previous Winners, and hear about their next big, digital plans.  

The Digital Culture Network’s Senior Manager, Sadie Abson, caught up with our Winners to hear about their journeys since winning a Digital Culture Award and discover what they’re working on now.  

Opera North – Income Generation – Winners 

It was such an honor to win a Digital Culture Award for our ‘From Couch to Chorus’ project. We are in the middle of planning the next edition, thinking about ways of moving to a more hybrid model, and offering extra in-person elements alongside the online workshops. Since receiving the award, we have been working to develop a range of other digital projects:    

  • Opera Connect: these online workshops look at different musical traditions, welcoming artists from around the world to share tunes and stories from their countries of origin. We hosted a pilot workshop back in May with Ukrainian soprano Inna Husieva – an audio recording is accessible here. We also have 2 workshops coming up this season, one on Ireland with tenor Gavan Ring and one on Egypt and Arabic music with mezzo-soprano Camille Maalawi. 

Image provided by Opera North

  • Artistic Futures: this monthly podcast is for anyone contemplating a career in the world of music and opera. A range of artists share their passion and talk about their artistic journeys. The first episode of this season has just been released with queer conductor Manoj Kamps, who will be opening Traviata this week.

Open Sky Theatre – Digital Inclusion – Winners 

Our Digital Culture Awards success with ‘MicroPlays: Polarity’ marked a technological revolution in how we make and distribute work. We went on to use our physical theatre and fresh writing background to make Cold, a digital theatre feature film, shot on the main stage of Courtyard, Hereford. It opened digitally to tens of thousands of viewers online at The London International Mime Festival and then played to live audiences at theatres like The Lyric Hammersmith and Theatre Royal Norwich.  

Photo credit – Kie Cummings

The project found new audiences for our work at 29 international film festivals, winning more than 20 awards, including 11 for Best Film. We are now in TV discussions for both, ‘Cold’ and our next digital theatre film project. We are developing ‘MicroPlays: Identity’ and exploring a live show with digital marionettes with a theatre in Norway. The Digital Culture Awards gave us the credibility and the confidence to move in these exciting new directions. 

Black Country Living Museum – Being Social – Winners 

Following our success in the Being Social category at the Digital Culture Awards 2022, the Museum has continued to experiment with engaging with audiences outside of our physical doors.  

After a brief TikTok hiatus, the Museum bounced back onto the platform with our brand of fun and lively, historic content. We continue to experiment with different video styles and have recently created more “behind-the-scenes” content to bring our audiences into our collections stores, to see our objects and meet our collections team, as well as reconnect viewers with both new and existing historic characters.  

Image provided by Black Country Living Museum

We’re excited to introduce more new content and characters soon as we share the Museum’s continued progression with our new 1940s-60s development, opening in stages over the next year. 

Michael Hardy – Emerging Digital Leader – Winner 

Winning an award at the first ever Digital Culture Awards highlighted the digital content that we have been making at Barnsley Museums, and how it has resonated with our audiences and across the sector.  

With the support of Digital Culture Network and others, we have continued to make more of our content in-house, such as creating short videos. As we continue to make our online content as accessible as it can be to everyone, and at the same time encourage more people to visit our venues, we have started creating interactive 360 tours of our museums and exhibitions. Virtual visitors can now take a virtual tour of The Cooper Gallery, where they can take a close look at every painting on display as well as read blogs, watch videos, listen to audio descriptions, and play our digital jigsaws  

Kakilang (自己人) (Formerly Chinese Arts Now) – Digital Storytelling – Winners 

Since winning a Digital Culture Award we have rebranded to Kakilang (自己人). Which means ‘one of us’ in the Hokkien dialect, evoking kinship, and affinity – widely used amongst East and Southeast Asian diasporic groups.  

This step marks a watershed moment for us, as we continue to grow our ambition, scale, and reach of our in-house productions and platforming of East and Southeast Asian artists. Next year, we will stage three live productions including Home X – a dance performance meets cutting edge technology that combines theatre, music, gaming and VR technology created with artists in London and Hong Kong, performing at the Barbican, London. Our biennial muti-artform festival will open in February with an exciting programme of theatre, family events, visual arts, dance, technology, and queer cabaret.  

Home X at Barbican (Photo credit: Ian Gallagher and  Lidia Crisafulli)


National Student Drama Festival – Digital Trailblazer – Winner 

Since winning the 2022 Digital Trailblazer award, we have been delving even further into the intersection between our digital and live work. 2022 saw the return of our live festival, and our learning and experience from our fully digital programme in 2021 emboldened us to create a digital festival that ran alongside the live one. We hosted workshops, presented shows and talks digitally, reaching people that were still unable to be with us in person and reaching new audiences and participants.  

We have also developed a show with a cohort of young theatre makers in England and India through our LAB programme, connecting them live for the performance at the festival which was a hybrid model of digital and IRL. We continue to host new work from exciting artists on NSDF HUB, a year round performance space platform. 

Image provided by National Student Drama Festival

We’re still taking entries for the 2023 Digital Culture Awards!  Submissions are open until 12 January 2023, and we’re on the hunt for another group of projects as innovative and inspiring as the ones from the above and the other 2022 Winners. Head to the Digital Culture Network website to find out more and enter.  

Learn about the 2023 Digital Culture Awards 

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