The shortlist for the the country’s biggest arts prize, The Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries 2009, will be announced in early May with the winner carrying off the coveted winner’s trophy later in the month together with a cash prize of £100,000.
As ever it's an eclectic longlist with everything from multi-million pound revamps to an innovative museum loans scheme in the running.
To help you get a handle on the longlist Culture24 has been speaking to the museums to find out why they should win the prize and what their work is all about.
Below you will find, in no particular order, the first five interviews with curators and directors who are hoping to win the coveted £100,000 Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year. Next week we'll roll out another five - in the meantime just click on a link below to read more and don't forget to visit the Art Fund Prize website (details at the bottom of this page) for a chance to tell the judges who you think should win and why.
Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham.
A thriving and inspirational community hub for heritage, arts and learning.
Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire.
A stunning new building designed by award-winning architects Sergison Bates.
Outside the Box at the Museum of Reading.
More than 20,000 museum objects boxed up and loaned out to hundreds of schools, colleges, care homes, libraries, and local community groups.
Scotland - A Changing Nation at National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh.
An exciting celebration of Scottish achievement with five major themes affecting life in Scotland including war, industry, daily life, social change and immigration.
The Wedgwood Museum, Stoke-on-Trent.
Talk about timing... against the backdrop of a once great industry now in demise the new Wegwood Museum is housed on the historic manufacturing site of Josiah Wedgwood and Sons Limited.
Who do you think should win the Art Fund prize 2009? Tell the judges who you think should win and why by visiting the Art Fund Prize website. You can also add comments - a selection of which are regularly added to the website.