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May 19, 2015

A Trip to the Museum of Belize

When was the last time you visited The Museum of Belize?  Many Belizeans see it as a place for international visitors to learn about our culture and history, but what many don’t know is that it is also for locals and as the Museum of Belize joins the rest of the world in observing International Museum Week, they are engaging the public and highlighting the important roles that they serve. Since Monday, recognized as International Museum Day, students have been visiting the Museum and Andrea Polanco joined them today:

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

It’s a week set aside to celebrate institutions that make valuable contributions to science, the arts, history and culture, around the globe. So, today, the Museum of Belize is hosting primary school students and they’ll get to see a special exhibition that celebrates local artists:

 

Ilona Smiling, Curator, The Museum of Belize

Ilona Smiling

“Well, this year we decided to do something very different. We decided to try and educate the kids on art and artists in Belize. So, we have decided to take some of the pieces that we have in our national collection and bring them out for them to see for the very first time.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, this is a special treat you’d say?”

 

Ilona Smiling

“Yes, a very special treat. We even decided to make some postcards to give out to the kids today featuring the Belizean artist and their paintings”

Smiling says that it is imperative that we engender a love for arts, culture and history at a young age because opportunities like these promote cultural exchange, enrichment and development for our students:

 

Ilona Smiling

“I do hope that from an early age they begin to see the importance of art and that they begin to recognize that we have very important artists in our communities and I hope that they see how much art records our history and culture.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, now talk to us about the artists featured in the collection that you have here today?”

 

Ilona Smiling

“Today, we have one by Angela Gegg; Luis Belisle; Gilvano Swasey and Pen Cayetano. Those are the four that we are using to discuss the genres of art. We have abstract art, impressionism, traditional and contemporary art.”

 

And as a part of the visit, the students also had the chance to tour the rest of the museum:

 

Shaniqua Conorquie, Student, St Mary’s

Shaniqua Conorquie

“I learnt that they had to use big chains to pull the logs and the chain was broken because the logs were so big.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What else did you learn about? I see you are in the room with the stamps?”

 

Shaniqua Conorquie

“I learn that Belize has many different stamps and that we were under the control of the British Honduras that use to be our name before Belize City.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So you learnt a lot of things today?”

 

Shaniqua Conorquie

“Yes, ma’m.”

 

Kevisha Young

Kevisha Young, Student St Mary’s

“Usually, I like to see the jail cell and how they use to treat prisoners.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Would you encourage other kids from your school to come and visit the museum?”

 

Kevisha Young

“Yes, ma’m.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What will you tell them that they’ll learn about?”

 

Kevisha Young

“They’ll learn about the history of Belize and what was it like in the older days.”

 

 

For the students of Queen Street Baptist, it is an opportunity to see some of the things they’ve been learning about in school:

Johanna Ramos, Queen Street Baptist

Johanna Ramos

“I learn more and also so that I can do better in my exam when they give us exam.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, tell me about what you’ve learnt so far, you were on the tour just now?”

 

Johanna Ramos

“Well, that the museum was a prison before it became a museum.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, you’d say you’re learning a lot today?”

 

Johanna Ramos

“Yes, ma’m.”

Zion Cadle, Student, Queen Street Baptist

“I’ve seen how the old people from Belize were doing the railroads and the log woods from long time back and I learnt that fifty people fit on the Heron H boat.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Are these some of the things you’ve learnt in class?”

 

Zion Cadle

“Yes, ma’m, a little bit.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Is the The Museum one of your favorite places to visit in Belize City?”

 

Zion Cadle

“Yes, ma’m because it teaches you about lots of things you might learn in school.”

 

Andrea Polanco for News Five.

 

On Wednesday, the Museum of Belize opens an exhibition at the Bliss which will feature works from Pen Cayetano, Yasser Musa and other artists. Also of note, as a part of the celebration, The Museum of Belize has removed the entrance fee for locals who wish to visit this week.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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