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Jun 22, 2017

Museums Unite in New Association

The Museum of Belize is leading an initiative that will see small museums enter into an association. Today, they officially signed the article of association that will see them better supported with training and other opportunities in order to better support in areas of preservation of culture and heritage. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Senior members of the Belize Association of Museums signed their incorporation documents to mark the official formation of the Association. BAM first got off the ground with workshops back in 2016 – but this association will now see the small museums from across the country working together in a strategic manner to preserve, protect, showcase and promote Belizean art, history, and cultural heritage.

 

Alexis Salazar

Alexis Salazar, Director, Museum of Belize

“Our mandate is to preserve the presence of MOB at small museums, locally and regionally, and to sustain local museums and increase the membership of local museums. We also want to have a database of potential members who want to join the BAM and we want to assist in any way possible the  BAM in providing workshops for them.”

 

Sharon Pitts

Sharon Pitts, President BAM/Macoby Collection Creole Museum

“We have this rich museum history. We are starting in infancy. We are naïve. We novel. We nuh know much.  That is just an illustration of why it is important that we have come together as collectors. A lot of us just felt that we were doing our own thing and we didn’t know people were that interested.  When we strengthen each of the cultural items retrieved and preserve the, we forge and galvanize wi Belizean common identity as cultural custodians.”

 

The association brings together a diverse cultural community from creole, to Garifuna to Maya; it seeks to highlight the importance of Belize’s national heritage and cultural identity. The Association will be supported with trainings on how to handle artefacts, curation, and preservation methods.

 

Alexis Salazar

“Encouraging BAM to continue with the work that they doing and to encourage small museums in the preservation of their collections, as NICH – there is no way that they could do that preservation without your support.”

 

Sharon Pitts

“We were everyday people just holding on to old things nobody wanted; old time things, relics, yuh know, keepsakes, granny china closet, grandpa trunk, and then something’s that I think like kindred spirits, we found that we were called by the Museum of Belize, we call them our god-parents, right? Don’t leave us aside now. We young. We just hatched. We were incubated through them, right?”

 

Sebastian Cayetano

Luba Garifuna Museum and Living Maya Experience are just two of the small museums set to benefit from this association.

 

Sebastian Cayetano, BAM Member/Luba Garifuna Museum

“It has been a struggle and it continues to be our struggle. It is better when we can struggle collectively; together. So, we have a big challenge ahead of us. The challenge is to promote our culture; protect our culture; preserve them; document and retrieve our culture, manage our cultures in a sustainable manner.”

 

Sebastian Cal

Sebastian Cal, BAM Member/Living Maya Museum

“I think this is an opportunity for us to educate the younger ones, so that we pass on whatsoever we have in the culture – to every culture we have in Belize to come in one and pass it on to the younger generation. But also not only to educate students, but to send a message across the world.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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