The Grenada National Museum has received EC$94,000 for the enhancement of its run down building on Young Street, St. George’s from two corporate citizens.
Republic Bank has donated $52,000 while the Grenada electricity company (GRENLEC) has provided the other $42,000 to the museum, which was officially established in 1976.
Curator of the museum, Angus Martin told THE NEW TODAY newspaper in an exclusive interview that it is long past the time for the services offered by the museum to be improved.
“We plan to basically re-do the museum, the displays and stuff because we (want) to tell a story…”, he said.
The plans call for the museum to be transformed into five rooms – the Amerindian Heritage, European Invasion, African Slavery, Post Emancipation, Independence and invasion of the Grenada Revolution – in an effort to tell a story to visitors.
Martin said the idea is for patrons to follow a story line rather than have thing presented to them and the targets will be schools.
“The Amerindian Heritage room is going to have things on Amerindians, not just in Grenada but how did they come to the region, how did they come to the Caribbean …”, he said.
“…We’re looking at all of this supplementing schools, the school curriculum (and) that I think is the major objective,” he told this newspaper.
Martin went on to say: “I think we’re doing it for the schools because we want it to be a supplement so that when they come to the museum they actually going to see much more of the history explained to them and updated as well because some of the things in the school curriculum may not get updated as quickly as we can update it.”
The Curator stressed that one of the aspects the museum was badly lacking was interaction and he wants to ensure that this was addressed when the reconstruction work is completed.
“We want to make it interactive so that when they (the school children) come in they could actually play with the artifacts. It’s not ‘put your hands behind your back and don’t touch anything. We do want people to touch things so we’ll have specially designed things for them to touch and explore,” he remarked.
“I think one of the things we had (in the past) is that kids will come into the museum and they would say, ‘oh where are the cannibals’, but it’s a little more than that. We would like to explain what that means and give them a better understanding of when we talk about cannibalism what it means and that’s the objective we want to present to the nation”, he said.
According to Martin, the new thinking of those in control of the museum is not to remain indoors but also to visit the schools.
“We would like to do outreach to the schools because everybody may not be able to come,” he said.
“There’s the whole thing about museum in a box, basically you have a package of things that you put in a box and we take it out to schools and you talk about different things”, he added.
Martin disclosed that the museum was thinking of moving in a particular direction in which each new room that is open will come with its own lesson plans.
“The idea is that the teacher can just go to our websites look and say, ‘hey, I want to go visit the Amerindian heritage room’, they could look at stuff and talk to the class before they go, activities they do while they’re at the museum and when they return to the class,” he said.
Martin pointed out that the new thinking is that the museum must become a place where people can come and learn more about Grenada’s history and to appreciate it.