The Barbados Museum and Historical Society has set its sights on the creation of a children’s gallery as it moves to expand it offerings to the public.
Director of the decades-old home of Barbadian culture and heritage Alissandra Cummins said this was an oversight that urgently needed attention as she underscored that the museum was a critical institution of learning especially for the young.
“At present there is no children’s gallery in Barbados, the gallery at the museum have to be updated as there is no single space as an educational resource dedicated to children, parents and caregivers,” she said, while delivering the fourth lecture in this year’s Barbados Museum & Historical Society series at Queen’s Park Steel Shed, in The City recently.
Cummins stressed that history was important to development and that children should have easy access to this valuable information.
“From inception the museum thought of itself as an educational space, creating galleries and areas in which educational activities could take place . . . and did become part of the education provision for decades until new developments occurred within the education sector itself, making the museum an informal source of education.”
She added that the proposed museum would cater to all children including the “differently abled or challenged and essentially be a child centric learning environment”.
Apart from the new focus on children, Cummins revealed that the museum’s plans to tell the story of slavery in Barbados were still on the agenda.
She suggested that the project was delayed because of a lack of resources and adequate space.
“We want to develop our own museum of slavery in Barbados and look at the origin of Barbadians but we cannot have a museum of slavery in a colonial building and therefore we have to shape a contemporary space.
“We don’t have the financial support we need to begin to even explore the genealogies of our people or look for a space which is not invested in colonial heritage,” she lamented.