Officials of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society are reporting tremendous interest among Barbadians in its various tours and programmes.
In fact, Deputy Director Kevin Farmer said with the introduction of more event programing and community activities over the past two years more Barbadians have been showing an interest in learning more about their history at the museum.
“In recent times I would say the performance in terms of visitors and the programming and events that we put on, I would say that it has been increasing,” Farmer told journalists on the sidelines of the launch of the 2018 Japanese Calendar Exhibition on Thursday.
The exhibition, which is in its second year, features over two-dozen calendars out of a unique collection by the Japanese Calendar Association.
The showcase also gives patrons the opportunity to learn more about aspects of Japanese culture including food, clothes, art and architecture.
Farmer said the museum’s torchlight tours, which include re-enactments on the lawns of the Dalkeith Road, St Michael location, were a big hit among Barbadians of all ages.
He also pointed out that its two-month lecture series “continues to garner a good fellowship from the Barbadian community.
“So it shows that Barbadians of all ages do have an interest and they are ready and willing to participate if there is an event or activity for them to come to. I think that has been a great thing over the past two years,” he said, pointing out that more Barbadians visit the museum on weekends and mostly school children during the week.
“When it comes to funding, because museum programming cannot happen without the support of Barbadians and corporate Barbados, that has been going well. We are hoping that we will get the same uptake this year as we did last year and perhaps a little increase in that area,” he added.
Also giving an update on the museum’s recently introduced Heritage Champions pilot project, Farmer said it has been a “big success” and would therefore be extended to other schools across the island.
Farmer expressed concern that history was no longer being taught in some forms in secondary schools, adding that the “extra-curricular” programme was an “informal way of creating a better appreciation for Barbadian history and heritage”.
“So far that has been very successful,” said Farmer, stating that the project started at the Graydon Sealy Secondary School last term.
“So we are looking forward to the next group of students who will be coming through in March or April,” he added, pointing out that two schools would be involved in that round.
Farmer said the annual Japanese Calendar Exhibition, which is in its second year, seemed to be quickly gaining in popularity among Barbadians, as he pointed to the larger turnout for the opening as well as interest already being expressed by several people.
“We expect to see a lot more people visiting the exhibition. The important thing is that on the last day is when people actually get to take home one of the calendars. That is a hit,” he said, already anticipating the exhibition for next year.
The exhibition begins today (January 19) and ends on January 31.