The Barbados Museum & Historical Society (BMHS) was transformed into a cultural hub by creatives on Saturday, as museums around the world celebrated International Museum Day (IMD). International Museum Day, first celebrated in 1977 by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), is recognized by over 40,000 museums across the globe in 2018.
Museums have become cultural centres where creativity and knowledge are combined; they are places where visitors can co-create, share and interact with exhibitions, not only in traditional ways but also in new and exciting ways.
Held under the theme, Museums as Cultural Hubs, the Future of Tradition, the BHMS opened its galleries and historic property in partnership with UNNU Contemporary Art Fest – a first-time festival highlighting local and international artists and artworks from across the African diaspora.
In keeping with the museum’s mandate to collect, document and conserve evidence of Barbados’ cultural, historical and environmental heritage, as well as to educate and interact with the community at large, the theme fitted perfectly.
“The festival showcased the connection our Museum has with its community. We are not new to the idea of creating safe spaces for artistic expression, as is evidenced by the myriad of cultural events we have hosted and organized throughout the years,” said Alissandra Cummins, director of the BMHS.
“Museums are places which have been shaped by the communities they inhabit, they are spaces and places where we conserve our community’s heritage and culture while giving a voice to the past, the present, and the future,” she added.
UNNU Contemporary Art Fest, which was introduced by Dionna Goodman, a co-founder of the festival and founder of the Bimhaus brand, featured artistic interventions throughout the galleries by local and international artists including, Chris Welch, Akilah Watts, Alanis Forde, Anna Gibson, Ronald Williams, Rudy, Alex Mars, Jaryd Niles-Morris, Shane Eastmond and Anna Banana ArtB from London.
There was also a dance performed by the group ADL, live art painting by Shane Eastmond and a reading hub hosted by Fresh Milk, Union Collaborative and The Shilstone Memorial Library. (KK)