Museums play an essential role in cultural and social life across St. Kitts and Nevis

Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 19, 2022 (SKNIS): Museums play a critical role in preserving local culture, have an extremely positive effect on society and provide many benefits to St. Kitts and Nevis, said Jahnel Nisbett, Director at the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society, during her May 18th appearance on “Working for You.”

“We can look at the benefits of museums to a country in a number of categories. Financial… contrary to popular belief museums do draw in some income particularly from external visitors because there is a whole international body of individuals who are interested in learning about different cultures and just appreciating the islands and countries they are going to,” said Director Nisbett. “So, that’s financial profit that we can make from the museum through the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society [and] because we are non-profit, [it]is transmitted into the community through different projects that we are doing [such as] cultural, environmental, historical, conservation and restoration.”

According to Director Nisbett, the most important benefit is that of preserving, protecting and promoting the culture.

“That, in itself, even if it was no cost, no charge and you were operating at a loss, that would be valuable enough to continue the task of just having a museum so that you can teach the younger generation what was, how we came to be this way, the path that your ancestors took to get here and how that is related to the global world…,” she said.

Ryllis Godeth, Executive Director at the St. Christopher National Trust in St. Kitts shared similar sentiments, adding that the economic value of museums is extremely important. Mrs. Godeth reflected briefly on the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting that they are key to developing the Trust’s plans and programmes, as well as executing them in the communities.

“The St. Christopher National Trust is heavily involved in the environmental aspect of our history. The Sustainable Development Goals are important for us to keep a focus on when we are planning programmes and looking at how we are going to promote,” said the Executive Director. “We want to keep that as a focus and so it is important for us to know what they are looking at and how we fit in, in order to achieve our own personal objectives.”

This week’s edition of “Working for You” focused primarily on International Museum Day (IMD), which is celebrated annually on May 18. This year’s theme is the “Power of Museums.” 

According to https://icom.museum/, since 1977, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) has organized IMD, which represents a unique moment for the international museum community. The objective of the day is to raise awareness about the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”

Mrs. Ryllis Godeth

Featured Image – Jahnel Nisbett

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