Caribbean Americans are one of the fastest-growing communities in the United States, and they account for over 3 million people, with an estimated 600,000 living in South Florida, according to Marjorie Stanbury, director of operations for Island SPACE museum at Westfield Broward Mall in Plantation.
Valery Guillaume, a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has lived in North Lauderdale for the majority of his life. His appreciation for his roots has followed him throughout his life — food, music and even professionally as a videographer working with Caribbean artists and having Caribbean-style influences. “My roots have influenced me and made me who I am,” Guillaume said. “They’ve influenced so much in South Florida and this museum is an example for everybody on how to be expressive within your culture.”
Even though Caribbean immigrants are deeply rooted in the rich history they bring to the United States, there wasn’t a place in which visitors could experience and learn about a variety of Caribbean artifacts and history until Island SPACE.
Island SPACE (Society for the Promotion of Artistic and Cultural Education) is billed as the United States’ first museum dedicated to a variety of Caribbean, arts, culture and history. Located at the mall’s northeast main entrance, 8000 W. Broward Blvd., it features a collection of historical data, artifacts, cultural relics and props representing Caribbean communities.
Visitors can participate in interactive exhibits, informational tours and cultural events in the 1,500- square-foot space, along with the art gallery that’s 800 square feet.
For several months, the organizers of Island SPACE have been collecting related artifacts from around the wider Caribbean, including the Spanish, Dutch, French and English-speaking Caribbean countries.
The pop-up features cultural sections and art displays giving information on topics such as reggae, literature, rumba, calypso, politics, sports and notable people of Caribbean descent such as founding father Alexander Hamilton, the first Black woman elected to Congress Shirley Chisholm, Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools Robert Runcie and Vice President Kamala Harris.
President of Island Space, David I. Muir, said, “This is the celebration of all of our history. From indigenous people, through colonialism to slavery, unfortunately, to emancipation to independence.” [. . .]
With many South Floridians coming from the Caribbean, Guillaume said he believes having Island SPACE at Westfield Broward makes for a great home and landmark. [. . .]
For full article, see https://www.sun-sentinel.com/community/sawgrass-sun/fl-cn-plantation-island-space-20210204-oudkdn3vmvbkjherlbiyr7y6fi-story.html
Also see “Celebrate Black History Month with PAMA this February”
Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA), February 3, 2021
[Shown above: Dolls representing various Caribbean regions are included in the Island SPACE exhibit. (Gabriel Clarke/Courtesy)]