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A museum to tell the story of St. Martin

by Les Fruits de Mer
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A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
Museum panels for a nearby school.
Museum panels for a nearby school.

It is hard to believe that just two short years ago, we began clearing fallen trees and debris from the abandoned and hurricane-ravaged Old House on St. Martin.

The Amuseum today is a beautiful place. It offers rich experiences. Nature and heritage come alive in sights, sounds and stories. Visitors travel through time and space: St. Martin of different eras, and unique places on the island that few have visited.

We recently donated a set of 24 full-size museum panels on lightweight material to one of the schools near us, where they will rotate through classrooms where the walls have been bare for the last two years. We also continue to add exhibits at the Amuseum, most recently about bush medicine, salt production as told by someone who did that work over sixty years ago, and the Moho stone, an Arawak petroglyph located nearby.

Thanks again for your support! We literally could not have done this without you.

We are currently applying for funding to continue our work at the Amuseum. We would be deeply grateful for additional support if you are able to help. We are fundraising to make sure we can contribute the 20% of funds required by some grants, and also to cover expenses not included in project funding, but critical to operating and improving St. Martin’s best free museum.

School visit.
School visit.
Amuseum volunteers.
Amuseum volunteers.
Family photo workshop.
Family photo workshop.
Slow and steady.
Slow and steady.

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Migratory Bird Festival.
Migratory Bird Festival.

We close out the year with some exciting new work at the Amuseum. Thanks for your support in making that happen!

Our Migratory Bird Festival on November 9th was amazing! As we prepared for an event during the rainiest month of the year, we cleaned, painted and set up several rooms in the Old House itself for the first time. We are excited to transform this space with new exhibits as we finish the year.

We launched a heritage preservation studio with scanning, photography, video and audio recording capabilities. It is based at the Amuseum, but also mobile. We have also had the help of an anthropologist who specializes in heritage photography, photo analysis and photo preservation. We are looking forward to helping preserve local heritage at the Amuseum and beyond.

We are also working on a number of new exhibits. We will be adding more audio and multimedia. We are also developing materials about the town of French Quarter where we are located.

Thanks again for your support! We literally could not have done this without you.

As we wrap up the year, we would be deeply grateful for additional support if you are able to help. We are fundraising to make sure we can contribute the 20% of funds required by one of our French grants. This grant has helped us add many exhibits, and every dollar donated will help make sure we are able to access this funding in the future.

Recording oral histories.
Recording oral histories.
Migratory Bird Festival.
Migratory Bird Festival.
Heritage preservation station.
Heritage preservation station.
Volunteers together.
Volunteers together.

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Summer camp visitors.
Summer camp visitors.

In July, Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House celebrated one year of sharing the magic of St. Martin with visitors young and old. This is all thanks to you, our donors, and our fantastic volunteers!

Since July of 2018, the Amuseum has had over 6,000 visitors. That includes about 2,000 kids visiting with school classes or youth groups. We hosted many events, including our Endemic Animal Festival, Migratory Bird Festival and Cultural Campfire evenings.

When we opened a year ago, we featured the exhibits from our pop-up museum in Grand Case. Since then, we’ve added over 60 exhibit panels about nature, history, culture, farming, bush medicine and many other topics. We are well on our way to being the best place in the world to learn about St. Martin!

We are closed for a summer break, but when we reopen this fall, we have big plans. We will continue to build our research library, Soualibra. We will also be adding many new exhibits and signs. These will include St. Martiners who made a difference on the island, the heritage of French Quarter (the town where we are located), and many other topics. We will also be hosting our 7th annual Migratory Bird Festival.

Thanks again for your support! We literally could not have done this without you. We also welcome additional donations that can help us continue to offer something very special on St. Martin.

School group from French Quarter.
School group from French Quarter.
Volunteers lend a hand.
Volunteers lend a hand.
5,000 Years of Eco exhibit.
5,000 Years of Eco exhibit.
Reusable bag craft.
Reusable bag craft.

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A youth group visits the Amuseum.
A youth group visits the Amuseum.

Thanks to your support, Amuseum Naturalis gets more awesome every day. Over the past few months, we’ve developed new exhibits and started new projects. More importantly, we’ve shared the magic of St. Martin with many people of all ages.

We finished our outdoor signage project, which was financed with funds from France and funds from you. We added over 60 new signs telling stories about plants and animals, history, agriculture, bush medicine, architecture and more. This transforms the entire space around the buildings into a place to learn new things about St. Martin.

We launched Soualibra, a research library focused on St. Martin. After all public libraries on the island closed, we knew we needed to help fill in the gap they left. By focusing on St. Martin, Soualibra is valuable today and will still offer something special when regular libraries reopen.

We had fantastic events at the Amuseum where people came together to learn and share. Our Endemic Animal Festival and International Museum Day events were amazing. They were also events where guests could come to learn, but also share their knowledge and stories about the island. By recording oral histories, we can help preserve and share this cultural information.

We look forward to continuing this amazing project! Your support has helped make sure we have the resources we need to support our amazing volunteers. Your donations have also provided the matching funds that we needed to get grant funding for projects. This has made a huge difference in the experience we can offer at the Amuseum.

We are grateful for your help and we welcome your continued support. As always, we hope you can come for a visit in person! If not, please visit us online or on social media to see some of the magic that you have helped put into the world!

The team at one of our monthly volunteer days.
The team at one of our monthly volunteer days.
Hurricane Protocol, a poetry exhibit.
Hurricane Protocol, a poetry exhibit.
Student volunteers teach kids about plants.
Student volunteers teach kids about plants.
Our outdoor signage project is complete.
Our outdoor signage project is complete.

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Sharing what makes St. Martin special.
Sharing what makes St. Martin special.

It has been just over a year since we first came to a hurricane-ravaged site and imagined it could be a museum. With your help, this amazing place has been transformed. It's now an important resource for the community, and it just gets better every day.

In 2018, over 200 volunteers spent over 4,000 hours creating a museum and doing amazing stuff there! The total value of volunteer time donated to our association in 2018 was almost $100,000. The Amuseum welcomed over 3,000 visitors, and over 1,200 students who came with school classes and youth groups. Your support has made all of that possible.

At the end of 2018, we received our first project grant. This funded an outdoor signage project. We have added dozens of signs telling the stories of native plants and animals, traditional agriculture and a variety of other topics. We also collaborated with a group called Waste2Work to make awesome things from reclaimed materials: for example, signage mounts for our traditional agriculture signs are also planters where we grow the plants featured on the signs.

We also launched a free plant stand to distribute native plants and trees, as well as some heritage plants like those used in bush teas (local traditional medicine). People can pick up free plants to make their backyards more wildlife-friendly.

We continue to host school and group visits and we recently had our first cultural campfire, complete with music and a poetry reading.

We will keep expanding and improving the Amuseum in 2019. We are working to diversify our funding and applying for grants to help us implement new projects there. Since that is a slow process, donations on site and online are still crucial to keeping us going. We welcome your continued support!

Thank you, and we hope you are able to visit the Amuseum in person. If not, we invite you to follow along on the web or on social media.

Signage mount planters from reclaimed materials.
Signage mount planters from reclaimed materials.
Free plant stand for wildlife-friendly backyards.
Free plant stand for wildlife-friendly backyards.
New outdoor exhibits add value in open spaces.
New outdoor exhibits add value in open spaces.
Cultural campfire poetry reading by Big Ray.
Cultural campfire poetry reading by Big Ray.
Still going strong with volunteers!
Still going strong with volunteers!

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Organization Information

Les Fruits de Mer

Location: Grand Case - France
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @lesfruitsdemer
Project Leader:
Mark Yokoyama
Grand Case, France
$17,000 raised of $20,000 goal
 
158 donations
$3,000 to go
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