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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
Amuseum@Home includes over 100 activities.
Amuseum@Home includes over 100 activities.

Hello from St. Martin! 

Although Amuseum Naturalis has been closed to visitors due to lockdown, we have been busier than ever during recent months. We have been working to provide Amuseum experiences at home and preparing new ways to deliver local nature and heritage education.

Launched in March, Amuseum@Home is an online program that has shared over 100 books, videos and activities about local nature and heritage. All of it is free. 

We have also launched a program called Heritage Backup. We are working with the community to document and preserve local history and heritage. We are especially focused on personal and family histories that are not part of the usual historical narratives about the powerful and wealthy, but instead share the history and heritage of everyday people. We are collecting memories, images and stories daily.

We have also been adapting our museum exhibits into book form. We have been sharing the books online for free, but with funding we can also print copies of them to distribute to schools. We believe this can be a valuable resource that isn’t dependent on access to the physical Amuseum or an internet-connected device.

We are also preparing the Amuseum for reopening when we can do it safely. We hope this is soon. 

Thank you for your support! Please take some time to check out Amuseum@Home, Heritage Backup and some of our new books. If you have or know people with kids, the Amuseum@Home activities are fun no matter where you live!

If you are able to support the Amuseum, we can really use the help right now. Any contributions are greatly appreciated.

Stay safe and thank you!!!

Free digital books.
Free digital books.
Heritage Backup - preserving and sharing stories.
Heritage Backup - preserving and sharing stories.

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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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Organization Information

Les Fruits de Mer

Location: Grand Case - France
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @lesfruitsdemer
Project Leader:
Mark Yokoyama
Grand Case, France
$17,576 raised of $20,000 goal
 
170 donations
$2,424 to go
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