Montagu Museum: Transforming the Montagu Cultural Landscape
By: ~ Anneline Mohammedt
The beautiful church on 41 Longstreet has for years played an integral part in forging cultural relations in Montagu through Heritage day and International Museum Week. These two dates are the most important dates on the calendar for any museum. This brings us to International Museum Week 2019, on the 18th of May.
This year the International Council of Museums (ICOM) chose the theme of Museums as active actors in their communities. So what does a theme like this mean in a local context? Museums should function as institutions that are at the heart of societies' challenges; we should establish dialogue between cultures, and build bridges. Montagu Museum however takes it a step further, through promoting education as the foundation to tackle social issues facing our community.
Not to boast, but in receiving the theme for this year’s International Museum Week, one could reflect on the following:
- In 2018 Montagu Museum launched an initiative to provide sanitary towels to 30 girls who would not be able to afford this necessity. With the help of the whole Montagu community, Montagu Spar and Rotary, we could alleviate their need to a certain extent and also brought the message of paying it forward. This was a challenge that was addressed. Through poignant exhibitions and being an information hub we are creating debate, thus creating a collective conscience in town, and in communities that never dreamed that the old church would serve as an institution geared towards social cohesion.
So yes, we are proud to say that we have covered the International Museum Week theme. Yet to say done and dusted, got the t-shirt, is not the way of an Institution that believe more can be done. Thus, we have a packed programme starting from the 14 to the 18 of May.
This year’s programme starts off with Dr Colin Johnson launching his book “The Two Tangled Trees”, which delves into the history of the Toll house in Cogman’s Kloof and his family history. This event will be held on the 14th of May at 18:30 at the Montagu Museum.
The educational programme starts from 9:00 till 12:00 on the 15th of May, and will feature guest speakers from the community, Anmiray’s Angels (a drama class from Ashbury Primary School), Emile Badenhorst brief lectures on the Spanish Flu, and ending off with a visit to Joubert House. This programme will be held on the 16th and 17th.
After last year’s successful school speech competition, we end of IMW on the 18th of May with four schools competing for the Trophy for the best speech. The winners will receive recognition in this year’s Youth Arts Festival.
All of these events are free of charge. Help your local museum stay active. After all our success depends on your participation.