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FPL and Grace Foods Supports First Caribbean Heritage Museum in US

The nation’s first Caribbean-American heritage museum welcomed community members, Caribbean-American leaders and the corporate community to a soft-launch on Monday, Nov. 16. Now open at the Westfield Broward Mall in Plantation, Florida, Island SPACE Caribbean Museum is a new site of archives, events, resources and information, that tells the comprehensive story of Caribbean and Caribbean-American societies. The location will also facilitate small meetings, events and educational programs. 

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and GraceKennedy USA LLC (Grace Foods) demonstrated their support for the museum with two-year underwriting commitments. Juliet Roulhac, Director of Corporate External Affairs at FPL, presented a $20,000 check to Island SPACE at their launch.

“This initiative is perfectly aligned with our commitment to diversity and we are excited and proud to announce that the Caribbean-American music exhibit is powered by FPL,” Roulhac said.

Derrick Reckord and Donna Callender of Grace Foods presented a check for $10,000.

“Our support for this museum makes sense, as we are committed to supporting our customers and communities, and it is with pride that we present this check to support the Culinary exhibit,” said Reckord. 

Museum board members, the organization’s leaders and volunteers worked tirelessly to transform what was previously a restaurant in the mall, into an engaging, memorable, modern heritage facility that accommodates both on-site and online experiences for guests and members. The museum, established through the support of donations, underwriters and volunteers, is a project of Island SPACE, a Florida-based nonprofit. 

Small groups were given tours around the developing archives by Island SPACE Board members. | Photo: RJ Deed

“This has been a true labor of love,” said Calibe Thompson, Island SPACE Executive Director. “We had a vision, a shoestring budget, and a great commitment from members of the diaspora, but certainly needed funds. Having these major corporations come alongside these efforts are critical to operations and sustainability.” 

Now through January 2021, Thursday through Sunday 11a.m. to 7p.m., the museum will be open to the public with no admission fees. The museum will host it’s grand opening in January 2021 and admission will be $10 per adult and $5 per child.

Island SPACE (Island Society for the Promotion of Artistic and Cultural Education) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and advancement of arts, culture, history, and educational initiatives that represent the Caribbean region in South Florida and the broader diaspora community. The organization produces events, and supports independent artists, organizations and groups who deliver high-level presentations, in various art forms. These may be visual, performing, culinary or other art forms that represent Caribbean causes and tell Caribbean stories.

Community members are encouraged to get involved in this undertaking through volunteerism, donations, sponsorships and memberships. Donations in the form of artifacts from around the Caribbean are highly sought after, and cash and in-kind contributions are needed. Financial support will be used to create interactive programs to enrich the community, and in most cases are tax-deductible. 

To donate, volunteer, explore the online archives or receive more information, visit, www.islandspacefl.org

This is a Hy-Lo News Staff Report

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