With a new year ahead, our team at The Mariners’ Museum and Park is embracing a new theme in our galleries and programs: The Multicultural Mariner. Multiculturalism incorporates ideas, beliefs, and people from many different countries and cultural backgrounds. This theme is built around our mission: we connect people to the world’s waters, because through our waters – through our shared maritime heritage – we are connected to one another. We’re excited to share some of the topics, people, and cultures we plan to highlight throughout the year.
Annual Heritage Months:
There are several periods within the year designated toward recognizing specific ethnic and marginalized groups. We plan to highlight:
- Black History Month: February 1 – March 1
- Women’s History Month: March 1 – March 31
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: May 1 – May 31
- Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15 – October 15
- Native American Heritage Month: November 1 – November 30
We see each of these as opportunities to celebrate and inform our guests, and mariners around the world, about the incredible impact and contributions these people made to history and maritime culture.
African and African American Maritime Heritage
February is known as Black History Month or African American History Month, a time to celebrate the history and culture of people of African descent along with their contributions to society. Programs featuring Black history and African American maritime history are now among our most popular.
What role have women played in maritime history? More than you may think! March is Women’s History Month and will kick off the story of women’s participation in maritime culture. For instance, did you know that one of the first US government jobs available to women was lighthouse keepers. What did they do in this role, and how important were women in this job?
Asian American Pacific Islanders Heritage
May is Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month. This is the first year that we will include content surrounding the contributions of these peoples as we continue to share stories of the multicultural mariner. To tell these stories we will explore such regions as the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island).
Last September, we commemorated Hispanic Heritage month in our galleries. We are proud of the reception we received from our guests that joined us in person and virtually. As we look to 2022, we are excited to expand the story and connection of Hispanic and Latin American cultures. We hope to also show our connection to the the Hispanic Society of America. Archer Huntington, who founded The Mariners’ Museum and the Hispanic Society of America, had a passion for Spanish art. We intend to honor his passion by highlighting some of the earliest pieces of the museum’s Collections, which were related to Spanish places and artists.
Indigenous People/Native American Heritage
The original inhabitants of the Americas were here thousands of years before contact with Europeans. Unfortunately, their way of life was disrupted and, in many cases, completely destroyed once the Europeans arrived. We have a responsibility to remember the toll “progress” brought on the nations and cultures who once populated our lands. From beautiful Edwin Tappan Adney canoe models in our Collection to Theodore de Bry’s descriptions and prints of Indigenous American culture in our Library – we will celebrate the original pre-contact peoples that existed across the western hemisphere.
The Museum will be offering in-gallery, online, and virtual content this year dedicated to these topics. Follow our events calendar to see what programs we’ll be offering as we celebrate what it means to be a Multicultural Mariner.