The Haitian Heritage Museum is the first, and thus far, the only one of its kind. Founded by Eveline Pierre, it is located in the heart of the Miami Design District. The museum is where Haiti’s past and future meet at the crossroads. Its vast collection includes paintings, crafts, books, photos, and other relics that say a thousand things about where Haiti has been. Pierre runs the museum with Serge Rodriguez who oversees operations.
May is the Haitian Heritage Museum’s biggest and busiest month, as it is also Haitian Cultural Heritage Month. This year, the museum’s staff planned a Mr. and Ms. 18th contest, one of the several initiatives being launched by the institution to increase the involvement of Haitian-American youths.
Between planning cultural events, researching funds, creating alliances with other organizations, and other assorted matters that accompany running a museum, Pierre enthusiastically the museum’s programs and purpose to Kreyolicious.com.
When did the concept of the museum first occurred to you?
The concept of the Museum came to me while I was living in Washington, DC and I was at the library at Howard University and I notice many artifacts about Haiti there. So I thought for a quick second it would be great if we have a Museum dedicated entirely to the Haitian people.
As the CEO of the museum, what would you say is the biggest obstacle being faced by the museum?
The biggest obstacle I would say is getting people to entrust the museum with their family historical items.
Has it been a challenge as well to track down materials since the earthquake?
It has not been a challenge to track down items as I had mentioned earlier the issue is getting people to relinquish them.
What plans do you have for the museum’s future?
We are looking forward to building our capacity with more staff and creating an endowment for the Museum.
Obviously in running a museum, you often come across a lot of different archives. What period of Haiti’s history do you find most fascinating?
For me personally, I like the 1940s and 1950s, as this was the heyday in Haiti. You had so many interesting people traveling to Haiti that at that time it was considered the French Riveria of the Caribbean .
Where did this appreciation for history come from?
As a child my parents would send me to Haiti and I was very intrigue by what I was seeing on the island which brought me to want to know more about the my culture and others. So I went on ahead to study History with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean.
We suppose that the museum has different collections.
The Museum collection is growing we have a large collection of books that was given to us by a professor estate from NYU, we also have a large collection of Haitian Art work dating back to the 1950’s to 1980’s, we also have a collection stamps and old music.
What sort of feedback have you gotten from visitors?
The feedback from the visitors has been very encouraging as most of the visitors were elated to find us and would like to help support us in what way they can.