THE Zum Zum Children’s Museum has created a space for young children to create and design their own traditional Carnival characters and mas costumes.
Speaking at the official launch of the museum’s Carnival exhibition, executive curator Sonja Dumas told the media it was always her dream to have a Children’s museum for them to learn through their own experiences.
Dumas said, at the museum, children would be more involved in making the mas.
“I have seen many children’s museums abroad and I saw how they responded. I saw how their creativity would grow when they had the experience of the museum. The difference between a children’s museum and a regular museum is that the children’s museum is more interactive.
“Children can experience the exhibitions in a tactile way, in an experiential way rather than just seeing it on the wall and not being able to touch it or to understand it. It also helps them to understand their world,” she said.
Dumas said while she too is still trying to understand TT and the Caribbean’s experiences including the natural, cultural and historical, she said the museum would give children the freedom to choose and freedom to experience their creativity in their own way.
She said children between three to 12 years are all invited to the exhibition.
“We charge a fee of $20 per person. From Wednesday to Friday we are opened from 10 am to 3 pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 pm, and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
“We have a variety of workshops which includes wire-bending, mas-making and costume designing. The children would be able to engage in all the elements of making mas.”
Dumas said she saw creativity in every child because they found solutions faster in their own approach to a problem.
She said the exhibition would be opened until March,1.
“We are hoping to get permission from the Ministry of Education to allow primary school students to attend. While it was difficult to put a cost on the exhibition, a small exhibition might cost an estimated $50,000 to $60,000.
“We have to think about security, replenishing stocks when the children come in to do their crafts. The kind of admission fees we are charging would not cover the exhibition. But, by any means, it is for all children of TT and we want to make it accessible. I want to encourage everyone to come and partake in the event. I had people in their 70’s come and experienced mas last year just out of curiosity.
“This exhibition would help people to express their own creativity and expand their understanding of different aspects of our culture. It is not just about the mas, but about creativity.”
Dumas said, at the end of the exhibition, it is her hope children would have a better understanding of their environment, culture, what’s important to them and others, and a sense of learning and excitements about the world around them.
She said with funding from Republic Bank, there would be a series of exhibitions during the year at the museum.