Eveline Pierre Works To Grow Haitian Heritage Museum She Created Aims To Build Its Annual Budget To 1 Million
As the Haitian Heritage Museum enters its eighth season, Executive Director Eveline Pierre is working to expand the facility — increasing both its reach and yearly budget.
Always the historian, she founded the museum out of her desire to expose Miami-Dade youth to Haitian culture. As a South Florida native, Ms. Pierre said that while her parents taught her Creole and exposed her to Caribbean cuisine, the education she received at home did not carry over to the classroom.
"I didn’t want that to happen with this new generation," she said, adding that the facility is the first of its kind outside of Haiti.
"I created the Haitian Heritage Museum to teach them about their culture and connect all the dots," she said. "A lot of other cultures have a great connection with Haiti that a lot of people don’t know about."
The facility is bringing children face-to-face with Haitian culture through Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ museum magnet program, in which museum officials work one-on-one with students, integrating the arts with math, science and English lesson plans.
"Art really does change the kids," she said. "It is a different way of learning. Not everybody is a conventional learner. Bringing artifacts and objects is relatable and tangible. It makes the learning experience new and fun. They learn through discovery."
While the museum recently moved from a 3,000-square-foot space on North Miami Avenue to a 2,000-square-foot space in Midtown, Ms. Pierre said that visitation has increased 100%.
She hopes to raise that number by expanding into a 65,000-square-foot space, increasing the facility’s budget from $200,000 to $1 million and by bringing more staff onboard.