Black History Month sees attendance surge at Amherstburg Freedom Museum

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Black History Month at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum saw a rise in attendance at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum compared to other winter months.

This year’s Black History Month also drew more people to the museum as compared to previous years.

“Black History Month was a very successful month this year,” said curator/administrator Terran Fader. “We had over 200 people into the museum so far (as of Saturday). This is the most we’ve had in the last four years in February.”

The Amherstburg Freedom Museum, formerly known as the North American Black Historical Museum, focused on awareness of the museum and local black history, Fader said. She said the museum is very happy with this year’s attendance figures, and credits the surge not only to the better than average February weather, but a promotion that saw people get half off of their admission fee for mentioning the name of co-founder Mac Simpson.

Amherstburg Freedom Museum curator/administrator Terran Fader stands with the current exhibit, one that will be replaced by a new interactive exhibit later this year. Fader noted the museum had strong attendance during Black History Month.

Amherstburg Freedom Museum curator/administrator Terran Fader stands with the current exhibit, one that will be replaced by a new interactive exhibit later this year. Fader noted the museum had strong attendance during Black History Month.

Fader also noted they worked with several partners to promote Black History Month, including posting a list of other destinations around Essex County on their website.

Normal attendance during winter months is about 100 people, she pointed out, with summer months usually drawing 200 people per month or more.

“We’ve also been pretty active on social media,” said Fader, explaining the museum hired Rebecca Canty last September to manage the social media accounts and perform digitization duties.

The Amherstburg Freedom Museum is active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

While still early, Fader is optimistic for the 2016 season.

“It’s looking good. We’re looking forward to our permanent exhibit that will open this year,” she said.

No date has been set for when the permanent exhibit will open but it promises to be more interactive, she added.

“It’s a much more multi-media focus,” she said.

The exhibit will focus on local stories and Underground Railroad stories. She said a number of people have been interviewed to share their stories, including 100-year-old Fred Johnson. Fader said they not only got his story but his grandfather’s story as well.

The Amherstburg Freedom Museum is also planning a number of events again this year, including the return of the popular “Ribs & Ragtime” event and the Emancipation Celebration.

The museum is located at 277 King St., by calling 519-736-5433 or by visiting www.amherstburgfreedommuseum.org.

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