May 30, 2017
Whaling Museum honors Lusophone connections with new
museudabaleia-newbedford.org launches in time for Day of Portugal
New Bedford, Mass. – Portuguese speakers will soon have access to a wealth of resources and information of interest to Lusophone (Portuguese speaking) communities when the New Bedford Whaling Museum launches a Portuguese version of its website, museudabaleia-newbedford.org. Timed to coincide with New Bedford’s opening ceremony for the international Day of Portugal celebrations on June 8, 2017, the website will increase access to information about Whaling Museum programs, exhibitions, research, and scholarship.
The Museum worked closely with its Portuguese Advisory Committee and Cabo Verde Advisory Committee to develop the Portuguese website, with funding from the Luso-American Development Foundation and the Island Foundation, and with advice from the Consulate of Portugal in New Bedford. More than 300 pages of the Museum’s content-rich website have been translated. Supplementing the English version is new Portuguese content provided by the Azorean Maritime Heritage Society, and the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association (SEMA). Staff will continue to maintain and update the website to reflect new developments and upcoming Museum and partner programming.
“This project truly deserves the support of the Consulate of Portugal. The site officially recognizes that the Portuguese language is a useful global tool and that the Whaling Museum is expanding to more international grounds, thus fully assuming its stature of world- class Museum,” said Pedro Carneiro, Consul of Portugal in New Bedford.
The Portuguese community in Massachusetts, and especially New Bedford, is an integral part of the history of the state. Today, New Bedford has the largest percentage of Portuguese-speaking people in the United States—more than 59% of the city’s population is of Portuguese decent. For more than 30 years the Whaling Museum has honored and celebrated the contributions of Lusophones to the American whaling industry, and to the region’s rich cultural tapestry.
The Museum was a signatory to two Protocols formally recognizing cultural ties between New Bedford, and Cabo Verde, and between New Bedford and the Azores. Signed in 2014 and 2010 respectively, these Protocols have fostered new programs in cultural exchange, scholarship, education, and exhibitions, including the new Portuguese-language website.
“The new Portuguese-language website builds on important cultural partnerships between New Bedford, Cabo Verde, the Azores, and the Whaling Museum. It reflects the Museum’s community-centric approach to its role as an educational institution,” said James Russell, President and CEO of the Museum.
The website offers access to a bounty of educational resources, including a new museum-based curriculum being developed for primary school students on two islands in Cabo Verde. This educational initiative will help students explore their whaling legacy and through this, discover the achievements of thousands of kinsmen, while connecting that experience to the United States.
About the New Bedford Whaling Museum:
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of human interaction with whales through time, and the history and culture of the South Coast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours: April through December, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; January through March, Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free for Museum members and children aged three and under; adults $17, seniors (65+) $15, students (19+) $10, child and youth $7. For more information visit www.whalingmuseum.org.