NMI Museum director Daniel Aquino is looking at building the islands’ first Chamorro/Carolinian cultural center on the grounds of the museum.
Aquino is looking at kicking off the project as early as July this year. The center will not only be educational but could also serve as a tourist attraction.
Aquino’s idea is to build 15 cottages that will be placed strategically on the vacant museum lot. The cottages will surround a stage that will be built for cultural performances.
The cottages will be open to individuals who want to showcase anything pertaining to the Chamorro or Carolinian culture.
The cultural center will showcase only indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian food, art, dances, etc.
Aquino is confident that he can complete the establishment of a cultural center within his targeted time frame, just as he did with the major renovations made to the NMI Museum.
Aquino plans to start off with the construction of a stage and the construction of at least seven cottages by July 4.
The only challenge is funding. Aquino has already asked for $250,000 from the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation. The funding will not only go to the construction of a cultural center, but also the construction of additional storage space for artifacts that cannot be displayed in the museum.