NMI Museum of History and Culture reopens
The NMI Museum of History and Culture has reopened to the public, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 3pm. Admission is free.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum now requires visitors to wear a mask, hand sanitizer will be provided at the entrance and throughout the museum, all guests will go through a temperature check, only 10 people will be allowed inside, and social distancing measures would be strictly implemented.
According to NMI Museum executive director Danny Aquino, the museum has been broken down to 11 different station representing the different exhibits it showcases.
John Reyes, one of the museum’s tour guides, said the various stations will have key information and new station signage for guests to navigate since there won’t be a tour guide available at the moment. “The museum has been separated into 11 different stations, [so guest could] see the entire…exhibits,” he said.
Aquino welcomes the public to visit, saying the museum is a “quiet place for guests to de-stress.”
“We encourage [residents] to come over because the museum has gone through a lot of changes and repairs from previous typhoons as well,” he added.
Upcoming budget cuts are going to be very challenging, he said. The museum expects to lose its last tour guide, Reyes. “Losing John will be very sad considering that we had two tour guides who were certified under the two-week [Marianas Visitors Authority] tour guide certification program conducted by [the Northern Marianas College],” Aquino said.
Aquino has been reaching out to the Legislature for additional funding to address critical repairs and other areas of concern. The NMI Museum received $38,000 from the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation last June 18.
He said they are trying to work with agencies in the United States that will enable the museum to tap federal grants. “Whether we get the grant or not, we will try and ask assistance from the Legislature for funding to help us complete the digital technology in the museum,” he added.
The NMI Museum has already applied for several grants to get more funding to help modernize the museum “but it is very competitive to get the grant, but we are hoping that the Legislature will help us if we do not get it. Aside from the repairs and lack of funding, this is also for the kids, the future, and everyone who would like to look into the museum to learn,” he said.
“Through digital technology we hope to bring in our residents to increase our traffic and entice new business partnerships with various businesses such as Docomo Pacific, Joeten Enterprises, various hotels, and banks to help promote the museum,” he said.
The NMI Museum was recently awarded a $15,000 grant that will help with the preservation and maintenance of its historical artifacts. “I would like to thank both Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios for their support and confidence in his leadership,” said Aquino.
For more information on the NMI Museum of History and Culture, call (670)-664-2160.