Museums and heritage sites are great fun… if empowered to share their story in a stimulating and entertaining way. Any visit to a heritage attraction is unavoidably bound to impart some kind of knowledge, and given that people stand a better chance to learn more in circumstances of positive engagement the experiences on offer must prove to be genuinely entertaining. Since its inception in 2002, Heritage Malta (the National Agency for Museums, Conservation and Cultural Heritage) has been striving to bring the heritage resources entrusted to its care closer to the general public through a rethink of the display and interpretation modes, the introduction of adequate visitor amenities, the crafting of a comprehensive outreach programme and the hosting of events. The list is appreciably long and is beyond the scope of this short contribution.
It must be stated, nonetheless, that most of our museums and sites boast of a fully-fledged programme of thematic educational events ranging from storytelling to crafts and cooking workshops. Suffice to note that during the forthcoming scholastic year, Heritage Malta shall be offering some 250 thematic events for organised school groups. This programme has been designed to cater for a wide audience, the entire age spectrum from pre-grade pupils to post secondary students, and the mixed abilities of the prospective participants. A parallel outside school-hours programme will run for culture card holders.
Besides, Heritage Malta will keep enhancing its annual programme of family-oriented events. Families have, significantly, become one of the fastest growing segments of museum goers in the Maltese Islands and beyond. This is not surprising at all. In an age where social interaction is increasingly being challenged by the prevailing hectic lifestyles, visits to heritage resources are metamorphosing into ideal opportunities for parents and children to talk, explore and learn together – essentially, some quality time.
The coming months are particularly interesting. Further to the recently opened Fort St. Elmo (which incorporates the refurbished National War Museum), Heritage Malta shall be inaugurating Fort St. Angelo and opening up some twenty catacombs at the St. Paul's Catacomb complex. We hope you will find the time to visit and experience these national treasures.