Cape Verdean Cultural Center Proposal Popular Among Harwich Selectmen

HARWICH – The initiative to establish a permanent Cape Verdean Exhibit and Cultural Center in Harwich recently gained support from selectmen.

Anthropologist Barbara Burgo and former museum docent Jane Teixeira-Henry presented selectmen with their vision, which proposes the center be placed within the Middle School or other appropriate building.

Both women said that Harwich is home to an extensive Cape Verdean presence and culture. They’ve also collected dozens of artifacts telling of that culture from home and abroad which would be displayed.

Teixeira-Henry said that the center would be both a cultural and economic boon for the town and the region.

“The Director of the Zion Museum in Hyannis has agreed to collaborate with us and steer thousands of tourists that he greets every year to Harwich,” she said. “We in turn would direct the tourists to the Brooks Academy Museum and other points of interest in Harwich.”

She said they also hope to collaborate with the Harwich Historical Society.

Teixeira-Henry, a certified docent with ten years of service at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., offered to provide training to docent volunteers.

Her grandparents settled in Harwich in the late 1800s, and several of her descendants served the town in elected capacities.

The women explained that a number of people expressed a desire for a permanent exhibit after a temporary one closed at the Brooks Academy Museum in 2012.

While selectmen were supportive of the idea, they ultimately referred the proponents to the Town Administrator’s office to hash out the details.

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