Inspiring the Next Generation in Maritime Pursuits
Not too long ago, kids growing up on Cape Cod would absorb the maritime culture all around them simply as a way of life.
Parents and neighbors were engaged in the fish eries, yachting, boarbuilding and maintenance, in the US Life-Saving Service and its successor, the US Coast G uard.
On one end of the Cape in Woods Hole is the mecca of the marine science world, with research vessels of all sizes coming in and our of port on any given day.
On the other end is Provincetown, home to an active commercial fishing fleer and vibrant tour-boat industry.
These days, Cape Codders can grow up with very little access to, or insight into, their own maritime heritage,
outside of the seaside kirsch they see as they drive down the Mid-Cape highway that stretches from the canal to Long Point Light on the rip of the Cape.
The Cape Cod Maritime Museum (CCMM) seeks to remedy this situation.
Operating year-round but located in a major summer tourist destination, we have found an innovative way to mesh the two seasonal populations,
while fulfilling the museum’s mission to “protect, preserve and promote Cape Cod’s maritime past, present and future.”
This summer, the museum, located at the head of Hyannis H arbor, is hosting a major arr exhibition by worldrenowned marine artist John Stobart,
which will attract visitors from far and wide.
Simultaneously, we are expanding the museum’s maritime-themed educational programs to introduce young people to their maritime heritage and hopefully inspire them to pursue related trades.
While the general population on Cape Cod has moved away from maritime-based work over the past few decades, the demand for skilled labor in boatyards and marinas is still strong.
Local employers are scrambling for workers with basic know-how around boats and tools, and the museum has stepped up to answer the call-bur with a twist.
of Arey’s Pond Boat Yard in South Orleans, we developed a program for youth through which they can earn a Boat Yard Apprentice Certificate. Skills learned in the program are sanding, scraping,
paint application, and epoxy repairs, as well as basic wood cutting and shaping.
Certification also covers towing and launching, and an introduction to sail and power boating.
As CCMM is a maritime museum, however, we do not a im to serve as just a vocational trades school, we want to instill in our students the traditions and heritage of these trades as well. Enter John Stobart.
It turns out that one of the museum’s board members, David M cCaskey, is a longtime friend of the acclaimed artist.
Stobart’s works are featured in prestigious museums, galleries, and collections all over the world, and his calendar fills up quickly with appearances and speaking engagements.
Through McCaskey, John Stobart heard about our efforts to engage young people in both current maritime practices and an appreciation for the past, and he eagerly signed on board and offered to exhibit his paintings and prints at the museum fo r 2017.
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