Island SPACE president Calibe Thompson. | Photo: George Horton (Island Syndicate)

Caribbean museum co-founder recognized by Representative Sheila Cherfilus McCormick among local leaders for Women’s History Month

Plantation, Florida: Board members at Island SPACE Caribbean Museum are bristling with pride this week, as their president and co-founder Calibe Thompson received news that she would be presented with US Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus McCormick’s EmpowHer Award for the category of “Women in Arts and Culture.” The sold out awards event will take place on Saturday, March 23rd in Fort Lauderdale. Thompson will be recognized for her “exceptional achievements within Florida’s 20th congressional district.”

American Black Film Festival

Building a Legacy

Island SPACE Caribbean Museum, the flagship project of the nonprofit organization Island Society for the Promotion of Artistic and Cultural Education (Island SPACE), is the only pan-Caribbean heritage museum in the United States. Located near the northeast entrance at Broward Mall in the City of Plantation, the museum, its associated gallery and event space, were conceptualized by Thompson and co-founder David I. Muir, with a mission of elevating the profile of Caribbean art, history and culture in every form throughout South Florida and the broader diaspora.

Since the museum’s establishment in 2020, Thompson has led the charge in the areas of strategic planning, project management, fundraising and programming development, with the support of a small staff, a dedicated board of directors and exceptional volunteers.

Most private Caribbean nonprofits have avoided the commitment required to maintain brick and mortar facilities. Thompson admits the responsibility of operating the museum is heavy. “Sometimes it can feel like you’ve taken on more than you can manage, even though you love what you do,” she said. “It’s really gratifying when someone with the stature of Congresswoman Cherfilus McCormick takes a moment to let you know that they see you, and that the work you’re doing is important.”

Community Programs at Island SPACE Caribbean Museum

Since the beginning of the year, Island SPACE has hosted a successful inaugural music festival — Reggae Genealogy — where lifetime achievement award-winner Cedella Marley promised the organization one of her father’s guitars and costumes from the I-Threes for a new Bob Marley exhibit, slated for a summer unveiling. 

Museum visitors can also look out for new art exhibits and cultural installations every two to three months. Upcoming programming activities include celebrating Haitian heritage and art in in May at L’union Fait la Force, engaging children in traditional arts at the Anancy Festival in June, honoring women at HERS in July, exploring themes of emancipation in August, a Caribbean book fair and Peter Tosh memorial activities in October, the third annual Rum Cake and Caribbean Black Cake Festival in November, and the third annual Art Week Comes to Plantation event series in December.

Supporting the Mission

The privately funded organization is currently advancing its “First 50” campaign, inviting 50 donors to commit to giving $5,000 per year for the next 5 years. The recurring contributions will help the museum remain sustainable, supporting basic operations for effective service and representation of the 25% of South Floridians born in the Caribbean, the children who learn about their heritage at field trips and events, and the guests who find connection with rich Caribbean history and culture as they attend panels, workshops, performances, tours, art shows and more.

Island SPACE is supported in part by Broward Mall, the State of Florida Department of State, the Florida Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Broward County Cultural Division, “King” George Jograj, Dr. Lydia Malcom of Authentic Behavioral Health LLC, and her husband, Mr. Waynewright Malcolm, and the following funds at the Community Foundation of Broward: Judith Cornfeld Fund for the Arts, Helen and Frank Stoykov Charitable Endowment Fund, The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation Broward Community Fund and Samuel F. Morrison Community Impact Fund.

About Island SPACE Caribbean Museum

Island Society for the Promotion of Artistic and Cultural Education (Island SPACE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of arts, culture, history, and educational initiatives that represent the Caribbean region, in South Florida and the broader diaspora. The public is invited to visit the Caribbean museum Thursdays through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. General museum entry is $10 per adult and $5 per child. Contact [email protected] or call 954-999-0989, or visit to learn more.


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