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Although existing as a retreat on a low-key and relatively unpopulated island in the middle of nowhere, Cruz Bay at
St. John boasts a bit more than merely outdoor activities and spectacular views—museums and music also contribute to Cruz’s cultural life and tourist attraction.
The Elaine Ione Sprauve Library and Museum presents the history of the island. Housed inside a restored eighteenth century plantation mansion that had been constructed just outside Cruz Bay, the museum operates during business hours, showcasing the evolution of the island’s history in photographs, newspapers, and art.
Also on St. John is the Ivan Jaden Museum, an odd tribute to the first major artist to escape Stalinism in the forties. Jaden had been a great tenor singer, and this historic site holds hundreds of videos, books, cd’s, documents and photos pertaining to the man.
Finally, the summer events such as Carnival, which is a month long, testifies to Cruz Bay’s vibrant music and dance scene, a surfeit of calypso and native rhythms. All the music and art the area offers only supplements the necessary outdoor experiences of the
National Park, the beach, and remaining scenery.