Cummer Museum seeks donations for Humanities Endowment grant

“Whitfield Lovell: Deep River,” exhibit looked at African-American life from the Civil War to the Civil Rights era, May 2016

Located in the historic 5 Points neighborhood of Riverside, The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is one of Jacksonville’s best kept secrets. Nationally, however, it is recognized as one of the nation’s most innovative cultural institutions, due in large part to public programs the museum has presented over the past several years, empowering conversations about history, race, cultural values, and challenges.

When the Cummer Museum was awarded a $500,000 three-to-one match grant in fall 2015 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), it was just one of 15 museums throughout the United States – and the only one in Florida – to receive the grant.

To receive the full amount, the Cummer must raise $1.5 million in matching dollars before the Challenge Grant period is complete approximately four years from now.

During the first year of the match, the Cummer secured $125,000 from the NEH and $375,000 from donors, for a total of $500,000 raised toward the ultimate $2 million goal, which will be invested as an endowment.

The endowment will allow the museum to create innovative programs that more deeply impact diverse audiences by looking at art through the lenses of literature, philosophy, religion, history, and more, according to Holly Keris, the museum’s chief operating officer and chief curator.

“It will also allow the Cummer to fully develop and share best practices in accessibility for individuals with disabilities, building on an area of strength for the Museum while benefitting other institutions and the broadest cross-section of individuals who desire access to arts and culture content,” said Keris. “We are honored that this grant award validates the important work happening at the Cummer Museum, along with that of multiple collaborators and partners, to make the power of the humanities accessible to all.”

The museum plans to promote opportunities to participate in the match. For more information, contact [email protected] or call (904) 899-6025.