THE PLAYERS Championship commits $90,000 to provide military families free access to the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

JACKSONVILLE, Florida — THE PLAYERS Championship officially announced today that it has awarded the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens with a $90,000 grant to assist the Museum in achieving its goal of being a model Blue Star Museum. This generous grant will allow the Museum to provide free admission to active military and veterans on every Wednesday throughout the year.

"This new program is one small way in which THE PLAYERS can show our appreciation for and give back to our hometown heroes. We are incredibly proud to participate in this initiative and extend our gratitude to the Cummer for allowing us to partner with them to help enrich the lives of military families here in Northeast Florida." Lee Smith, Executive Director, THE PLAYERS Championship.

The Blue Star Museum project is a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America to offer free admission to active-duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families. The program begins on Armed Forces Day in mid-May and continues through Labor Day.

In part, the grant will allow the Cummer Museum to extend its Blue Star Museums program so that - in addition to active-duty military service it also includes veterans, military retirees, and their families. The program grants free admission for the military ID holder and up to five family members. If the military ID holder is deployed or unable to attend, military family members can still attend with their own ID card. The expansion of this program to provide free admission every Wednesday throughout the year to the military community will help build awareness and encourage them to take advantage of the Museum as a dynamic, welcoming, healing, and beneficial resource.

“The Museum is delighted to have THE PLAYERS join us on our journey of growth, in which we remain focused on providing access for all people throughout Jacksonville and across our region,” said Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, the George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Museum. “With their help, we will continue to bring the transformational power of the arts to communities that are currently underrepresented among our Museum visitors.”

In addition, with its continued commitment to youth and education, THE PLAYERS grant to the Cummer Museum will also help to play a vital role in furthering resources for children with differing abilities through the annual Arts for All Festival. This nationally-recognized, award-winning festival reaches nearly 200 area classrooms and more than 2,000 children with special learning needs and differing abilities.

Support from the community is critical for the Museum to serve as a vibrant civic resource. All proceeds from daily admission, Cummer Shop sales, event registrations and the Cummer Café support the Museum’s mission to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education.