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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Mar. 13, 201212:00 PM EST

Nonprofit CEO Showcase: Hope McMath


Director, The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

To engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education.

Serving Jacksonville
Since 1961.

Those served
We serve 120,000 individuals annually from the local community, the five-county region and those visiting from outside of North Florida. More than 50,000 of the people we serve are reached through educational programs for students, teachers, families and individuals with disabilities.

Biggest challenge
Having an institutional vision that is larger than our resources. Although we are on solid financial ground (running in the black during these past three years of economic challenges), we aspire to reach more people, present more art, do more with our gardens and find new and innovative ways to remain relevant to our community.

Biggest satisfaction
Watching each and every day the real power that the arts have to touch people, to inspire new ways of seeing and thinking and to connect individuals to one another. There is nothing better than watching the “aha moment” on the face of a child, a visitor, a staff member, a student, a donor, a collector, an artist or a teacher. The Cummer is sprinkled daily with “aha moments.”

Jacksonville, grew up in Arlington.

First experience with community service
I was raised to always put others first, but my first significant community service work was to teach art lessons to the early childhood students at All Saints Episcopal one afternoon a week. About the same time, I volunteered as a docent at the then-Jacksonville Art Museum for its Andrew Wyeth exhibition.

Your job before The Cummer
I have been here for almost 17 years. Before The Cummer, I worked at St. John & Partners as a freelance graphic designer and for a crazy small local magazine that was called “Scandal Sheet” (can you believe it!). My undergraduate work was in graphic design and art history at Jacksonville University. I actually started my graduate work at JU the same day I started part time at The Cummer.

Upcoming events
Through Saturday: We have our annual mid-March Garden Week program, which raises funds for a significant historic garden restoration project on our campus that we are hoping to begin this year. The project will include the resurrection of the Olmsted Gardens located on the St. Johns River, behind the Art Connections building and important beautification and access initiatives along Riverside Avenue. 

May 1-4: We are looking forward to our annual VSA Arts Festival the first week of May, which serves more than 2,400 children with disabilities and their teachers during four days of art-making, music, gallery and garden experiences, all designed so that every child can participate. 

Contact information:
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Talk to us through twitter.
829 Riverside Ave.
Jacksonville, FL 32204

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