The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is home to the Jacksonville affiliate of VSA (Very Special Arts), an international organization that provides opportunities in the arts for individuals with disabilities. This year’s VSA Festival, held May 7th through 10th, invites over 2000 students with disabilities, ranging from mild to profound to visit the Cummer Museum over a four-day period. Students are allowed to experience art through all their senses with activities in the galleries, gardens and Art Connections.
VSA is an activity-based festival where students go to eight 15-minute art-making activities that are located in our studios, galleries, gardens and Art Connections. Groups arrive through the front entrance and are paired with a guide that leads the group through a designated route of stops, so that each group gets to participate in all eight stations.
This inspiring festival, and the tremendous effort that goes into making it happen, could not take place without the dedicated efforts of those who choose to volunteer their time. Our volunteers, numbering close to 1,200, not only ensure that we can have a festival but that it is a success. They are the ones leading the school groups through the museum and gardens. They are there at every stop to explain the activities and assist every student who visits us. They cut paper and roll clay and make sure materials are replenished and ready to go for a new group every 15 minutes. It is thanks to their invaluable efforts that VSA at the Cummer is a continuing success.
The Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens is currently seeking additional volunteers for this year’s VSA festival. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering for this worthy cause please call 904-355-0630.