JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens today celebrated two major developments in the Facilities and Grounds Master Plan and Five-year Strategic plan. Susan Walker, Florida President, Bank of America, presented the museum with a $1 million grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. This lead corporate gift accelerates the museum's restoration and construction plans to preserve the historic Woman's Club of Jacksonville, to be renamed the new Edward W. Lane, Jr. Building. When complete this landmark building will provide additional civic space for museum lectures, programs and events. "We are tremendously proud of the legacy of partnership that Bank of America has with The Cummer since its inception more than four decades ago," said Walker. "The Cummer serves as an anchor in our community, spurring economic and cultural growth over numerous generations. On behalf of our Jacksonville and Florida-based associates, we are pleased to be able to support the museum's expansion and preservations efforts for the Edward W. Lane, Jr. Building, which plays such a critical role in both the history and future of this great institution." The grant will aid in funding and supporting the expansion of The Cummer campus with dedicated civic space and improved facilities for museum lectures, concerts, educational programming, community-based programs and events, and generating revenue through facility and space rentals. Museum space will be dedicated to art exhibitions, both permanent and traveling, many of which no other venue in the Northeast region can accommodate. "The Cummer is proud and grateful to be the recipient of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation's generosity," said Museum Director Maarten van de Guchte. "It re-affirms the age-old bond between business and the arts in fostering a vibrant community." Bank of America has a long history of support for The Cummer, dating back to its inception. Through its legacy banks, Bank of America and its associates have provided stewardship in board and advisory leaders, financial encouragement in building The Cummer's collection through acquisition enrichment, along with direct financial support illustrates a model of true public-private partnering. "This building and its deep community history is a nod to Mrs. Cummer's vision and life in this community. Preservation of the past and its union to the museum's vision for service and growth in this region is embodied in this project. The museum's Trustees and Building and Grounds Committee have worked closely with Ann Beha Architects ensuring the highest standard of preservation and utility are met," said Frank Watson, former chair of Board of Trustees and chair of Building and Grounds Committee. Ann Beha Architects of Boston is the architectural firm working with Jacksonville-based Elkins Constructors on the restoration and construction of this project. The Cummer acquired the Woman's Club of Jacksonville in February 2005. Restoration of the existing building and construction of a new link building completes the museum's Facilities Master Plan Phase I. Ninah Cummer donated the land and the Tudor-style building was constructed in 1927 to serve the Woman's Club of Jacksonville. The original 13,264 square-foot building was designed and built in the same style as Cummer's adjacent estate at her request. The building served as home to the Woman's Club of Jacksonville until November 2005. Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America is in its fourth year of achieving an unprecedented 10-year goal to donate $1.5 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will give more than $225 million in 2008, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world and the second largest donor of all U.S. corporations in cash contributions. Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contributed more than 650,000 hours in 2007 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation. Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens The museum was founded in 1958 when Ninah Holden Cummer, a Jacksonville resident, created an endowment to build a museum on the site of her family's home. The museum opened its doors November 10, 1961, with Ninah Cummer's small collection of 60 pieces. Today, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is the second most visited fine art museum in the state and the largest in northeast Florida. With a permanent collection of more than 6,000 works of art, the museum is noted for its collection of European and American masterworks, historic riverfront gardens and outstanding collection of Meissen porcelain. Art Connections is a national, award-winning interactive learning center where art, science and the imagination unite.
SOURCE Bank of America