Written by Meghan Gattignolo, Visitor Services Coordinator
Museums and libraries are wonderful places for parents who want to keep their kids’ minds active over the school break – and for kids who just want to have fun. For this reason, it is important that institutions like the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center remain accessible to everyone in the community. We participate in a number of programs and events to provide all community members access to their local Museum, regardless of financial ability.
Blue Star Museums
Blue Star Museums is a nationwide program from Blue Star Families and the National Endowment for the Arts. Moving around the country can be stressful for young military families and their children, and Blue Star was created to make moving a little bit easier. The program provides free admission to museums and other cultural institutions around the country from Armed Forces Day in May through Labor Day, September 6. It also gives military families an affordable option for summer vacations and travel plans. Because we are located in a military city, the Museum is especially proud to participate in the Blue Star Museums program. To take advantage of this opportunity, simply show your valid active-duty or dependent military ID at Visitor Services in the lobby for free admission for the ID holder and up to 5 family members. Visitors can find an interactive map on the Blue Star website that highlights every participating location around the country.
Museums for All
An initiative of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Museums for All program offers reduced general admission prices to families who receive S.N.A.P benefits. With your EBT card (from any state) and valid photo ID, up to 6 individuals can receive the reduced prices. Under the Museums for All program, general admission to the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center is $3 for adults, $1 for kids 3-17 and free for kids 2 and under.
First Thursday Art Walk
On the first Thursday of every month, Downtown Clarksville hosts Art Walk. From 5 – 8 pm, many downtown businesses and organizations feature local artists in their buildings for locals to appreciate. The event is self-guided and completely free. Because the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center always houses beautiful artwork, we open our doors with free admission during Art Walk as well. The next First Thursday is July 1, so don’t miss your chance to get acquainted with your local Museum.
Fifth Saturday Donation Day
Last month saw the introduction of the first Fifth Saturday Donation Day at the Museum! Every month where there is a fifth Saturday (remaining in 2021 is on July 31 and October 30) any dollar amount serves as admission, with all donations supporting the betterment of the Museum. This gives all visitors – be they locals who grew up here, or tourists who appreciate art and history – an exciting opportunity to actively participate in the Museum’s future on their terms. Big changes are coming soon to Clarksville’s Museum, and your donations foster our growth.
Don’t forget, annual memberships are still 50% off for the rest of June. Sign-up on our website or in Seasons: The Museum Store to take advantage of this rare opportunity. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for exciting upcoming events and programs. We’ll see you at the Museum!
Meghan Gattignolo is the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center’s Visitor Services Coordinator and regularly contributes articles to the Museum’s blog. From a military family, Meghan has spent most of her life in Clarksville. She loves learning about Clarksville’s history and writing. Meghan holds a B.A. in History from Austin Peay State University, with minors in German and Political Science. She lives in Clarksville with her husband and two daughters.
Becky Wood, Technical Writer, edits each blog post. Maegan Collins, Media & Communications Coordinator, prepares photographs and visual images as well as prepares the blog posts for the web.