Show Your Museum Some Love: 5 Easy Ways to Support the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center 

By Meghan Gattignolo 

For those of us who know and love the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center on the corner of Second and Commerce, we treasure it as an invaluable piece of Clarksville culture and a haven for our history. Growing up in Clarksville, you probably have a memory of a field trip to the Customs House. Maybe you’ve brought your own kids for a visit in more recent years, or toured the Museum with an out-of-town friend. Looking to show some appreciation? Here are 5 ways to show your Museum some love.  

Visit the Museum 

Probably the most obvious, but certainly the most important way to show some love. Museums exist as a public space and repository for history and cultural items, so they’re unproductive if no one comes to enjoy them. Take some time out of your afternoon or weekend to walk mindfully through the exhibits and absorb the information the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center wants to share with you. If history isn’t your jam, take in the beautiful art that’s always available for your eyes. 

Buy a Membership 

If you go to the Museum with any frequency, consider investing in an annual membership. The money you spend on membership helps the Museum tremendously and is a great feedback measure that shows the staff how much the local community is invested in this work. Memberships provide great benefits to members, too. Members hear about events before anyone else, receive invitations to receptions, and enjoy a copy of Second & Commerce magazine mailed straight to their house each quarter. Museum members also get free admission whenever they want to stop by for a visit!  

Share the Love 

Spreading the word about anything helps it grow. Clarksville is growing every day, and you might be surprised to find how much of the current population doesn’t know the Museum is here! If you’re an APSU student, grab some classmates and make a fun Saturday out of exploring the Museum. If you know a family that just moved to town, grab your strollers and check out a storytime or craft together. Also, don’t forget to follow the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center on Facebook and Instagram. Share posts with your friends and family whenever you see one that excites you! 

Volunteer With Us 

The Customs House Museum & Cultural Center is a non-profit organization. That means the Museum often relies on volunteer time to make certain events and exhibits happen. The F&M Bank Huff & Puff Express Model Trains – one of our most popular exhibits – is run and maintained almost exclusively by volunteers, and has been since the Museum’s early days.  New volunteers are always being sought for the trains, and occasionally the need arises for volunteers to help in other areas as well, such as with educational programs and special events. Check out this page if you’re interested in sharing your precious time with your favorite museum. 

Party In the Courtyard 

Finally, another great way to love your Museum is to participate in the latest fundraising initiative! The I ♥ My Museum Give-A-Thon is happening now – during this special week of giving, we are highlighting all the ways in which the Museum serves this community.  

Next Thursday, May 11, the Museum will celebrate this collective generosity with the Courtyard Jam! Come out and show your support by enjoying live music, food trucks, games and more kicking off at 5pm. The party is to give thanks for everyone’s help in supporting the Museum’s mission, providing crucial funding for producing educational programs, promoting local artists and caring for the collections. The Museum is always growing and changing, and your contribution shows how you want to see more Museum offerings in the future. Show your Museum some love here, now until May 11. See you next Thursday! 

Meghan E. Gattignolo is a freelance writer and longtime Clarksville, TN resident. She loves to obsess about historical subjects and annoy her family daily with unsolicited random facts. Meghan holds a History B.A. from Austin Peay State University and lives in town with her husband and two daughters. 

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