Ava Gardner Museum Awarded Grant from The Winston-Salem Foundation

Visitors to the Ava Gardner Museum are often eager to learn more about her life in this rural community. Currently, maps are available to the gravesite (located 1.2 miles from the Museum) and to the Birthplace and Teacherage. However, once there, visitors do not have the benefit of further historical information to supplement their visit. In an effort to both further the mission of the Museum and deepen and enhance visitors’ experience, the Ava Gardner Museum is developing an Ava Gardner Heritage Trail that will include interpretative historical markers at locations of significance in Ava’s life in North Carolina. After the Heritage Trail markers have been installed, a Trail map will be made available to the public through both the Museum website and as a printed brochure.

To support the Ava Gardner Heritage Trail, the Ava Gardner Museum has been awarded a $5,000 grant from The Winston-Salem Foundation. Ava’s sister, Myra Gardner Pearce, was a long-time resident of Winston-Salem and was devoted to the community she came to call home. Myra is actually the only Gardner family member not buried in Smithfield, choosing instead to be laid to rest with her husband’s family in Winston-Salem.

“The Ava Gardner Museum is excited about this financial support from The Winston-Salem Foundation and is eager to begin work on the new Ava Gardner Heritage Trail, which we hope to unveil at the Ava Gardner Festival, scheduled for October 8-10,” stated Jessica Meadows Hammett, Executive Director.

Founded in 1919 by Colonel Francis Fries with a $1,000 gift, The Winston-Salem Foundation now administers over 1,200 funds, and had total custodial assets of $211 million at the end of 2008. In 2008, the Foundation granted more than $24 million to charitable causes, over $2 million of which was in competitive community grants.

About Ava Gardner Museum

The Ava Gardner Museum is located in downtown Smithfield, at 325 E. Market Street and more information may be found on the museum website, http://www.avagardner.org or by calling 919-934-5830. The museum is open Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm and Sunday 2pm-5pm with admission of $6.00 adults, $5.00 seniors and groups and $4.00 children.

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