The Cummer became the home of the annual VSA Arts Festival in 1996. This four-day art festival provides meaningful art experiences for more than 2,000 children with disabilities. Students and teachers enjoy, explore, and interact in the museum’s galleries, gardens, studios and Art Connections while participating in eight art activities. For many of these children it is their one opportunity to experience the beauty of original works of art and the creative power inherent in the art-making process.
The VSA Arts festival has been recognized as a national model by VSA Arts International and is the only such event to happen in a museum anywhere in the country. The festival is unique in that it not only involves children in making art, but they do so right in the galleries, surrounded by masterpieces of original art.