By Tenley Ross, DVI Intern
The Jacksonville Museum and Cultural Center hasn’t opened yet, but a piece of it is already rolling around on four wheels. Through Downtown tours using street-legal golf carts, the center will raise money to build historical exhibits and open soon Downtown.
On these “I love Jacksonville” Zip Tours, which run every Friday from noon to dusk, you will zip past iconic Downtown landmarks to learn about Jacksonville’s roots.
Meanwhile, with revenue generated from the tours, the center is building 12 template tradeshow-like exhibits that will spotlight Jacksonville’s different eras of culture and history.
Founder Sherry JHill is a fifth-generation Jacksonville resident, and she said she wants the community to come together and share in the city’s identity through this center.
But first, she’s getting the word out by driving with Bill Guerrant, the tour cart’s owner. During this year’s One Spark, she met Guerrant and found that he started EZ Event Ride, which helps people who struggle to walk to still participate in special events by riding in the cart.
Starting on the corner of Laura Street and Monroe Street, the tour cost is a suggested $10 donation, helping bring Jacksonville’s history to life for curious people through the center.
The center, currently in a temporary space in the Wells Fargo Center, is looking for a permanent location Downtown and hopes to find a five-story building with a basement. The top floor will be a micro boutique hotel called Cowford Commons. There will be three floors of museum and event space. The bottom floor will be host a café called Café Jax Life. The basement will be The Jacksonville Makers Spark Space, a workshop for creators. The museum space will be segmented by age from toddlers to adults, so the whole family can be engaged.
JHill said she wants to tell stories by exploring the forward-thinking people who created innovative firsts within the city.
“[The center] belongs to them and their stories are going to make it right,” JHill said. “It’s a place to come together to create history.”
With each story she hears, she said she thinks of the analogy of a dinner party, where everyone brings ingredients and cooks a great meal together.
“It makes me love my city more and more,” she said.
For more information on the The Jacksonville Museum and Cultural Center, visit jaxmuseum.org.