Museum Hours   |   Monday-Saturday: 9am – 5pm   |  Sunday: 2 pm – 5 pm

Support Us







Ava Discovery PhotoThe Ava Gardner Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to Ava’s life and work … and we need your help to preserve this priceless piece of film heritage.

Ava Gardner was born and raised near Smithfield where a renovated 6,400 square foot building houses the original Tom Banks Collection and new acquisitions the board has on display. For over 30 years, community volunteers have cared for, showcased, and expanded this fabulous collection for the public to enjoy.  These activities all come with a cost and each year the museum's need include; fabrication of professional museum displays, general operating expenses, building maintenance and repair, staffing and much more.

The Ava Gardner Museum is a cultural treasure and an integral part of North Carolina’s film heritage.  The AGM Board of Directors is fortunate to have the support of the Johnston County Tourism Authority, the Town of Smithfield, the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation and many local corporations.  Our annual funding goals for museum operations run approximately $130,000 of which the board is charged with fundraising goals of $100,000. Admissions and gift shop sales equal 60% of the budget, which leaves $40,000 for the board to raise through special events, grants, and sponsorships.

If you have found our website and are a fan of heritage films and the Golden Age of Hollywood, we hope you also have an interest in helping the museum preserve and care for our collection.  Not only does the museum showcase the life and career of Ava Gardner, but those close to her personally and professionally.  Visitors learn about such legendary stars as Clark Gable, Gregory Peck and of course, the love of her life, Frank Sinatra.

There are many ways to support the museum such as our membership program, Ava Advocates or with a corporate gift. We have enclosed a detailed fundraising brochure and ask that you will support the museum. Every $36.00 Ava Advocates Membership helps the museum and every dollar is greatly appreciated.

Please help us honor Ava Gardner by saving this valued piece of film history.

With Warm Regards,

Ava Gardner Museum Board of Directors


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