Blue Star Museums program to offer free admission nationwide to military personnel and families
GritoBlast! — From May 25 through September 7, 2015, more than 2,000 museums around the U.S., Puerto Rico and American Samoa will offer free admission to U.S. military personnel and their families through the The Blue Star Museums program.
The program is a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Defense, and Blue Star Families.
“Parents of young children tell us that they go to museums to learn new things and have family time together,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Blue Star Museums helps them do both, by helping military families learn about the cultural resources in their communities, and offering a fun, high-quality experience that’s budget friendly as well as family friendly. We’re proud to help connect museums to military communities nationwide.”
“Blue Star Museums has grown into a nationally recognized program that service members and their families look forward to each year,” said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet. “It helps bring our local military and civilian communities together, and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”
Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers.
This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not only fine arts museums but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and dozens of children’s museums. Among this year’s new participants are the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Florida, the Duluth Children’s Museum in Minnesota, The Space Station Museum in Novato, California, and The Lyon Arboretum at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.
A full list of participating museums can be found here.
The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps—and up to five family members.
Some special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, please contact the museum directly. To find participating museums and plan your trip, visit arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
All summer long, Blue Star Museums will share stories through social media. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums, and on Facebook, and read the NEA Art Works blog for weekly stories on participating museums and exhibits.
Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums may contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or Wendy Clark at 202-682-5451.
This is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families. Other NEA programs for the military have included the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership, Great American Voices Military Base Tour, and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.