Washington, DC— NEA Chairman Jane Chu and Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet announced the eighth annual launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve and their families, from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2017. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their community, especially after a military move. The list of participating museums is available at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. This list will be updated throughout the summer as more museums sign up.
“The Blue Star Museums program is a great opportunity for the NEA to team up with local museums in every state in the nation to support our service members and their families,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “It means a lot to offer these families access to high-quality, budget-friendly opportunities to spend time together.”
Last summer, more than 900,000 military members and their families took advantage of free admission as part of Blue Star Museums, visiting not only fine arts museums, but also science museums, music museums, nature centers, and children’s museums.
Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet says service members and their families look forward to the variety of participating Blue Star Museums each summer. “Whether they want to blast off at a science museum, take a walk through nature, or encounter animals at the aquarium, Blue Star Museums will help service members and their families create memories this summer,” said Roth-Douquet. “This fantastic collaboration with the NEA brings 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.”
This year’s Blue Star Museums program welcomes many new participating museums, including the Edgar Allen Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia; the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame Museum in Memphis Tennessee; the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in Hagerman, Idaho; and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming.
All summer long, Blue Star Museums will share stories through social media. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums, on Facebook, and read the NEA Art Works blog for weekly stories on participating museums and exhibits.
Leadership support for Blue Star Families programming and promotional materials has been provided by MetLife Foundation. 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, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
About Blue Star Museums
Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 29, 2017, through Labor Day, September 4, 2017.
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 the Blue Star Museums map.
In addition to awarding grants to support programs around the country that involve military personnel and their families, the NEA manages Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, with the Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.
About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members. Blue Star Families believes that all military families should be able to serve and simultaneously build thriving and healthy families. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. Visit bluestarfam.org for more information.