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Museums Nationwide Participate in Tenth Summer of Blue Star Museums

From Victoria Hutter, National Endowment for the Arts and Michele Bradfield, Blue Star Families

Celebrating the tenth summer of Blue Star Museums, the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families announce that museums nationwide have signed on to provide free admission to our nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families this summer. The 2019 program will begin earlier than in past years, starting on Saturday, May 18, 2019, Armed Forces Day, and end on Monday, September 2, 2019, Labor Day. Military families can find the list of participating museums at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

Blue Star Museums is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums nationwide. First Lady of the United States Melania Trump and Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence are honorary co-chairs of Blue Star Museums 2019.

“As we launch the tenth summer of Blue Star Museums, it remains a privilege for the National Endowment for the Arts to serve members of the military and their families through this program,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Whether it’s an art museum, science center, or botanic garden, there are so many wonderful opportunities for military families to share a memorable experience exploring our nation’s museums.”

By participating in Blue Star Museums—even if they already provide free admission—museums can express appreciation to military and their families for their service and share with them America’s cultural treasures. Blue Star Museums also provides a way for military families to have fun together while traveling or when exploring their home community—an especially valuable opportunity for families who have recently relocated due to a change of station.

“We’ve seen the tremendous impact the Blue Star Museums program brings to our military families, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating a decade of support,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, chief executive officer of Blue Star Families. “Not only are museums fun to explore but are also great for making memories and strengthening military families as a whole.”

“The Defense Department congratulates Blue Star Families and the National Endowment for the Arts on reaching an incredible milestone: ten years of service to the military community though Blue Star Museums,” said A.T. Johnston, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Military Community and Family Policy. “We offer our sincere gratitude to the more than 2,000 museums across the country who open their doors through this wonderful program. Your patriotism and generosity have enriched the lives and experiences of our military families.”

This year’s participating organizations hail from all 50 states, as well as Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, and include fine art, science, history, and children’s museums, as well as zoos, aquariums, gardens, and more. Museums are welcome to sign up for Blue Star Museums throughout the summer at arts.gov.

The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.

Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums.

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, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers.



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