News

Museums Nationwide Participate in Tenth Summer of Blue Star Museums

Program Will Run May 18-September 2, 2019

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father holds son as both look at a painting in a museum

Marine Sgt. Jimmy Ochan and his son William enjoy their visit to the Phillips Collection at the 2015 launch event for Blue Star Museums. Photo by James Kegley

Washington, DC—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.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts 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 Arts Endowment 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.

Blue Star Museums is one of the National Endowment for the Arts’ programs that support military personnel and their families. Others include Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network and grants awarded to nonprofit organizations to support projects that reach military and veterans.

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. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org

Contact

Victoria Hutter (Arts Endowment) hutterv@arts.gov, 202-682-5692

Michele Bradfield (Blue Star Families), mbradfield@bluestarfam.org, 706-304-6822