Blue Star Museums Launches Another Summer of Free Admission for Military Families

Program will run May 21 – September 5, 2022
Military families sit on benches outside looking at a National Park Service ranger

Military families at Pearl Harbor National Memorial during a Blue Star Museums event in 2019. Photo by Brandyn Liu

Washington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families are pleased to announce the museums across America that will be participating in the Blue Star Museums program this summer, from May 21, 2022—Armed Forces Day—to September 5, 2022—Labor Day. This year’s list once again includes museums from all 50 states, District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Find the complete list of participating museums at

“Museums educate and inspire, cause us to wonder and imagine, dream and remember,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Participating museums offer military personnel and their families an opportunity to feel connected to their community and to explore the world through the power of the arts, culture and design, contributing to each person being able to live an artful life.”

Blue Star Museums is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families, in collaboration with the Department of Defense and museums across America, offering free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve. The initiative began in 2010 as an effort to improve the quality of life for active duty military families, especially focusing on the approximately two million children who have had at least one parent deployed since 2001.

"We are thrilled to celebrate the launch of the 2022 Blue Star Museums program! This wonderful program is a lifeline for many military families, offering them the opportunity to connect with their community, explore new spaces, enjoy the arts, and make lifelong memories. I am grateful for the long-standing partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and another summer of this tremendous program that benefits our military community so greatly," said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO Blue Star Families.

For 2022, the list of participating museums includes both new and returning venues, ranging from art museums, such as the Denver Art Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art; children’s museums, such as Utah’s Treehouse Children’s Museum; zoos and aquariums, such as Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium; and many others, from the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque to Tampa Bay History Center.  

Museums may join the Blue Star Museums program all summer long so families are encouraged to keep checking the map for museums in their community or on their summer travels.

“The Defense Department is grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and museums across the country who participate in this program,” said Mrs. Patricia Barron, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Military Community and Family Policy. “As an Army spouse who raised three very creative children, I know the importance of these enriching experiences to the lives of military families. Improving the quality of life for our nation’s service members and their families through programs like Blue Star Museums ultimately leads to increased readiness among our service members.”

The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military—Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force, 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), DD Form 1173-1 ID card or the Next Generation Uniformed Services (Real) ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.

Follow #BlueStarMuseums on Twitter and the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families at @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily.

Efforts to spread the word to museums about this program have involved 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. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families is the nation’s largest grass-roots military family support organization, with a mission to support military families to improve military readiness. Its distinctive approach builds stronger communities around military families through knowledge and programs that address the unique needs of those who serve. Blue Star Families’ nationally recognized surveys and analysis give military families an important voice that informs policymakers and its military family programs. It uses the power of its collective resources and cross-sector collaborations to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of members of military families to strengthen the troops, their families, and our nation as a whole. For more information, visit


Allison Hill (National Endowment for the Arts),, 202-682-5037
Jessica Gilera (Blue Star Families),, 619-920-3621