Museums Nationwide Provide Free Admission to Military Families This Summer

Blue Star Museums Program will run May 20 – September 4, 2023
Children playing on an exhibit floor.

Military families play at the New Children’s Museum in San Diego, California, during a Blue Star Museums event on June 8, 2022.

Washington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families (BSF) are pleased to announce that museums across the nation will be participating in the 14th summer of the Blue Star Museums program. From Saturday, May 20, 2023, Armed Forces Day, to Monday, September 4, 2023, Labor Day, active duty military families can enjoy free admission to participating museums in all 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Additional information and a complete list of participating museums is available at

“Blue Star Museums invites military personnel and their families to experience the many wonders our nation’s museums have to offer, whether it’s a glimpse into the past, an encounter with awe-inspiring art, or a moment of discovery,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “These opportunities enrich the lives of military families and build meaningful connections within their local communities.”

“Museums are a spectacular place to find a sense of belonging, create connections, and have meant so much to my family over the years,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, founder and CEO, BSF. “That is why this partnership means so much to me personally, and since 2010, to the Blue Star Families organization. We are proud to partner with the National Endowment of the Arts for another great year of Blue Star Museums across the country.”

Blue Star Museums is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and BSF, in collaboration with the Department of Defense and participating museums across America. Links to all participating museums are available on the map on and represent a variety of venues and subject areas, including Arizona’s Heard Museum and the Delaware Art Museum, Minnesota’s Duluth Children's Museum; Western New York’s Niagara History Center, Florida’s Sawgrass Nature Center and Wildlife Hospital, the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry, and the National Farm Toy Museum in Iowa.  
Museums can join the Blue Star Museums program all summer long and families are encouraged to check the map for museums in their community or during summer travels.
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.
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.
Follow #BlueStarMuseums on Twitter and the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families at @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily.

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

BlueStar Families (BSF) is the nation’s largest chapter-based military and veteran family support organization. Its research-driven approach fosters strong communities with a focus on human centered design and innovative solutions. Since its founding in 2009, BSF has delivered millions of dollars in benefits and impacted more than 1.5 million people each year. For more information, click here and follow along with Blue Star Families on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Allison Hill (National Endowment for the Arts), 202.682.5037

Ali Slocum (Blue Star Families), 202.630.2583