Free Museum Access for Active Duty Soldiers 

5/24/2010 

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman and Blue Star Families Chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a partnership with more than 600 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2010. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov (or click on the logo shown uncer Useful Links).

"America's museums are proud to join the rest of the country in thanking our military personnel and their families for their service and sacrifice," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "I cannot imagine a better way to do that than welcoming them in to explore and enjoy the extraordinary cultural heritage our museums present. The works of art on view this summer will certainly inspire and challenge viewers – and sometimes they will just be a great deal of fun."

About Blue Star Museums

Blue Star Museums runs from Memorial Day, May 31, 2010 through to Labor Day, September 6, 2010. The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their immediate family members (military ID holder and five immediate family members), which includes active duty Reserve and active duty National Guard. 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 out which museums are participating, visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. The site includes a list of participating museums and a map to help with visit planning.

Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums may contact bluestarmuseums@arts.gov, or Nicole Murray at 202-682-5578.

This is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families. Other NEA programs for the military have included Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families is a national, non-partisan, non-profit network of military families from all ranks and services including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families. In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life with civilian community and leaders. Membership includes spouses, kids, parents, service members, veterans and civilians.

Operation Appreciation is an initiative of Blue Star Families that seeks to connect military families to the larger community. Blue Star Families 2009 annual survey shows that 94 percent of military families feel that the larger community doesn't truly understand or appreciate the sacrifices we make for the country. Through initiatives such as Blue Star Museums, Blue Star Families provides avenues for the larger community to show that they do understand, in meaningful ways that enrich the lives of military service members, spouses, children and parents.

For more information, please visit www.BlueStarFam.org.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The NEA is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts – both new and established – bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.