NEA Chairman Jane Chu and Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet announced the eighth annual launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve and their families, from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2017. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their community, especially after a military move. The list of participating museums is available at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. This list will be updated throughout the summer as more museums sign up.

“The Blue Star Museums program is a great opportunity for the NEA to team up with local museums in every state in the nation to support our service members and their families,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “It means a lot to offer these families access to high-quality, budget-friendly opportunities to spend time together.”

Last summer, more than 900,000 military members and their families took advantage of free admission as part of Blue Star Museums, visiting not only fine arts museums, but also science museums, music museums, nature centers, and children’s museums.

Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet says service members and their families look forward to the variety of participating Blue Star Museums each summer. “Whether they want to blast off at a science museum, take a walk through nature, or encounter animals at the aquarium, Blue Star Museums will help service members and their families create memories this summer,” said Roth-Douquet. “This fantastic collaboration with the NEA brings our local military and civilian communities together and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”

This year’s Blue Star Museums program welcomes many new participating museums, including the Edgar Allen Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia; the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame Museum in Memphis Tennessee; the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in Hagerman, Idaho; and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming.

All summer long, Blue Star Museums will share stories through social media. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums, on Facebook, and read the NEA Art Works blog for weekly stories on participating museums and exhibits.

Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums may contact bluestarmuseums@arts.gov, or Wendy Clark, NEA Director of Museums at clarkw@arts.gov.

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, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Austin:
Blanton Museum of Art
Elisabet Ney Museum
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
LBJ Presidential Library
Mexic-Arte Museum
Neill-Cochran House Museum
Texas Capitol Visitors-State Preservation Board
Texas Memorial Museum
Texas Military Forces Museum
Texas State Capitol-State Preservation Board
The Bullock Texas State History Museum
The Contemporary Austin
The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center
The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria
UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum

San Antonio:
Blue Star Contemporary
Briscoe Western Art Museum
Casa Navarro State Historic Site
McNay Art Museum
San Antonio Museum of Art
The Alamo
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
Villa Finale: Museum & Gardens

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