NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman and Blue Star Families Chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet Announce the Launch of Blue Star Museums
More than 800 museums across America will offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer
May 24, 2010
San Diego, CA -- NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman and Blue Star Families Chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a partnership with more than 800 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2010. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov.
The launch of the program was announced today at a press event hosted by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. Mr. Landesman and Ms. Roth-Douquet were joined by Chairman of the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture Colette Carson Royston, Rear Admiral Garry J. Bonelli, Deputy Commander of Naval Special Warfare, and Ellyn Dunford, spouse of Lt. General Joseph Dunford, Commanding General of I Marine Expeditionary Force, and representatives from San Diego's more than 150,000 active duty military personnel and the 14 San Diego museums participating in Blue Star Museums.
Following the event, Mr. Landesman, Ms. Roth-Douquet, and Mayor Sanders escorted six, local military families to visit the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Photographic Arts, and, the Mingei International Museum. The six families represented the five branches of the military – Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy - as well as our National Guard and reserve forces.
"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."
"There have always been wonderful examples of partnerships between museums and military installations, but the scale of this gift from the museum community to military families is thrilling," said Blue Star Families Chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet. "Military families work hard for this country, and it is gratifying for us to be recognized for that. We anticipate that thousands of military families will participate in the program and visit museums this summer – many of them for the first time. Blue Star Families will work hard to help our military families make the most of these opportunities."
In addition to being Chairman of Blue Star Families, Ms. Roth-Douquet is married to a Marine Corps officer, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan. They have two children, and Ms. Roth-Douquet and the children plan to take a road trip this summer to visit Blue Star Museums up and down the East Coast.
"Part of being a military family means limited time together," added Sherri Brown, Marine Corps spouse and mother of two. "Blue Star Museums gives military families the chance at quality time together, that is both fun and educational without the worry of affordability. Summer can be a very long time with a parent away, and for those families, this will also help take their minds off what is going on overseas and make the time go faster."
"The Blue Star Museums program is an incredibly creative and thoughtful way to honor all the sacrifices of our troops and their families," said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. "And what better place to kick it off than San Diego, which has so many wonderful military families and so many world-class museums."
More than six hundred museums in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are taking part in the initiative. The American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, and the Association of Children's Museums each sent a letter from NEA Chairman Landesman inviting museums to participate in this program. In addition to thirty children's museums across the country, participating museums represent a broad range of art, history, science, and cultural topics, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas; the California Surf Museum in Oceanside, California; the Mission San Luis, a living history site and historic landmark in Tallahassee, Florida; the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Lincoln – Nebraska; the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; and the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, New Hampshire.
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 any bearter of a Geneva Convention Common Access Card (CAC), A DD Form 1173 ID Card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID Card, which includes active duty military and their immediate family members, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserve. 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 email@example.com, 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.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency