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NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa and Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet Announce the 2013 Launchof Blue Star Museums, Including Several CA Museums

originally posted by National Endowment for the Arts
May 21, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC — NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa and Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet announced the fourth annual launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and a record-breaking 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 2013. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after completing a military move. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

The launch of the program was announced today at a press event at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. Elizabeth Broun, Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director, Smithsonian American Art Museum, welcomed guests and distinguished speakers including Roth-Douquet; Shigekawa; Commander Leslie Hull-Ryde, Department of Defense spokeswoman, Office of the Secretary of Defense; local military families; and representatives from the more than 40 Washington-area Blue Star Museums. Following the remarks, participants joined a docent-led tour of modern and contemporary artworks on view in the Lincoln Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which has been a Blue Star Museum since the program began in 2010.

“Blue Star Museums is a collaboration between the arts and military communities,” said Shigekawa. “Our work with Blue Star Families and with more than 2,000 museums across the country ensures that we can reach out to military families and thank them for their service and sacrifice.”

“Blue Star Museums is something that service members and their families look forward to every year, and we are thrilled with the continued growth of the program,” said Roth-Douquet. “Through this distinctive collaboration, service members and their families can connect with our national treasures and enjoy an unparalleled opportunity to visit some of the country’s finest museums for free.”

“I salute the NEA, Blue Star Families and participating museums around the country for opening their doors to military families and spearheading this effort. This initiative will help provide valuable educational and cultural opportunities for our service members and their families,” said United States Senator Jack Reed (Rhode Island), a former Army Ranger and Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, which oversees federal funding for the arts.

This year, more than 2,000 — and counting — museums are taking part in the initiative across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the American Samoa. More than 450 new museums have already registered as first-time participants, including the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum in Northport, Michigan, the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan, Alaska, and the World Museum of Mining in Butte, Montana. Museums are welcome to join throughout the summer, and this year’s roster represents not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and 75 children’s museums. 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, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers.

For a list of California Museums visit: http://www.nea.gov/national/bluestarmuseums/index2013.php?st=CA#list

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