Museums to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer
Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum is one of more than 1,500
Galveston, TX — Today the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 1,500 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2012. Leadership support has been provided bt MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The complete list of participating Blue Star Museums is available at www.arts.gov.
“Through Blue Star Museums, the arts community is extending a special invitation to military families to enjoy over 1,500 museums this summer,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “This is both an opportunity to thank military families for their service and sacrifice, as well as a chance to create connections between museums and these families that will continue throughout the year. Especially for families with limited time together, those on a limited budget, and ones that have to relocate frequently, Blue Star Museums offers an opportunity to enjoy one another and become more fully integrated into a community.”
“As we enter the third consecutive year of the Blue Star Museums program, we are happy provide an opportunity for our nation’s service members and their families to connect with our national treasures,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Through this distinctive collaboration between Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts and more than 1,500 museums across the United States, military families have an unparalleled opportunity to visit some of the country’s finest museums for free.”
This year, more than 1,500 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative, including more than 300 new museums this year. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved the partnership efforts of the American Association 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. This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and 70 children’s museums. Among this year’s new participants are the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar in Richmond, Virginia, the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, NM, the Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland, Ohio, the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco, California, the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, and the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Lisa Lisinicchia, the Ocean Star’s operations director, stated, “We are delighted to once again be a ‘Blue Star Museum’ and glad to see the continual growth of this national program. While we always want to honor our service men and women, providing something unique and experiential for their families is something we are proud to offer. The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum is one-of-a kind, just like our nation’s military, and hopefully we will help create some unique memories.”
Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and Education Center: The Ocean Star, a retired jack up rig, was acquired in 1995, moved to Galveston, refurbished, and opened as the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and Education Center in 1997. Thousands of students, teachers, industry tours, youth groups, and families have experienced the offshore energy industry first hand through the Ocean Star. Today it is a one-of-a-kind center for science education. More than 70 interpretive exhibits, models, and multimedia displays about the offshore oil and natural gas industry await you on the Ocean Star, berthed at Pier 19 in Galveston. Families can visit www.oceanstaroec.com for museum hours and more details.
Blue Star Museums: Blue Star Museums runs from Memorial Day, May 31 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.
About the National Endowment for the Arts: The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov.