The Japanese American National Museum has announced that it will join with over 1,300 other museums across America to become a Blue Star Museum, and will provide free admission to U.S. active duty military personnel and their families after May 30, Memorial Day, and running to Sept. 5, Labor Day, for 2011.
This program was developed through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Blue Star Families and the participating museums. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families.
The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their immediate family members (military ID holder and five immediate family members). Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members. To find out which museums are participating, visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
“Blue Star Museums may be the program at the NEA of which I am proudest,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “Blue Star Museums recognizes and thanks our military families for all they are doing for our country, and simultaneously begins young people on a path to becoming life-long museum-goers.”
Blue Star Families is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services 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 and works to make military life more sustainable. Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and civilians.
The Blue Star Museums program began in 2010 and over 300,000 military family members visited participating museums last summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved the partnership efforts of the American Association of Museums, Association of Art Museum Directors, Association of Children’s Museums, and American Association of State and Local History. 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.
“The Japanese American National Museum is honored to be part of the Blue Star Museums program,” stated Akemi Kikumura Yano, JANM president and CEO. “It’s a wonderful program that thanks our military personnel and their families for their sacrifices, while encouraging more people to visit the many fine museums in our country.”
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.