Monday, May 24, 2010

Blue Star Museums

Today, Blue Star Families and the National Endowment for the Arts are launching a new program giving military families free admission to more than 600 museums across the country this summer.

The program, Blue Star Museums, will offer free admission at participating museums from Memorial Day through Labor Day this summer.

From the AP story about Blue Star Museums:

The list [of museums] includes some of the nation's premier art museums, including New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as science centers, children's museums and other sites in all 50 states.

The program, called Blue Star Museums, is being announced Monday in San Diego, where 14 museums will participate. The offer for active duty military personnel and their families runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

It was the brainchild of Kathy Roth-Douquet, chairwoman of the group Blue Star Families. Her husband, Marine Corps Col. Greg Douquet, is on his third deployment to Afghanistan.

"You can feel a little alone in America right now, being part of the 1 percent that's involved in fighting these wars," she said, adding that the recession has changed priorities for many people. "When the kids and I go to museums this summer, we know we're being welcomed. It will make us feel less alone."

Roth-Douquet, who lives in Parris Island, S.C., said military bases are sometimes far from cultural centers, though museums can be a good escape.

The Defense Department is helping to promote the offer, and Roth-Douquet said some military bases may coordinate bus trips.

Throughout the Summer, we'll be sharing the experiences of museums, DoD officials and military families here on this blog and on the Blue Star Museums blog for the National Endowment for the Arts. We would love to hear from you too.

Go to the Blue Star Museums page for more information and to find a list of participating museums. While you're at one of your local Blue Star Museums, take some photos of the things that move you most. Make a video with your cell phone and ask your kids or your spouse what they liked the most and why. Have your children create some art of their own and scan it in. Write a blog about your experience. Whatever you do, share it with us. You can email us at or you can share a comment on our Guest Book....

Blue Star Families home page is here.

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