First Center for the Visual Arts Announces Launch of Blue Star Museums, Today

First Center for the Visual Arts Announces Launch of Blue Star Museums, Today

Today, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 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 2014. 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 a military move. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.

"As we kick off our fifth year of Blue Star Museums, more museums than ever are part of this military appreciation program," said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. "Together with Blue Star Families and more than 2,000 museums, we are proud to help connect military families with the cultural resources in their communities."

"Blue Star Museums has grown into a nationally recognized program that service members and their families look forward to each year," said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth?Douquet. "It helps bring our local military and civilian communities together, and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers."

This year, more than 2,000 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. 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.

During the period covered by the program, the Frist Center will feature several major exhibitions, including the highly anticipated Watch Me Move: The Animation Show, the most extensive exhibition ever mounted to present a wide range of animated imagery produced in the last 120 years, in the Ingram Gallery; Goya: The Disasters of War and Steve Mumford's War Journals, 2003-2013 in the Upper- Level Galleries; American Ballads: The Photographs of Marty Stuart in the Conte Community Arts Gallery; Maira Kalman: The Elements of Style in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery; and Real/Surreal: Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art in the Upper-Level Galleries.

About Blue Star Museums

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 26, 2014 through Labor Day, September 1, 2014.

The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173?1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military ? Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps ? and up to five family members. 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 participating museums and plan your trip, visit arts.gov/national/blue?star?museums. All summer long, Blue Star Museums will share stories through social media. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #BlueStarMuse, on Facebook, and read the NEA Art Works blog for weekly stories on participating museums and exhibits.

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 the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.

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Jillian Gaier