BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE - The Adirondack Museum is one of more than 600 museums to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer. They recently announced the launch of "Blue Star Museums," a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and other museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2010.
"The 'Blue Star Museums' program is an excellent way to recognize our service men, women, and their families," said Caroline M. Welsh, director of the Adirondack Museum. "We look forward to welcoming them throughout the summer months."
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.
"America's museums are proud to join the rest of the country in thanking our military personnel and their families for their service and sacrifice," said National Endowment for the Arts chairman Rocco Landesman. "I cannot imagine a better way to do that than welcoming them to explore and enjoy the extraordinary cultural heritage our museums present."
Blue Star Families is a national, non-partisan, non-profit network of military families from all ranks and services including guard and reserve, 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 with civilian community and leaders. Membership includes spouses, kids, parents, service members, veterans and civilians.
Operation Appreciation is an initiative of Blue Star Families that seeks to connect military families to the larger community. Blue Star Families 2009 annual survey shows that 94 percent of military families feel that the larger community doesn't truly understand or appreciate the sacrifices we make for the country.
"There have always been wonderful examples of partnerships between museums and military installations, but the scale of this gift from the museum communities to military families is thrilling," said Blue Star Families chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet.
In addition to being chairman of Blue Star Families, Roth-Douquet is married to a Marine Corps officer, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan. They have two children, and Roth-Douquet and the children plan to take a road trip this summer to visit Blue Star Museums up and down the East Coast.
"Military families work hard for this country, and it is gratifying for us to be recognized for that," she said. "We anticipate that thousands of military families will participate in the program and visit museums this summer - many of them for the first time."
In addition to 30 children's museums across the country, participating museums represent a broad range of art, history, science, and cultural topics - from the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, to the California Surf Museum in Oceanside, California.
This is the latest Arts Endowment 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.
For more information, visit www.adirondackmuseum.com.