RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina State Capitol has announced a unique component for the national Blue Star Museums program, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and more than 1,300 museums across America. Blue Star Museums will offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families through Labor Day 2011.
At the State Capitol, which has no admission fee, each qualifying military family will also receive a special gift of a pewter Capitol bookmark – free.
Leadership support for the national program has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
“We are honored to welcome members of the Armed Forces here, and through the generosity of the State Capitol Foundation we are able to offer a pewter bookmark of the State Capitol,’ said Site Manager Deanna Mitchell. “It is a small measure of our gratitude to the brave men and women who protect our freedom.”
“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.
“Last year the success of the inaugural year of the Blue Star Museums program showed that partnerships between the nation’s museum and military communities are a natural,” said Blue Star Families Chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet. “We are thrilled that 300,000 military family members visited our partner museums in the summer of 2010. We hope to exceed that number this year as the military community takes advantage of the rich cultural heritage they defend and protect every day.
“We appreciate the NEA and the nation’s museums who chose to partner with us,” said Roth-Douquet. “We also are grateful to our friends at the MetLife Foundation, the lead supporter of the Blue Star Museums outreach initiative, whose generous donation helps make our work possible.”
This year more than 1,324 (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 500 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, and the American Association of State and Local History.
Other N.C. Department of Cultural Resources museums and State Historic Sites are participating in the program, including:
Bennett Place Historic Site, Historic Stagville and Duke Homestead Historic Site, all in Durham; Governor Charles B. Aycock State Historic Site, Fremont, offering a 10% discount in the gift shop; Historic Halifax State Historic Site, Halifax, offering a free Halifax Resolves pin on button with the April 12, 1776 date; House in the Horseshoe Historic Site, Sanford; President James K. Polk State Historic Site, Pineville; Town Creek Indian Mound, Mt Gilead, offering hat pins embossed with the Town Creek logo; and the Museum of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City.
About Blue Star Museums
Blue Star Museums runs all summer to Labor Day, Sept. 5, 2011. The 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. Some special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, contact the museum directly. To find out which museums are participating, visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. The Web site includes a list of participating museums and a map to help with visit planning.
About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit 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 and works to make military life more sustainable. Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and civilians. To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit www.bluestarfam.org.
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 www.arts.gov.
About the Capitol
The State Capitol’s mission is to preserve and interpret the history, architecture and functions of the 1840 building and Union Square. The State Capitol is at One Edenton St., Raleigh, N.C. 27601. Visit www.nchistoricsites.org/capitol/default.htm or call (919) 733-4994 for more information.
Administered by the Division of State Historic Sites, the State Capitol is part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available 24/7 at www.ncculture.com.
Deanna Mitchell, site manager
N.C. State Capitol
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