Michigan to participate in Blue Star Museums program for active military members

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Tenth summer of Blue Star Museums program will run through September 2, 2019

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, will have free access to 50 Michigan museums this summer as part of the Blue Star Museums program. The 2019 program began on May 18, Armed Forces Day, and will run until September 2, Labor Day. Michigan military families can find the list of participating museums at www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America. Blue Star Museums is an initiative to improve the quality of life for active duty military families, focusing on the approximately two million children who have had at least one parent deployed since 2001. This program offers these families a chance to visit museums this summer when many will have limited resources and limited time to be together.

“Here in Michigan, we have a tradition of honoring the members of the armed forces, and that’s why I’m proud that 50 museums throughout Michigan are participating in the NEA Blue Star Museums program,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “We want to thank our military members for all that they do, and we thank our Michigan museums that are participating in this great program.”

The announcement builds on the NEA advisory body gathering in Detroit this week. The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and CultureSource are co-hosting the Arts Endowment and the council Friday, June 21 at the Charles H. Wright Museum for the National Council on the Arts annual summer meeting. It will be only the organization’s second meeting convened outside of Washington, D.C. in the past 29 years. The meeting will include presentations and performances by Michigan artists and organizations.

The NEA meeting and the Blue Star Museums program are both helping Michigan shine a light on the arts and culture sector's impact in the state, said MCACA Director Alison Watson.

“Access to the programs and projects of our state’s many arts and cultural organizations leads to more welcoming and vibrant communities, provides our citizens with an amazing quality of life and makes our state a more attractive place for businesses to locate,” Watson said. “We’re pleased to support these opportunities that showcase our state’s vibrant arts and cultural scene to both a national audience and to Michigan’s military members.”

This is the eighth year Michigan has been involved in the Blue Star Museums program, with 50 museums participating statewide. These include children’s museums, fine art museums, history and science museums and nature centers. For more information on Blue Star Museums, visit the frequently asked questions page.

“As we launch the tenth summer of Blue Star Museums, it remains a privilege for the National Endowment for the Arts to serve members of the military and their families through this program,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Whether it’s an art museum, science center, or botanic garden, there are so many wonderful opportunities for military families to share a memorable experience exploring our nation’s museums.”

The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Retirees and veterans should reach out directly to the museum they plan to visit; often they offer reduced or special rates for the retiree or veteran population.

About the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs

As the state's government's lead agency charged with developing arts and culture policy and grant-making, MCACA recognizes the need for, and seeks out, a wide variety of public and private sector partners to help fulfill this mission to encourage, initiate and facilitate an enriched artistic, cultural and creative environment in Michigan. Visit here to learn more.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit here to learn more.

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. Visit here to learn more.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.