More than 600 museums across the country will grant free admission to all active-duty military personnel and their families this summer, including 10 museums in North Texas.
Blue Star Museums is a program sponsired by the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families, a program chaired by Marine wife Kathy Roth-Douquet whose husband is currently stationed in Afghanistan.
The two organizations paired together to create the program designed to allow militar families to make the most of their short time together without worrying about straining the family budget.
"Part of being a military family means limited time together," added Sherri Brown, Marine Corps spouse and mother of two. "Blue Star Museums gives military families the chance at quality time together, that is both fun and educational without the worry of affordability. Summer can be a very long time with a parent away, and for those families, this will also help take their minds off what is going on overseas and make the time go faster."
In North Texas, service members and their families can visit the following museums for free:
Amon Carter Muesum, Fort Worth
Dallas Heritage Village, Dallas
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas
Meadows Museum, Dallas
Museum of Geometric and MADI Art, Dallas
Museum of the American Railroad, Dallas
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas
National Scouting Museum, Irving
Pearce Museum, Corsicana
Red River Historical Museum, Sherman
To take part, military personnel need only to present their ID card to gain access for six people, including the ID bearer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
"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 in to explore and enjoy the extraordinary cultural heritage our museums present. The works of art on view this summer will certainly inspire and challenge viewers - and sometimes they will just be a great deal of fun."
"There have always been wonderful examples of partnerships between museums and military installations, but the scale of this gift from the museum community to military families is thrilling," said Roth-Douquet. "Military families work hard for this country, and it is gratifying for us to be recognized for that. We anticipate that thousands of military families will participate in the program and visit museums this summer - many of them for the first time. Blue Star Families will work hard to help our military families make the most of these opportunities."
More than six hundred museums in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are taking part in the initiative. See a full list here.
Blue Star Museums runs from Memorial Day through to Labor Day, 2010. Some special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program.