Tenn. museums participate in Blue Star Museums program

Posted on Friday, June 7, 2013 at 9:10 am

A number of Tennessee museums are participating in the Blue Star Museums program, a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense.

More than 1,800 museums across the country will offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families through Labor Day.

“Our work with Blue Star Families and with more than 1,800 museums ensures that we can reach out to military families and thank them for their service and sacrifice,” said NEA Acting Chair Joan Shigekawa.

This year, museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and American Samoa are taking part in the program. More than 450 museums are taking part for the first time.

“Blue Star Museums is something service members and their families look forward to every year and we are thrilled with the continued growth of the program,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Through this distinctive collaboration between Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts and more than 1,800 museums across the United States, service members and their families can connect with our national treasures with this unparalleled opportunity to visit some of the country’s finest museums for free.”

East and Middle Tennessee museums taking part this year include:

• The Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga

• Museum Center at 5ive Points in Cleveland

• Historic Mansker’s Station in Goodlettsville

• East Tennessee State University Natural History Museum & Gray Fossil Site

• Veterans’ Museum in Halls

• Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum in Harrogate

• The Museum at Mountain Home in Johnson City

• Museum of East Tennessee History in Knoxville

• Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville

• The Parthenon in Nashville

• Tennessee State Military Museum in Nashville

• Tennessee State Museum in Nashville

• Travellers Rest Plantation and Museum in Nashville

• American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge

• Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge

• Rocky Mount Historical Association in Piney Flats

• Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend

The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card, a DD Form 1173 ID card 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 and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps.

Up to five family members may attend.

Some special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in the free admission program.

For a complete list of participating museums across the country as well as links to individual museums, visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

-By Denise Williams, Tribune Staff Writer

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