By Kyle Jillson | June 17 2014 13:10

NFM and more than 2,000 museums provide free admission for military families through Labor Day

The President Theodore Roosevelt collection at the National Firearms Museum

Fairfax, Virginia - The National Firearms Museum is joining more than 2,000 museums across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa in this year's Blue Star Museum program. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts in a collaborative effort with Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense, Blue Star Museums provide free admission to active duty, National Guard, and Reserve military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014.

“As we kick off our fifth year of Blue Star Museums, more museums than ever are part of this military appreciation program,” said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “Together with Blue Star Families and more than 2,000 museums, we are proud to help connect military families with the cultural resources in their communities.”

Nearly 700-years of firearms history is on display at the National Firearms Museum, which features thousands of extraordinary pieces that tell the story of the technology's evolution and how it helped shape the modern world.

Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association of Science‐Technology Centers. This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and dozens of children’s museums. Among this year’s new participants are the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, The Thinkery children’s museum in Austin, Texas, the Mass Audubon Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, Massachusetts, and Henricus Historical Park in Chester, Virginia.

“Blue Star Museums has grown into a national recognized program that service members and their families look forward to each year,” said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet. “It helps bring out local military and civilian communities together, and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”

Blue Star Museums will be sharing stories through social media all summer long. Look for them on Twitter @NEAarts, @BlueStarFamily, @NRAMuseums, and #BlueStarMuse, on Facebook, and read the NEA Art Works blog for weekly stories on participating museums and exhibits.

See a complete list of this year's Blue Star Museums at arts.gov/national/blue‐star‐museums.

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