CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Culture
and History (WVDCH) announces the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration
among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department
of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission
to the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial
Day through Labor Day. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the
nation's cultural heritage and learn more about their community, especially
after a military move. A list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
“We are proud to participate in the Blue Star Museums program,”
said WVDCH Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith. “It is wonderful to be a part of a
program that gives back to our service members who do so much and make
sacrifices for us every day.”
"The Blue Star Museums program is a great opportunity for the
NEA to team up with local museums in every state in the nation to support our
service members and their families," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “It means
a lot to offer these families access to high-quality, budget-friendly opportunities
to spend time together.”
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. WVDCH’s four museums, the West Virginia State Museum in
Charleston, Museum in the Park in Logan, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological
Complex in Moundsville and West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling, along
with other museums across the state, including Clay Center for the Arts and
Sciences in Charleston; Marion County Historical Society, Inc. and Museum and
Northern Appalachian Coal Mining Heritage Association in Fairmont; Huntington
Museum of Art in Huntington; Art Museum of West Virginia University, Royce J.
and Caroline B. Watts Museum, Spark! Imagination and Science Center and West
Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc. in Morgantown; National American Defenders of
Bataan and Corregidor Museum, Education and Research Center in Wellsburg; and
Museums of Oglebay Institute in Wheeling, will offer free admission to service members
throughout the summer.
Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums may contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or Wendy Clark, NEA director of museums, at email@example.com.
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA 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.
Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military spouses, children,
parents and friends, as well as service members, veterans and civilians,
dedicated to supporting, connecting, and empowering military families.
West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the Office of
Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, cabinet
secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings
together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on
archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more
information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org.
The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action