Local Museums Get Gold Stars From Blue Star Families
Memorial Day has come and gone, but the spirit of honoring America’s military will continue at local museums offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve.
Each summer since 2010, 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, have offered free admission to these nation’s heroes from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Museums include children’s museums, fine art museums, history and science museums and nature centers.
“The New Orleans Museum of Art is proud to offer military families a chance to visit the museum during the summer when many have limited time and resources to be together,” Margaux Krane, communications and marketing manager at The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), said. “We hope these families will create lasting memories during their time spent at the museum.”
Krane said NOMA hosted 526 military and family members in 2016, 510 in 2015 and 427 in 2014.
The Blue Star Museums free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), 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 NOAA Commissioned Corps – and up to five family members.
The military ID holder can be an active duty service member or a dependent family member with the appropriate ID card. The active duty member does not have to be present for family members to use the program.
“The Ogden Museum became a Blue Star Museum, providing free admission Memorial Day through Labor Day for all active duty military personnel and their families, in order to recognize their commitment to the safety and security of our communities,” William Andrews, executive director of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, said. “It’s a great, collaborative program that started in 2010 and is still going strong. Across Louisiana, 17 museums take the opportunity to honor all those who serve with this program. In New Orleans, there are seven museums currently participating, which creates a draw for visitors during the summer.”
Gallier House, Hermann-Grima Historic House, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – New Canal Lighthouse Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art and The Historic New Orleans Collection are all Blue Star Museums.
Spouses of deployed military are eligible for free entry into Blue Star Museums and need to bring their DD Form 1173 ID Card, or DD Form 1173-1 ID Card for active duty military family members. Spouses, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc., are considered family members of active duty military.
Admission for veterans, retirees, unmarried partners, parents of active duty members or those who lost a child on active duty do not qualify for this program.
There is no limit to the number of participating museums that eligible parties can visit.
“Out of our deep appreciation for our military, The Historic New Orleans Collection is offering active duty military, and their immediate family members, free guided tours of THNOC’s architecture or the Williams Residence at The Historic New Orleans Collection – the historic, beautifully-preserved French Quarter home of the institution’s founders, General L. Kemper and Leila Hardie Moore Williams,” Anne Robichaux, THNOC marketing associate, said. “We are proud to honor their legacy by hosting the brave men and women who protect our nation.
“While on site, patrons can also tour several free exhibitions highlighting our region’s unique history and culture,” she said. “Including ‘Storyville: Madams and Music,’ which explores the history of New Orleans’s former red light district; ‘A Most Significant Gift,’ which showcases pieces of Louisiana art donated to THNOC by Laura Simon Nelson; and ‘Giants of Jazz,’ THNOC’s new collection of jazz posters made by the Polish artist Waldemar Świerzy.”
The Blue Star Museums program was created to show support for military families who have faced multiple deployments and the challenges of reintegration, and offer military families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage, learn more about their new communities after a military move and the chance to visit museums together during the summer in an effort to improve their quality of life, especially for the approximately two million children who have had at least one parent deployed since 2001.
Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families. 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, the Association of Science-Technology Centers and the Institute of Museum and Library Services have all joined the effort to recruit museum members.
The 17 Louisiana Blue Star Museums are:
Alexandria Museum of Art
T.R.E.E. House Children’s Museum
Louisiana Art & Science Museum
Zigler Art Museum
Hilliard University Art Museum
Vermilionville Living History Museum
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum
Bayou Teche Museum
Hermann-Grima Historic House
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – New Canal Lighthouse Museum
New Orleans Museum of Art
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
The Historic New Orleans Collection
West Baton Rouge Museum
Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame
For museums interested in participating in Blue Star Museums this summer, email firstname.lastname@example.org