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Blue Star Museums Program

Free admission to museums for military

National Endowment for the Arts

Published: 03:58PM June 14th, 2018

304th Public Affairs Detachment / 2015

Service members work in the Hot Shop Heroes program at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma in 2015. The museum is a Blue Star Museum.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the ninth year, the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families announce that museums nationwide have signed on for Blue Star Museums, a program which provides free admission to our nation’s active-duty military personnel now through Labor Day. To see the participating museums in Washington state, visit

The two museums on Joint Base Lewis-McChord are always free.

Blue Star Museums is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums nationwide, including children’s museums, fine art museums, history and science museums, zoos and nature centers.

“Visiting a museum is a great way to get to know a community — whether it’s in your hometown or a stop on a road trip,” said Jane Chu, NEA chairman. “We appreciate the enthusiasm of museums all across the country who open their doors for military and their families to spend time together and have new arts experiences.”

Blue Star Museums is one way our nation’s museums can express appreciation to our military for their service and share with them America’s educational and cultural treasures. Blue Star Museums also provides a way for military families to feel connected to their community, especially for those families who have recently relocated through a change of station.

“As many military families spend the summer months moving from one duty station to another, or reconnecting with a parent who has returned from deployment, Blue Star Museums helps service members and their families create memories,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, Blue Star Families chief executive officer. “Blue Star Families has great appreciation for the generosity of the museums across the country who roll out the red carpet for the families who serve alongside their service members. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”

The free admission program is available for all service members currently serving in the United States, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a military ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.

“Blue Star Museums represents an exciting opportunity for military families to learn and have fun together,” said A.T. Johnston, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Military Community and Family Policy. “The Defense Department congratulates Blue Star Families and the National Endowment for the Arts on nine years of service to the military community, and offers our sincere gratitude to the more than 2,000 museums across the country for opening your doors through this wonderful program. Your patriotism and generosity have enriched the lives and experiences of our military families.”