Blue Star Museums Offer Free Summer Admission to Active Military and Families
Aerospace Discovery at Florida Air Museum in Lakeland Participates
Last updated 6/12/2019 at 8:20am
Aerospace Discovery at the Florida Air Museum is joining museums nationwide in participating in the tenth summer of Blue Star Museums, a program which provides free admission to our nation's active-duty military personnel and their families this summer. The 2019 program runs through Labor Day Monday, Sept.2. Military can find the list of participating museums at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
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. First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, and Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence, are honorary co-chairs of Blue Star Museums 2019.
"The aviation community has very strong military ties. Many people know us for our annual SUN 'n FUN Fly-In and attend because of our large warbird displays and military demonstrations. Aerospace Discovery showcases a myriad of displays including military aircraft like the F-14 Tomcat and a traveling display, NOAA: Where Science Meets Service exhibit which will only be here through September. We are proud to support the Blue Star Museum program for the second year and encourage military families to come see what our museum has to offer year round," says John "Lites" Leenhouts, CEO/President SUN 'n FUN Fly-In, Inc. who is also a retired naval aviator.
"The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to celebrate the tenth summer of collaborating with Blue Star Families, Department of Defense, and especially the more than 2,000 museums across our nation that make this program possible, " said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. "Organizations such as Aerospace Discovery at the Florida Air Museum are providing wonderful opportunities for military families to share a memorable experience together this summer."
This year's participating organizations include fine art, science, history, and children's museums, as well as zoos, aquariums, gardens, and more.
"We've seen the tremendous impact the Blue Star Museums program brings to our military families, and we're thrilled to be celebrating a decade of support," said Kathy Roth-Douquet, chief executive officer of Blue Star Families. "Not only are museums fun to explore but are also great for making memories and strengthening military families as a whole."
"The Defense Department congratulates Blue Star Families and the National Endowment for the Arts on reaching an incredible milestone: ten years of service to the military community though Blue Star Museums," said A.T. Johnston, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Military Community and Family Policy. "We offer our sincere gratitude to the more than 2,000 museums across the country who open their doors through this wonderful program. Your patriotism and generosity have enriched the lives and experiences of our military families."
The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the U.S. Military-Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.
The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has emerged as a nationally recognized leader in STEM-related and aerospace education through its various learning centers, outreach programs, summer camps and scholarships aimed at preparing students for tomorrow's aerospace challenges. Located on the SUN 'n FUN Expo Campus in Lakeland, Florida, the organization is known for its annual SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo fundraising event as well as the Aerospace Discovery Museum which is Florida's Official Aviation Museum and Education Center. ACE is the world's leader in producing licensed teenage private pilots and delivers youth programs that engage over 40,000 students a year. For more information, http://www.ACEedu.aero.
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts 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, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America's rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org.