New England Air Museum To Participate In Blue Star Museums

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Today New England Air Museum announced 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 including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move. The complete list of participating museums is available at arts.gov/national/blue‐star‐museums.

“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. – Blue Star Museums has grown into a nationally 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 our 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.”

This year, more than 2,000 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. 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.

About Blue Star Museums-

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 26, 2014 through Labor Day, September 1, 2014.

The 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, NOAA Commissioned Corps ‐ and up to five family members. Some special or limited‐time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, please contact the museum directly. To find participating museums and plan your trip, visit arts.gov/national/blue‐star‐museums.All summer long, Blue Star Museums will share stories through social media. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #BlueStarMuse, on Facebook, and read the NEA Art Works blog for weekly stories on participating museums and exhibits.

Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums may contact bluestarmuseums@arts.gov, or Wendy Clark at 202‐682‐5451.

The New England Air Museum is the largest aviation museum in New England and is a private, non-profit educational institution that was organized in 1959. Three larger hangars and an outdoor display contain more than 80 aircraft with permanent exhibits that include the oldest surviving aircraft in the U.S. – the 1870 Silas M. Brooks Balloon Basket, as well as an S-39 Amphibian plane – the first aircraft built in Connecticut by aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky. Featured year-round are many historical aircraft and exhibits including a focus on World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen, and a display about Amelia Earhart alongside a Lockheed Model 10 Electra – the same type of plane flown by the female aviator. The Air Museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting historically significant aircraft and related artifacts, engaging visitors through high-quality exhibits helping them to understand aviation technology and history and inspiring students through innovative and hands-on educational programs. It is owned and operated by the Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Association and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, with four full-time employees, 18 part-time employees, and more than 175 volunteers. The New England Air Museum is located on 36 Perimeter Road (off Route 75) on the North end of the Bradley International Airport airfield in Windsor Locks, Conn. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, and features a large gift shop. For more information, www.neam.org or (860) 623-3305 or Facebook at New England Air Museum.

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