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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Botanic Garden to Participate in Blue Stars Museum Program

The Garden Offers Free Admission to Military Personnel and Their Families All Summer

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2012.


Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseum.

“We are pleased to participate in the Blue Star program and offer free admission to the brave men and women of the military,” said SBBG’s Executive Director, Dr. Steve Windhager. “It is a small token of our appreciation to the unselfish service personnel and their families for the personal sacrifices they make for our country.”

This year, more than 1,500 museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative, including more than 300 new museums this year. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved the partnership efforts of the American Association 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 70 children’s museums. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is among this year’s newest participants including the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar in Richmond, VA, the Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, NM, the Botanical Garden in Cleveland, OH, the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco, CA, the Menil Collection in Houston, TX, and the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, CO.

“Through Blue Star Museums, the arts community is extending a special invitation to military families to enjoy over 1,500 museums this summer,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “This is both an opportunity to thank military families for their service and sacrifice, as well as a chance to create connections between museums and these families that will continue throughout the year. Especially for families with limited time together, those on a limited budget, and ones that have to relocate frequently, Blue Star Museums offers an opportunity to enjoy one another and become more fully integrated into a community.”

This is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families. Other NEA programs for the military have included Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience; Great American Coices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour. “As we enter the third consecutive year of the Blue Star Museums program, we are happy provide an opportunity for our nation’s service members and their families to connect with our national treasures,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Through this distinctive collaboration between Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts and more than 1,500 museums across the United States, military families have an unparalleled opportunity to visit some of the country’s finest museums for free.”

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