May 21, 2014
DELTA BLUES MUSEUM TO PARTICIPATE IN BLUE STAR MUSEUMS
The nation's first museum dedicated to the Blues is among more than 2,000 U.S. museums to offer
free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration
with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[Clarksdale, Mississippi - May 21, 2014] - Today,
Delta Blues 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.
Delta Blues Museum officially
kicked off the program on May 20th by hosting more
than 60 military personnel who have been working at
the Coahoma County airport (Fletcher Field) at the
museum in a free, after-hours event for the military
members and their families. Museum Director
Shelley Ritter said the private event was a great
way to launch the program, stating, "The Delta Blues
is tied to the military, as many of the early musicians
first left the MS Delta to serve during WWII or to
work in the factories in the Northern states, and
thus began introducing their music to the world. We're
honored to be able to pay tribute to these men and
women and greatly appreciate those who serve and protect
our country." The Museum will be open Memorial
Day weekend, Friday and Saturday, but will be closed
on Monday, May 26th, in observance of the Memorial
"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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Wendy Clark at 202-682-5451.
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 the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.
More about Delta Blues Museum
Established in 1979 by the
Carnegie Public Library Board of Trustees and re-organized
as a stand-alone museum in 1999, the Delta Blues Museum
is Mississippi's oldest music museum and the nation's first
museum dedicated to the American art form known as the Blues.
A 2013 recipient of the IMLS National Medal for
Museum and Library Services-the nation's highest honor for
museum and library service to the community-the Delta Blues
Museum is dedicated to creating a welcoming place where
visitors find meaning, value and perspective by exploring
the history and heritage of the unique American musical
art form, the Blues.
For more information on events
or programs, please call (662) 627-6820, or visit the Museum
web site at www.deltabluesmuseum.org.
Members of the press may register in the PRESS
ROOM on the Museum's website to access further information, downloadable images and related materials.
About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families. With our partners, Blue Star Families hosts a robust array of morale and empowerment programs, including Books on Bases, Blue Star Museums, Operation Honor Corps, Blue Star Careers and Operation Appreciation. Blue Star Families also works directly with the Department of Defense and senior members of local, State and Federal government to bring the most important military family issues to light. Working in concert with fellow nonprofits, community advocates, and public officials, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable. Our worldwide membership includes military spouses, children, parents, and friends, as well as service members, veterans and civilians. To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit www.bluestarfam.org. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov.
This newsletter is supported in part
by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state
in part, from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal