Tomaquag Museum to Participate in Blue Star Museums

Tomaquag Museum is one of more than 2,000 museums across America 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.

Today Tomaquag Museum announces 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 2015.

Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The program also 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/bluestarmuseums.

“We are very excited to again participate with the Blue-Star Museums initiative!” Said Tomaquag Museum’s executive Director Lorén Spears. “We have many service men and women in the United States who are Native American. We honor them and all who have proudly served our country. We are thrilled to provide opportunities for military families to learn about Native American culture through our exhibits, films, art activities and Native games.”

Parents of young children tell us that they go together to museums to learn new things and have family time together,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Blue Star Museums helps them do both, by helping military families learn about thecultural resources in their communities, and offering a fun, high-quality experience that’s budget friendly as well as family friendly. We’re proud to help connect museums to military communities nationwide.”

“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 Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Florida, the Duluth Children’s Museum in Minnesota, The Space Station Museum in Novato, California, and The Lyon Arboretum at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

 

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 25, 2015 through Labor Day, September 7, 2015.

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/bluestarmuseums.

All summer long, Blue Star Museums will share stories through social media. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums, 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.

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.

About Tomaquag Museum

Tomaquag Museum was established over 50 years ago by Eva Butler an anthropologist with the guidance of the late Princess Red Wing (Narragansett/ Wampanoag), and is Rhode Island’s only museum entirely dedicated to telling the story of the state’s Indigenous Peoples.

It’s Mission is to educate the public and promote thoughtful dialogue regarding Indigenous history, culture, arts, and Mother Earth and connect to Native issues of today. Tomaquag Museum envisions its future as an Indigenous Cultural Education destination that engages visitors in thoughtful dialogue that promotes understanding and strives to create experiences that transform people’s lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes, and knowledge of Indigenous Cultures and the interrelationship with the wider world.

For more information, see our website: www.tomaquagmuseum.org or Contact Lorén Spear lorenspears@tomaquagmuseum.org or Michael Johnson MJohnson@tomaquagmuseum.org.