Columbia, S.C. – The Columbia Museum of Art announces participation in the Blue Star Museums program, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), 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 and their families from Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, through Labor Day, Monday, September 4. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and to learn more about their community, especially after a military move.
“We are so grateful to all military families for their service and sacrifice,” says Joelle Ryan-Cook, CMA deputy director and director of external affairs. “With Fort Jackson next door as well as Shaw Air Force Base nearby in Sumter, Columbia is very much a military community. Free admission is our way to say thank you and to encourage a connection between the museum and these families that can continue throughout the year.”
So far this year, museums in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have signed up to take part in the initiative (museums are welcome to join throughout the summer). At the time of this writing, 17 South Carolina museums have joined, including Historic Columbia and the SC Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame in Columbia. Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and children’s museums.
“The Blue Star Museums program is a great opportunity for the NEA to team up with local museums in every state in the nation to support our service members and their families,” says NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “It means a lot to offer these families access to high-quality, budget-friendly opportunities to spend time together.”