KIRKSVILLE, Mo. –The Museum of Osteopathic MedicineSM, located on the A.T. Still University (ATSU) campus, announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense. More than 1,800 museums across America will offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families beginning Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families.

Museum Director Jason Haxton shared, “ATSU receives the most military scholarships of any MD or DO school, and we are pleased to support our military students, their families, and colleagues by enrolling in the Blue Star Program — providing free museum access. The Museum of Osteopathic MedicineSM encourages all to come see the exhibits and read about our unique form of American medicine protected by the military branch services.”

“Blue Star Museums is a collaboration between the arts and military communities,” said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “Our work with Blue Star Families and with more than 1,800 museums ensures that we can reach out to military families and thank them for their service and sacrifice.”

“Blue Star Museums is something that service members and their families look forward to every year, and we are thrilled with the continued growth of the program,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Through this distinctive collaboration between Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts, and museums across the United States, service members and their families can connect with our national treasures with this unparalleled opportunity to visit some of the country’s finest museums for free.”

This year, museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative, including more than 450 new museums this year. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved partnerships with the American Association of Museums, Association of Art Museum Directors, Association of Children’s Museums, American Association of State and Local History, and 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 75 children’s museums. Among this year’s new participants are the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Calif., Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum in Northport, Mich., the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan, Ala., and the World Museum of Mining in Butte, Mont.

The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. The site includes a list of participating museums and a map to help with visit planning.

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 1,800 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 27, 2013, through Labor Day, September 2, 2013. The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, 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.

This is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families.

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