Aerospace Discovery at the Florida Air Museum will join museums nationwide in participating in the tenth summer of Blue Star Museums, a program that provides free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families, this summer. The 2019 program runs from May 18, 2019 (Armed Forces Day) through September 2, 2019 (Labor Day). Military families can find the current list of participating Blue Star museums at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
Blue Star Museums is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums nationwide. First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, and Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence, are honorary co-chairs of Blue Star Museums 2019.
“The aviation community has very strong military ties. Many people know us for our annual SUN ‘n FUN Expo and Fly-In and attend because of our large warbird displays and military demonstrations. Florida Air Museum showcases a myriad of displays including military aircraft like the F-14 Tomcat and a traveling display, the NOAA: Where Science Meets Service exhibit which will only be here through September. We are proud to support the Blue Star Museum program for the second year and encourage military families to come see what our museum has to offer year-round,” says retired Naval Aviator John “Lites” Leenhouts, the CEO and President of SUN ‘n FUN.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to celebrate the tenth summer of collaborating with Blue Star Families, Department of Defense, and especially the more than 2,000 museums across our nation that make this program possible, “ said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Organizations such as the Florida Air Museum are providing wonderful opportunities for military families to share a memorable experience together this summer.”
This year’s participating organizations include fine art, science, history, and children’s museums, as well as zoos, aquariums, gardens, and more.
“We’ve seen the tremendous impact the Blue Star Museums program brings to our military families, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating a decade of support,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, chief executive officer of Blue Star Families. “Not only are museums fun to explore but are also great for making memories and strengthening military families as a whole.”
“The Defense Department congratulates Blue Star Families and the National Endowment for the Arts on reaching an incredible milestone: ten years of service to the military community through Blue Star Museums,” said A.T. Johnston, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Military Community and Family Policy. “We offer our sincere gratitude to the more than 2,000 museums across the country who open their doors through this wonderful program. Your patriotism and generosity have enriched the lives and experiences of our military families.”
The free admission program is available for those currently serving on active duty in the United States Military—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, or NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five of their family members. Qualified members must show an active duty military, CAC, or dependent ID to participate.
About Aerospace Center for Excellence
The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has emerged as a nationally recognized leader in STEM-related and aerospace education through its various learning centers, outreach programs, summer camps and scholarships aimed at preparing students for tomorrow’s aerospace challenges. Located on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus in Lakeland, Florida, the organization is known for its annual SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo fundraising event as well as the Aerospace Discovery Museum which is Florida’s Official Aviation Museum and Education Center. ACE is the world’s leader in producing licensed teenage private pilots and delivers youth programs that engage over 40,000 students a year. For more information, www.ACEedu.aero.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency whose funding and support give Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org.