May 26, 2015

Flint RiverQuarium
Contact: Wendy Bellacomo

Thronateeska Heritage Center
Contact: Tommy Gre gors

ALBANY, GEORGIA - Today Flint RiverQuarium and Thronateeska Heritage Center 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 2015. 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 communities after a military move. The complete List of participating museums is available at arts.gov/national/bluestar-museums.

Tommy Gregors, speaking on behalf of both museums, said “The Flint RiverQuarium and Thronateeska are excited about participating in the Blue Star Museum Program. We want to show our support for the active service members and their families and to do our part to recognize the positive impact the military has on our community.”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 museum across America. The program starts on Memorial Day (Monday, May 25, 2015) and runs through Labor Day (Monday, September 7, 2015).

Free admission to the Aquarium and Wetherbee Planetarium at Thronateeska Heritage Center is available to any bearer of the Geneva Convention Common Access Card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-I 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.

“As we kick off our fifth year of Blue Star Museums, more museums that 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 fund 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 in Austin, Texas, the Mass Audubon Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, Massachusetts, Henircus Historical Park in Chester, Virginia, Flint RiverQuarium and Thronateeska Heritage Center in Albany, Georgia.


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