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Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum to offer free admission to military personnel this summer

By Staff | May 27, 2010

Monday marked the launch of Blue Star Museums  partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and more than 600 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2010.

“The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum is one of seven museums in Florida offering this benefit,” reported Kathleen E. Hoover, Public Relations Manager for the Museum. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Families can visit www.shellmuseum.org for Museum program information.

The complete list of participating Blue Star Museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.


“I believe that welcoming our men and women in uniform and their families through the Blue Star program is one way to recognize their dedication and all the hard work they do on behalf of the country," added Dr. José H. Leal, Director/Curator for The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. "We are pleased and honored to host the American military at the Shell Museum."


“America’s museums are proud to join the rest of the country in thanking our military personnel and their families for their service and sacrifice,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman. “I cannot imagine a better way to do that than welcoming them in to explore and enjoy the extraordinary cultural heritage our museums present. The works of art on view this summer will inspire and challenge viewers, and sometimes they will just be a great deal of fun.”


“There have always been wonderful examples of partnerships between museums and military installations, but the scale of this gift from the museum communities to military families is thrilling,” said Blue Star Families Chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Military families work hard for this country, and it is gratifying for us to be recognized for that.  We anticipate that thousands of military families will participate in the program and visit museums this summer – many of them for the first time.  Blue Star Families will work hard to help our military families make the most of these opportunities.”


More than 600 museums in all 50 states and the District of  Columbia are taking part in the initiative. The American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, and the Association of Children’s Museums each sent a letter from NEA Chairman Landesman inviting museums to participate in this program.  In addition to thirty children’s museums across the country, participating museums represent a broad range of art, history, science and cultural topics.


To find out which museums are participating, visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. The site includes a list of participating museums and a map to help with visit planning.