Dispatched

Blue Star Museums Free to Miltary and Their Families | Press Release | Old Town Post

  Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, and Caryle House Historic Park to Participate in Blue Star Museums
One of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, and Carlyle House Historic Park are three of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense.

Today, the Office of Historic Alexandria 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 also provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move. The complete list of participating museums is available at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

This year, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum also launches Family Tours every Saturday from 10am to 1pm from June 27 through September 5 and the Apothecary Museum opens its new Family Lab Sundays from 2-4pm from June 28 through September 6. Both are included in the free admission for Blue Star Families. 

Parents of young children tell us that they go together to museums to learn new things and have family time together,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Blue Star Museums helps them do both, by helping military families learn about the 3 cultural resources in their communities, and offering a fun, high-quality experience that’s budget friendly as well as family friendly. We’re proud to help connect museums to military communities nationwide.” “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 fun 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.

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 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 25, 2015 through Labor Day, September 7, 2015. The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), 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. To find participating museums and plan your trip, visit arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. All summer long, Blue Star Museums will share stories through social media. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums, on Facebook, and read the NEA Art Works blog for weekly stories on participating museums and exhibits. This is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families. Other NEA programs for the military have included the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.

About Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

As America began as a nation during the late 18th-century and emerged in the 19th-century, Gadsby’s Tavern was the center of social and political life in Alexandria as well as the new Federal City of Washington. The tavern served as the premier gathering place for residents – including George Washington – and visitors to eat, drink, learn, and influence history. Tavern keepers John Wise and John Gadsby hosted balls, performances, and meetings, and their accommodations were known as the best by travelers near and far.

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum is located at 134 North Royal Street in the heart of Old Town Alexandria and is owned and operated by the City of Alexandria. For more information, please call 703.746.4242 or visit www.gadsbystavern.org.

About the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum in Old Town Alexandria is noted for its outstanding collection of medicinal herbs, shop furnishings, apothecary bottles and equipment, many still in their original location. It also has a spectacular collection of archival materials, including journals, letters and diaries, prescription and formula books, ledgers, orders and invoices. The names of famous customers appear in the documents, including Martha Washington, Nelly Custis, and Robert E. Lee.

The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum is located at 105-107 S. Fairfax Street in the heart of Old Town Alexandria and is owned and operated by the City of Alexandria. Tours often sell out, so Blue Star families should call 703.746.3852 in advance to reserve space. For more information, please call 703.746.3852 or visit www.apothecarymuseum.org.

About Carlyle House Historic Park

The historic Carlyle House was completed in 1753 by British merchant John Carlyle for his bride, Sarah Fairfax of Belvoir, member of one of the most prestigious families in colonial Virginia. Their home quickly became a center of social and political life in Alexandria and gained a foothold in history when British General Braddock made the mansion his headquarters in 1755. Braddock summoned five colonial governors to meet there to plan the early campaigns of the French and Indian War. On the National Register of Historic Places, Carlyle House is architecturally unique in Alexandria as the only stone, 18th-century Palladian-style house. 

The Caryle House is located at 121 N. Fairfax Street and is owned and operated by Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. For more information, please call 703.549.2997 or visit www.carlylehouse.org. 

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families (BSF) is a national, nonprofit network by and for military families from all ranks and services, including active duty, National Guard and reserves. As the largest and fastest growing military family engagement organization in the country, Blue Star Families forges extraordinary partnerships resulting in 1.5 million military family members served annually through programs and resources with 50 chapters at home and overseas. BSF has also activated more than 26 million hours of community service to build leaders within and strengthen the military community, and connected Americans with their military. To learn more about Blue Star Families’ opportunities for service members, military families, and civilians, visit www.bluestarfam.org.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to strengthen the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov.

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