AASLH is a proud partner of the Blue Star Museums and I am writing to invite you to join with the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families and become a Blue Star Museum by providing free admission to active duty military personnel and their families between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Last summer the program was a huge success, with 1,526 participating Blue Star Museums, from fine arts museums to science and nature centers to historical houses. Last summer, 744 of those museums joined the Blue Star Museums Honor Roll for the first time, and we hope that you will be able to add your museum this year. In fact, it was such a success that First Lady Michelle Obama sent a letter to the participating museums that read in part:
[M]useums that participated helped to make this a summer to remember for so many military moms, dads, and kids. Service members and their families give so much to our country each day, and it is an inspiration to see so many organizations and individuals giving something back for their courageous service.
Blue Star Museums welcomed more than 300,000 active duty military personnel and their families over the summer. Participating museums often noted the benefits of reaching out to this audience. Blue Star Museums also received substantial media attention, through hundreds of stories in national and local broadcast, print, and online media. Participating military families praised Blue Star Museums as a welcome respite from their daily cares, and a welcome gesture of appreciation from the arts community.
This year, Blue Star Museums will begin on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012 and extend through Labor Day, September 3, 2012.
Please respond before April 30, 2012 so that we can be sure you are properly listed on the Blue Star Museums website and in any other materials we produce. Even if your institution is already offering a similar program, Blue Star Museums provides a national platform to showcase your outreach to the military community.
Once your registration is complete, you will receive a welcome email with a link to the Blue Star Museums webpage where you will find information on admissions eligibility and promotional resources to help you share news about this summer program. A survey of our partner museums gave us valuable feedback to help make 2012 Blue Star Museums the best year yet, but the best feedback of all came from the military families who participated in this program. One of the military spouses – Miriam Adams, wife of Lance Corporal Brian Adams – wrote to say:
I think it’s probably one of the best things they could do for the military because a lot of the people come from other states and they just don’t really know what’s available to them while they’re here during their enlistment. So it’s nice to be able to know and get out and see more of the state they’re in than just be bored on base with nothing to do.
We will have a press launch before Memorial Day 2012 and would be deeply appreciative if you would join Blue Star Museums. If you have any questions please contact Taylor Krzywicki at 202-682-5451 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
AASLH President & CEO