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Thursday, May 26, 2011

UMFA to Offer Free Admission to Military Families this Summer as Part of Blue Star Initiative

Embargoed for Release on Monday, May 23, 2011
Contact: Shelbey Peterson, 801.585.1306, Shelbey.Peterson@umfa.utah.edu

UMFA one of more than 1300 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to announce their second participation in Blue Star Museums, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and more than 1,300 museums across America. Blue Star Museums is designed to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2011. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families, and the complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts has taken this effort a step further by providing active duty military personnel and their immediate family members free general admission all year round. This program is available to any bearer of a military ID who is an active member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, or Reserve. Some special or limited-time museum exhibitions may not be included. Families can visit www.umfa.utah.edu for museum hours and information.

“The UMFA is delighted to again welcome military families free of charge,” said UMFA Director of Development and External Relations Lisa Arnette. “We were so honored to provide this benefit in summer of 2010 that we jumped at the opportunity to offer the service on a year-round basis. We hope that in some small measure this effort rewards the service our military personnel and their families offer us all.”

“Blue Star Museums may be the program at the NEA of which I am proudest,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “Blue Star Museums recognizes and thanks our military families for all they are doing for our country, and simultaneously begins young people on a path to becoming life-long museum goers.”

“Last year the success of the inaugural year of the Blue Star Museums program showed that partnerships between the nation’s museum and military communities are a natural,” said Blue Star Families Chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet. “We are thrilled that 300,000 military family members visited our partner museums in the summer of 2010. We hope to exceed that number this year as the military community takes advantage of the rich cultural heritage they defend and protect every day. We appreciate the NEA and the nation’s museums who chose to partner with us. We also are grateful to our friends at the MetLife Foundation, the lead supporter of the Blue Star Museums outreach initiative, whose generous donation helps make our work possible.”

More than 1,324 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative, including more than 500 new museums this year. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved the partnership efforts of The American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, and the American Association of State and Local History. This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and 70 children’s museums. Participants include The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine in Portland, Maine, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa, the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles, California, the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, the Toy and Action Figure Museum in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City.

About Blue Star Museums

Blue Star Museums runs from Memorial Day, May 30, 2011 through to Labor Day, September 5, 2011. The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their immediate family members (military ID holder and five immediate family members). Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve 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 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.

Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums may contact bluestarmuseums@arts.gov, or Wendy Clark at 202-682-5451

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 Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.

About the Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Utah’s premier visual art museum, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) is located on the University of Utah campus in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building at 410 Campus Center Drive in Salt Lake City. The UMFA’s mission is to engage visitors in discovering meaningful connections with the artistic expressions of the world’s cultures.

The UMFA’s permanent collection spans 5,000 years of human creativity and features some 18,000 works from across the globe. Special exhibitions make each visit a new experience, and a variety of public programs are scheduled year-round to encourage dialogue and discovery. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a light lunch of sandwiches, salads, coffee, and pastries in The Museum CafĂ© and are welcome to browse artistic keepsakes in The Museum Store.

General admission is $7 adults, $5 youth and seniors, free for U of U students/staff/faculty, UMFA members, higher education students in Utah, active military personnel and their immediate family members, and children under six years old. Free admission offered the first Wednesday and third Saturday of each month thanks to the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts, and Parks fund. Museum hours are Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Weekends, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; closed Mondays and holidays. For more information call (801) 581-7332 or visit www.umfa.utah.edu.

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families. In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable. Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and civilians.

To learn more about Blue Star Families, 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 $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. 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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