Dallas Museum of Art to Participate in the Blue Star Museums Program Beginning this Friday, May 28

One of More Than 600 U.S. Museums to Offer Free Admission to Military Personnel and Their Families This Summer

DALLAS, TX, May 27, 2010—The Dallas Museum of Art is proud to announce their involvement in the Blue Star Museums program organized by the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families’ Operation Appreciation. The DMA joins over 600 museums in this nationwide initiative to honor the millions of Americans, and their families, serving in our military. Beginning Friday, May 28, 2010, in observance of Memorial Day, and through Labor Day, September 6, 2010, the DMA will offer free admission to all active military personnel and their families.

“We are delighted to participate in the Blue Star Museums program and to welcome our active military personnel to enjoy the summer at the DMA,” said Bonnie Pitman, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. “There are numerous military families in our community and we are proud to thank them for their service and sacrifice by extending the invitation to enjoy our special exhibitions, collections and many programs free through Labor Day.”

Blue Star Families was founded in 2008 by a group of military spouses to raise awareness of the challenges military families face. The mission of the organization is to support, connect and empower military families. Blue Star Families has established online and physical chapter-based communities as well as promoting community involvement, such as the Blue Star Museum program, in order to provide support to military families.

“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.”

Blue Star Museums runs from Memorial Day, May 31, through Labor Day, September 6, 2010. The free admission program is available to active duty military and their immediate family members (military ID holder and five immediate family members), which includes active duty Reserve and active duty National Guard. 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.

The Dallas Museum of Art is one of 6 museums in Dallas participating in the nationwide event. The other 5 museums in Dallas are Dallas Heritage Village, Meadows Museum, Museum of the American Railroad, Museum of Geometric and MADI Art, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.

About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families (www.BlueStarFam.org) is a national, non-partisan, non-profit network of military families from all ranks and services including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families. Since World War I, the Blue Star designation has referred to families with a member who is serving active duty during a time of combat. In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life with civilian community and leaders.  Membership includes spouses, kids, parents, service members, veterans and civilians.

Operation Appreciation is an initiative of Blue Star Families that seeks to connect military families to the larger community. Blue Star Families’ 2009 annual survey shows that 94 percent of military families feel that the larger community doesn’t truly understand or appreciate the sacrifices they make for the country. Through initiatives such as Blue Star Museums, Blue Star Families provides avenues for the larger community to show that they do understand, in meaningful ways that enrich the lives of military service members, spouses, children and parents.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
The NEA (www.arts.gov) is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts – both new and established – bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities and military bases.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs are its encyclopedic collections, which encompass more than 24,000 works and span 7,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Established in 1903, the Museum today welcomes more than 600,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary readings and dramatic and dance presentations.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.