ARTworks offers free admission to military all summer long

    ARTworks, the community arts center in Beaufort, is one of more than 1,500 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families, all summer long, in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense. www.artworksinbeaufort.org

    Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America, will offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2012. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The complete list of participating museums nationwide is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

    ARTworks gallery and artist studios will be available to military personnel and their families to peruse and enjoy. Five artists maintain working studios in the community arts center, displaying their materials, process, and of course, beautiful, finished pieces of art. In June, the gallery show “Art of Clay” includes work by veterans Jada Gray and Hank D. Herring. In July and August, the gallery hosts a show of work by photographer Scott Quarforth: “The Low Country through My Own Lens” will provide a shift in perspective for the many military families new to and exploring Beaufort and the Lowcountry.

    “Through Blue Star Museums, the arts community is extending a special invitation to military families to enjoy over 1,500 museums this summer,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “This is both an opportunity to thank military families for their service and sacrifice, as well as a chance to create connections between museums and these families that will continue throughout the year. Especially for families with limited time together, those on a limited budget, and ones that have to relocate frequently, Blue Star Museums offers an opportunity to enjoy one another and become more fully integrated into a community.”

    “As we enter the third consecutive year of the Blue Star Museums program, we are happy provide an opportunity for our nation’s service members and their families to connect with our national treasures,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Through this distinctive collaboration between Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts and more than 1,500 museums across the United States, military families have an unparalleled opportunity to visit some of the country’s finest museums for free.”

    This year, more than 1,500 (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 300 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, 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 70 children’s museums. Among this year’s new participants are the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar in Richmond, Virginia, the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, NM, the Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland, Ohio, the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco, California, the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, and the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    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 1,500 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 28, 2012 through Labor Day, September 3, 2012. The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their family members (military ID holder and up to five 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.

    About ARTworks

    ARTworks is the community arts center in Beaufort, the coolest arts council in the Carolina, and applies the many creative tools of The Arts to strengthen artists, and enrich audiences, collectors, and visitors through high quality arts experiences and arts education programs 365 days a year. 2127 Boundary Street in Beaufort Town Center, along with KMart, BiLo, and Outback. www.artworksinbeaufort.org.