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SBBG to Participate in Blue Star Museums Program

The Garden Offers Free Admission to Military Personnel and Their Families All Summer

June 4, 2013

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden announces the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

“We are pleased to participate in the Blue Star program and offer free admission to the brave men and women of the military,” said SBBG’s Executive Director, Dr. Steve Windhager. “It is a small token of our appreciation to the unselfish service personnel and their families for the personal sacrifices they make for our country.”

This year, more than 1,500 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. Taking part for the second year, The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is among the newest participants.

“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, 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.”

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.

“As we enter the fourth 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.”

About Blue Star Museums

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment of 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, 2013 through Labor Day, September 3, 2013. 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.
To arrange an interview with SBBG’s Executive Director, Dr. Steve Windhager or for further information, please don’t hesitate to contact Joni Kelly, Communications Manager at 805-682-4726 ext. 132

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About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families is a national, 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 through programs and partnerships like Operation Honor Cards, MilKidz Club and Blue Star Museums. Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and the civilians who strongly support them. 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 website.

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About the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: 
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a 78-acre educational and scientific institution fostering the conservation of California’s native plants and serves as a role model for sustainable practice in Santa Barbara, California. The Garden was founded in 1926 and is among the nation’s oldest botanic gardens focused exclusively on native plants.

To arrange an interview or to request high-resolution photos, please contact:

SBBG Communications Department
office: (805) 690-1697
email:gbenesh@sbbg.org