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Rhode Island Museums Free to Military Members and Families This Summer

Active-duty military and their families, including National Guard and Reserve members, can attend a number of Rhode Island museums and historic houses for free through Labor Day through the Blue Star Museums program, a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the U.S. Department of Defense. More than 2,000 museums across America are participating in the program. In Rhode Island this program includes the RISD Museum, the Newport Art Museum, the Museum of Work and Culture and Slater Mill, as well as a number of historic houses throughout the state.

Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, described the Blue Star Museum Program as a way to express gratitude to the men and women in uniform. "What a great way for the arts community to say thank you to our service members and their families for the sacrifices they make on our behalf, every day."

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, applauded the Rhode Island museums and historic houses participating in this national program. "Rhode Island's active military, National Guard, Reservists and their families have a lot to enjoy and experience with this group of excellent Rhode Island arts and cultural institutions. Free admission to these places will provide a summer of culture for our military and their family members."

Noting that more than 700,000 service members and their families participated in the program last year, Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families, said, "The response has been so far beyond anything we ever imagined it to be. Museum-going enhances resilience, it broadens your perspective, it opens your mind to beauty and ideas and things that you might not have known before."

Here is a list of Rhode Island museums and historic houses taking part in the Blue Star Museums program this summer.


Tomaquag Museum


Pettaquamscutt Historical Society


South County Museum


International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum Newport Art Museum Newport Historical Society's Museum of Newport History


Slater Mill


Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum John Brown House Museum RISD Museum The Stephen Hopkins House


Museum of Work & Culture

- See more at:!RI

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 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 25, 2015 through Labor Day, September 7, 2015. The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps - and up to five family 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 participating museums and plan your trip, visit This is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military community. Other NEA programs for the military have included the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families (BSF) is a national, nonprofit network by and for military families from all ranks and services, including active duty, National Guard and reserves. As the largest and fastest growing military family engagement organization in the country, Blue Star Families forges extraordinary partnerships resulting in 1.5 million military family members served annually through programs and resources with 50 chapters at home and overseas. BSF has also activated more than 26 million hours of community service to build leaders within and strengthen the military community, and connected Americans with their military. To learn more about Blue Star Families' opportunities for service members, military families, and civilians, visit

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America's rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit


The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
  • Online:
  • Release date: 05-26-2015

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