HARTFORD - Military personnel and their families can visit dozens of Connecticut museums this summer as part of the ninth annual Blue Star Museums Program.
Gov. Dannel Malloy recently announced that more than 50 museums are participating in this year’s program, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to those who sacrifice so much for the freedoms and safety we all hold dear,” Malloy said. “Connecticut’s museums offer an unparalleled educational and cultural experience, and I’m pleased to announce that military members and their families will be able to enjoy so many of them free of charge.”
Free admission is available for people serving in the military - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard - and up to five family members. Active-duty personnel and reservists, are eligible, as are members of the National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps and NOAA Commissioned Corps.
To obtain entry into a participating Blue Star Museum, qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card, a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card.
“Connecticut’s military men and women - and the families that serve with them - give so much to each and every one of us each and every day,” Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said. “Thank you to the National Endowment for the Arts for helping to provide open access to our museums, which are treasured venues for recreation and reflection.”
Several museums in the area are participating in the program, including the New Britain Museum of American Art and the New Britain Youth Museum. In Bristol, the Imagine Nation Museum and the New England Carousel Museum are participating. Southington’s Barnes Museum is also part of the 2018 Blue Star Museums Program.
“Providing future generations of military leaders with the opportunity to soak up Connecticut’s historical culture free of charge is a wonderful gesture,” said Maj. Gen. Thad Martin, adjutant general and commander of the Connecticut National Guard. “Throughout their careers, Guardsmen are always mindful of those who came before us. I encourage each and every service member to take full advantage of this unique opportunity.”
The free admission program runs until Labor Day. A full list of participating museums can be found at www.ctvisit.com .
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.