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Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, To Participate in Blue Star Museums

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Press Release

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and more than 600 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2010. MFAH launches the initiative early, beginning Friday, May 28, so that military families can take advantage of Memorial Day weekend. Families can visit www.mfah.org for hours of the MFAH and its two house museums, Bayou Bend and Rienzi. The complete list of participating Blue Star Museums is available at www.arts.gov. “The MFAH joins museums around the country to thank military staff for their service, and we are pleased to provide free admission to military employees and their families this summer, beginning Friday, May 28, for Memorial Day weekend,” said Dr. Peter C. Marzio, MFAH Director. “Exhibitions on view at the MFAH this summer will include a retrospective for „cowboy artist' Charles Russell, opening June 6, and an exquisite exhibition of Ishimoto Yasuhiro‟s photographs of Katsura, an imperial villa in Japan, opening June 20. Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens and Rienzi, the MFAH‟s two house museums that feature American and European decorative arts and acres of gardens, will both be available to the military and their families free of charge, along with the MFAH‟s sculpture garden, which is always free to all. We hope military families will come and enjoy the all that the MFAH has to offer, and take advantage of the museum's programming, from lectures to themed activities for families.” “America's museums are proud to join the rest of the country in thanking our military personnel and their families for their service and sacrifice,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman. “I cannot imagine a better way to do that than welcoming them in to explore and enjoy the extraordinary cultural heritage our museums present. The works of art on view this summer will inspire and challenge viewers, and sometimes they will just be a great deal of fun.” “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.” In addition to being Chairman of Blue Star Families, Ms. Roth-Douquet is married to a Marine Corps officer, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan. They have two children, and Ms. Roth-Douquet and the children plan to take a road trip this summer to visit Blue Star Museums up and down the East Coast. More than 600 museums in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are taking part in the initiative. The American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, and the Association of Children‟s Museums each sent a letter from NEA Chairman Landesman inviting museums to participate in this program. In addition to thirty children's museums across the country, participating museums represent a broad range of art, history, science, and cultural topics -- from the MFAH to the California Surf Museum in Oceanside, California, to the Mission San Luis, a living history site and historic landmark in Tallahassee, Florida, to the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Lincoln – Nebraska, the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, and the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, New Hampshire.

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