Friday, May 25, 2012

The Mint Museum to offer free summer admission to veterans and military families

The Mint Museum and two of its uptown neighbors are joining Blue
Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the
Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than
1,600 museums across America to offer free admission to all active
duty military personnel, including active Reserve and National Guard,
and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2012.

All Blue Star Museums, including the Mint, Bechtler Museum of Modern
Art, and Levine Museum of the New South, are offering free admission
to all military ID holders and up to five family members. In addition,
the Mint is offering free admission to any veteran with a Veterans
Identification Card and up to five of their family members for the
summer. The initiative applies to both Mint locations.

"We are happy to be able to offer ourselves as a resource to support
military families and veterans this summer," said Hillary Cooper,
director of communications and media relations at The Mint Museum. "We
are an ideal family-friendly attraction and this initiative offers a
chance to deepen and broaden our community connections."

The Mint recently acquired the work "Defiant Gardens" by Texas artist
Dario Robleto, and the seven-foot-tall, five-foot-wide wreath-shaped
sculpture has proven thought-provoking for veterans and military
families because of its powerful themes of wartime memories. "Defiant
Gardens" incorporates paper pulp made from American soldier's letters,
Victorian hair flowers braided by war widows, dried flowers from
various battlefields, and even tiny carrier-pigeon message capsules
among its materials. The work was added to the museum's permanent
collection through the generosity of the Mint Museum Auxiliary. The
museum is inviting military families and veterans to experience the
work along with its other collections and exhibitions, and plans to
offer special programming incorporating "Defiant Gardens" later in the
summer (details will be announced at a later date).

The Blue Star Museums initiative is just one part of the excitement
going on this summer at the Mint. Spots are still open at the Mint's
Summer Art Camps (see attachment for more information), and new
exhibition openings, educational programs, celebrations, and more will
continue while school is out. For more information, visit

National Blue Star Museums announcement

The Mint's announcement follows a national announcement of the Blue
Star Museums initiative in New York City on Tuesday. "Through Blue
Star Museums, the arts community is extending a special invitation to
military families to enjoy over 1,600 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."

This year, more than 1,600 (and counting) museums in all 50 states,
the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking
part in the initiative. Leadership support has been provided by
MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families.

FOLLOW: Blue Star Museums is on Twitter at @NEAarts, hashtag
#bluestarmuse. To learn more about the White House's Joining Forces
initiative visit and follow on Twitter
@JoiningForces and on Facebook. Follow Blue Star Families on Twitter,
@BlueStarFamily, and on Facebook.


Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for
the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than
1,600 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. To see which museums are participating, visit


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


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 at

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 the oldest art museum in North Carolina, and the art museum with
one of the largest collections in the Southeast, The Mint Museum
offers its visitors inspiring and transformative experiences through
art from around the world via innovative collections, ground-breaking
exhibitions, riveting educational programs, and profound scholarship.
The Mint Museum is a non-profit, visual arts institution comprised of
two dynamic facilities: Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph.

Located in what was the original branch of the United States Mint,
Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 in Charlotte's Eastover
neighborhood as the state's first art museum. Today, in a beautiful
park setting, intimate galleries invite visitors to engage with the
art of the ancient Americas, ceramics and decorative arts, fashion,
European and African art, among other collections. Resources include a
reference library with over 18,000 volumes, a theater featuring
lectures and performances, and a museum shop offering merchandise that
complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions.

Mint Museum Uptown houses the internationally renowned Craft + Design
collection, as well as outstanding collections of American,
contemporary, and European art. Designed by Machado and Silvetti
Associates of Boston, the five-story, 145,000-square-foot facility
combines inspiring architecture with cutting-edge exhibitions to
provide visitors with unparalleled educational and cultural
experiences. Located in the heart of Charlotte's burgeoning center
city, Mint Museum Uptown is an integral part of the Levine Center for
the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of
Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and
Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center. Mint Museum
Uptown also features a wide range of visitor amenities, including the
240-seat James B. Duke Auditorium, the Lewis Family Gallery, art
studios, a restaurant, and a museum shop. For more information, check