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Posted on: June 2, 2014

Railroad and Heritage Museum to Participate in Blue Star Museums

The Railroad and Heritage Museum announced the launch of the Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nations active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families through Labor Day 2014. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move. The complete listing of participating museums is available at arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.

“The Railroad and Heritage Museum is proud to continue supporting the Blue Star Museums program,” said Museum Director Stephanie Long. “The Railroad and Heritage Museum regularly offers free admission to the military families in our region, and has been a Blue Star Museum for the past several years.”

“As we kick off our fifth year of Blue Star Museums, more museums than ever are part of this military appreciation program,” said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “Together with Blue Star Families and more than 2,000 museums, we are proud to help connect military families with the cultural resources in their communities.”

“Blue Star Museums has grown into a nationally recognized program that service members and their families look forward to each year,” said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet. “It helps bring our local military and civilian communities together and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”

This year, more than 2,000 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, the Associate of Art Museum Directors, the Associate of Children’s Museums, the American Associate of State and Local History and the Associate 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 dozens of children’s museums. Among this year’s new participants are the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, The Thinkery children’s museum in Austin, Texas, the Mass Audubon Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, Massachusetts and Henricus Historical Park in Chester, Virginia.

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 through Labor Day, September 1, 2014.

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 arts.gov /national/blue-star-museums.

All summer long, Blue Star Museums will share stories through social media. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @Blue Star Family, #BlueStarMuse, on Facebook and read the NEA Art Works blog for weekly stories on participating museums and exhibits.

Museums that wish to participate the Blue Star Museums may contact bluestarmuseums@arts.gov or Wendy Clark at 202-682-5451. 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 the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.

About the Railroad and Heritage Museum
Completed in 1911, the historic Santa Fe Depot houses the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum. The exhibits explore the history of the railroad and topics relating to regional and local history. The museum also hosts, temporary exhibits, education programs and special events. The Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum is located at 315 W. Avenue B in downtown Temple, Texas. For more information about exhibits, museum hours, please visit www.rrhm.org or call 254-298-5172.

About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families. With our partners, Blue Star Families hosts a robust array of morale and empowerment programs, including Books on Bases, Blue Star Museums, Operation Honor Corps, Blue Star Careers and Operation Appreciation. Blue Star Families also works directly with the Department of Defense and senior members of local, State and Federal government to bring the most important military family issue to light. Working in concert with fellow nonprofits, community advocates and public officials, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable. Our worldwide membership includes military spouses, children, parents and friends, as well as service members, veterans and civilians. To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit www.bluestarfam.org. Join us of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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 at arts.gov.

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City of Temple
2 North Main Street
Temple, TX 76501
Phone: (254) 298-5561