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May 25, 2010

Twenty-Three “Blue Star” Illinois Museums Open Doors to Military Families
More than 600 museums across America will offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer

Illinois – NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman and Blue Star Families Chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet have announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a partnership with 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.

"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 NEA 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 certainly inspire and challenge viewers – and sometimes they will just be a great deal of fun."

The Illinois Arts Council congratulates the NEA and Blue Star Families on the development of this important initiative. We hope Illinois’ active duty military personnel and their families will enjoy this opportunity to experience as many museums as possible this summer. Following is a list of the twenty-three participating Illinois museums:

1. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2. Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL
3. Chicago Children's Museum, Chicago, IL
4. Children's Discovery Museum, Normal, IL
5. DuPage Children's Museum, Naperville, IL
6. DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago, IL
7. First Division Museum at Cantigny, Wheaton, IL
8. Glessner House Museum, Chicago, IL
9. Levere Memorial Temple, Evanston, IL
10. Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, Elmhurst, IL
11. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
12. McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum, Chicago, IL
13. McHenry County Historical Society, Union, IL
14. McLean County Museum of History, Bloomington, IL
15. Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Evanston, IL
16. Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL     
17. Naper Settlement, Naperville, IL
18. Quincy Art Center, Quincy, IL
19. Robert R. McCormick Museum, Wheaton, IL
20. Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL
21. Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, IL
22. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL
23. Wheels O' Time Museum, Peoria, IL

Visit www.arts.gov/national/bluestarmuseums for a full national list and more information on how this program works.

About the National Endowment for the Arts The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts.

About Blue Star Families Blue Star Families is a national, non-partisan, non-profit 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 with civilian community and leaders. Membership includes spouses, kids, parents, service members, veterans and civilians.

About the Illinois Arts Council The Illinois Arts Council was created as a state agency by the Illinois General Assembly in 1965. The agency is governed by up to twenty-one private citizens chosen for their demonstrated commitment to the arts and appointed by the Governor. Council members serve in a voluntary, non-paid capacity and are charged with developing the state’s public arts policy, fostering quality culturally diverse programs, and approving grants expenditures. A small professional staff with in-depth knowledge of the arts develops and administers the agency’s programs, provides technical assistance, and ensures the responsible and impactful distribution of all funds. Resources to support the Illinois Arts Council are provided by the Governor and General Assembly of Illinois and the National Endowment for the Arts.



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