Montclair Art Museum to Participate in Blue Star Museums

MAM is one of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense
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MONTCLAIR, N.J. - May 21, 2014 - PRLog -- The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) is proud to announce the launch of 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 nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014. This is the fifth consecutive year of the program and MAM is especially proud to have participated since the beginning. 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.

“We’re very pleased to be part of this nationwide effort to honor members of the armed services and their families, “ said MAM Director Lora Urbanelli. “In celebration of the Museum’s Centennial Year, our exhibitions this summer focus on New Jersey and the strengths of MAM’s collection. Current exhibitions include Robert Smithson’s New Jersey, a groundbreaking show on this native son of NJ on view through June 22 and 100 Works for 100 Years: A Centennial Celebration, which features 100 pieces of art that reflect the Museum’s rich cultural history and legacy.”

In addition to free admission to the galleries all summer long for military families, MAM invites service members to participate in summer programming including:

·       MAM Family Learning Lab, free with Museum admission and open during gallery hours — This interactive learning space includes self-directed hands-on activities for families. Together as a family, investigate places and spaces in MAM’s 100-year-old collection!

·       Centennial Lounge, free with Museum admission and open during gallery hours — Visit the Centennial Lounge to curate your own magnetic mini exhibition and to learn about the Museum’s 100-year history by browsing the Centennial Times.

·       100 Years, 100 Voices — The Museum community is invited to comment on their favorite work in the Centennial exhibition 100 Works for 100 Years. Responses are included in a free audio tour, including contributions from students, educators, poets, artists (including NJ natives Willie Cole and Tom Nussbaum), and MAM employees. To listen in, pick up a guide in MAM’s Centennial Lounge or look for the audioguide labels in the galleries and simply dial in using a cellphone. To find out more about how to contribute responses, contact Petra Pankow, MAM education director, at

·       Free First Thursday Night, June 5, 5–9 p.m. — Enjoy an evening of free art and dynamic programming, including live music, tours, and interactive entertainment. A full-service bar with special First Thursday Night prices is sponsored by Pig & Prince Restaurant.

·       Free First Friday and Closer Look Tour — Every first Friday of the month the Museum is free to all visitors and at 2 p.m. it offers Closer Look Tours, free informal gallery talks that provide an in-depth examination of one to two works on view in the galleries.

·       Park Bench, $18 per family/$6 Family-level members and above — This monthly family program introduces children to the Museum and serves as an artistic social outing. It is held the second Wednesday of the month, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

·       Family Art Adventure, $15 per family/$6 Family-level members and above — Explore and discuss artworks at this monthly drop-in gallery program for children 5 and up and their adult companions. It is held the third Saturday of the month, 2–3 p.m.

For more information about these events and additional upcoming programming at the Montclair Art Museum, please visit

“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. esnqv “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 Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association 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. The complete list of participating museums is available at‐star‐museums.

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 from Memorial Day, May 26, 2014 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.

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

Catherine Mastrangelo
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