Press Room -- Illinois State Museum, Springfield
CONTACT: Jim Zimmer
SPRINGFIELD – Today the Illinois State Museum system announced its role as a Blue Star Museums partner, joining a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,800 museums across America. The nationwide program offers free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013. Beginning May 27th and continuing through September 2nd, active duty military families visiting any of the Illinois State Museum sites will receive a token of appreciation in addition to the free admission afforded to all visitors. Participating Illinois State Museum venues include the main facility in Springfield as well as those in Chicago, Lockport, Lewistown, and Whittington.
The Blue Star Museums initiative was organized to reach out to military families and thank them for their service and sacrifice. The program opens the doors to connect with our national treasures and visit some of the country’s finest institutions without an admission charge. This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and 75 children’s museums. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
Participation in the program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, 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. Illinois State Museum sites will offer one token of appreciation per qualifying family.
This summer Blue Star Museums visitors of all ages to the Illinois State Museum in Springfield will enjoy a variety of exciting exhibitions. Civil War Quilters: Loyal Hearts of Illinois features quilts, Civil War military supplies and weapons, a regimental drum, household artifacts and stories of women’s work and struggles during the Civil War. Peoples of the Past offers life-sized dioramas and finely crafted artifacts that bring to life Illinois' rich Native American heritage. At Home in the Heartland shares the stories of real people who lived in Illinois and their dramatic changes in household life over the past 300 years. Changes: Dynamic Illinois Environments allows visitors to travel into the past to see how Illinois has changed and how it continues to change today. The Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum is a hands-on children’s gallery in which children will learn what it is like to work at a museum through play.
The Illinois State Museum is dedicated to inspiring people of all ages to discover and care about Illinois’ natural and cultural resources and artistic heritage. The Museum’s extensive collections and research activities provide the foundation for exhibitions and public programs that tell the story of the land, life, people, and art of Illinois. The Illinois State Museum is located at 502 S. Spring Street (the corner of Spring and Edwards Streets) in Springfield, and is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Parking is available nearby, and the building is ADA accessible. For additional information, visit http://www.museum.state.il.us/