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Blue Star Museums offer three months access to local art for military

Local and regional museums let military families in for free during the summer. Photo credit: Anderson-Wise

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Tacoma's major museums will offer free admission to military families from Memorial Day, May 26, through Labor Day, Sept. 1, as part of the Blue Star Museums program.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America. Each summer since 2010, Blue Star Museums have offered free admission to the nation's active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve.

More than 2,000 museums in all 50 states will participate, including the Washington State History Museum, Museum of Glass, and the Tacoma Art Museum. The history museum and TAM are open Wednesdays through Sundays. MOG will be open seven days a week during the summer.

Military ID holder plus up to five family members are elegible. Admission for veterans and retirees, for unmarried partners or for parents with a child currently serving on active-duty, or for those who have lost a child on active-duty are not, unless they have a Geneva Convention Common Access Card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID Card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card.

Washington State History Museum visitors can see artifacts from our state's earliest Native American civilization and culture and learn about our state's unique people and places through interactive exhibits, theatrical storytelling, high-tech square-foot model railway depicting the rail lines from Tacoma's Point Defiance Park to the Stampede Pass funnels in the Cascades.

Museum of Glass provides a dynamic learning environment to appreciate the medium of glass through creative experiences, collections and exhibitions. In addition to the Hot Shop Amphitheatre where visitors can watch artists work, the facilities include galleries, outdoor exhibition areas, a theater, hands-on art studio, grand hall, café and store.

Their current show is a large exhibition of contemporary glass art by the collaborative team of Seattle artists Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora C. Mace. Beginning July 23, MOG will show a retrospective of works by glass artist David Huchthausen.

The large 20th and 21st Century Glass Collection, part of MOG's permanent collection, includes works by Dale Chihuly, Preston Singletary, Lino Tagliapietra and many more.

An absolute delight is the children's collection of objects created by a variety of artists interpreting drawings that have been submitted by children and selected by museum staff.

At Tacoma Art Museum, you can see drawings and etchings by the great Norwegian expressionist and symbolist master Edvard Munch through July 17. Plus, you can visit the Haub Family Collection, the only major museum collection of Western American art in the Northwest region, and the Benoroya Collection of 225 works including important paintings and sculptures by renowned regional artists such as Guy Anderson, Deborah Butterfield, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves, Paul Horiuchi, Jeffry Mitchell, Mark Tobey, and George Tsutakawa.

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