Har-Ber Village Museum is one of more than 1,800 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.

Har-Ber Village Museum announced 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 1,800 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

Har-Ber Village Museum Military Display

Military Items displayed at Har-Ber Village Museum in Grove.

According to Har-Ber Village Museum Director Amelia Chamberlain, the program will officially launch on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27.

“We are happy to offer this opportunity to our men and women who serve in our military and to their families who support them on a daily basis,” Chamberlain said.  “Har-Ber Village Museum is dedicated to preserving historical items that are authentic to the American experience, and we have a special exhibit that honors the men and women who serve in the military.  We have uniforms and military items that were donated to Har-Ber Village to preserve the heroism and memories of these soldiers. ”

To receive free admission, military personnel and their families must present 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.

“Blue Star Museums is a collaboration between the arts and military communities,” said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “Our work with Blue Star Families and with more than 1,800 museums ensures that we can reach out to military families and thank them for their service and sacrifice.”

“Blue Star Museums is something that service members and their families look forward to every year and we are thrilled with the continued growth of the program,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Through this distinctive collaboration between Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts and more than 1,800 museums across the United States, service members and their families can connect with our national treasures with this unparalleled opportunity to visit some of the country’s finest museums for free.”

This year, more than 1,800 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative, including more than 450 new museums this year.

Har-Ber Village Museum is a self-guided replica town that features the life of an everyday 19th century village.  Founded in 1968 by Harvey and Bernice Jones, this pioneer-era village, complete with Visitor Center and gift shop called The Country Store, is located on the shores of Grand Lake.  During self-guided tours, visitors experience the area’s history and ecology as well as view collections of antiques and memorabilia.

Har-Ber Village Military Display Grove OK

Military Display at Har-Ber Village Museum.

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 partners, Blue Star Families hosts a robust array of morale and empowerment programs, including Books on Bases, Blue Star Museums, Operation Honor Corp, 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 issues 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. 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 http://www.bluestarfam.org.

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.

For more information about Har-Ber Village Museum or its participation in Blue Star Museums, call 918-786-6446 or email [email protected].