This is the museum’s second year to participate in the program.
“I think it’s a great way for us to reach out to active military families,” Najjar said. “It’s a small thing that we can do to honor our military.”
According to a museum press release, “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.”
Hassan Najjar, executive director of the Museum Center, said a military ID is required to take advantage of the offer.
“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. “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.”
Many who know about the program will take the opportunity to visit participating museums in places they were already visiting. Najjar said this was the case for many who took advantage of the opportunity at the local museum last year.
While participation in the program does not require the museum to have a military display, there are elements of the museum’s collection that highlight the military.
“We have a focus on Paul Huff as a member of the community as a Medal of Honor recipient,” Najjar said. “Also, within the permanent exhibit we do feature the impact on Cleveland in World War I and World War II, more so World War II … the whole nation was mobilized for that and are whole industry here in Cleveland was definitely mobilized for the war effort.”
Many regional museums are also participating in the program and can be accessed on the NEA website — http://arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.