Bruce Museum offers free admission to military personnel and their families

The Bruce Museum welcomes the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families this summer, as part of its participation in the ninth annual 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.

“As many military families spend the summer months moving from one duty station to another, or reconnecting with a parent who has returned from deployment, Blue Star Museums helps service members and their families create memories,” said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Blue Star Families has great appreciation for the generosity of the museums across the country that roll out the red carpet for the families who serve alongside their service members. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”

Blue Star visitors to the Bruce this summer will enjoy an array of exhibitions and programs. Of special interest to military families is Patriotic Persuasion: American Posters of the First World War. The exhibition features a selection of original posters, most of which were donated to the Bruce Museum by Beverly and John W. Watling III. Commemorating the centennial of U.S. involvement in World War I, Patriotic Persuasion will be on display through June 10.

Another family-friendly exhibition is Wild Bees: Photographs by Paula Sharp and Ross Eatman. Currently on display in the Science Gallery, the exhibition features exquisite photographs of wild bees in their natural habitats, along with an exploration of their varied lifestyles interactive viewing of native bee specimens under a microscope, hand-crafted giant model bees at 20x scale, bee houses, and an interactive website.

On June 2, the Bruce presents the National Geographic Photo Ark, featuring more than 50 compelling images by National Geographic photographer and Fellow Joel Sartore. Photo Ark is an ambitious project committed to documenting every species in captivity. Sartore has worked in more than 250 zoos, aquariums and animal rescue centers in over 40 countries around the world. Photo Ark will be on view at the Bruce through Sept. 2, 2018.

Consistently voted the “Best Museum” by area media, the Bruce Museum is a community-focused, world-class institution highlighting art, science and natural history in more than a dozen changing exhibitions annually. Additional exhibitions on view this summer include Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957-64 (opening June 23); iCreate 2018, spotlighting jury-selected artworks created by regional high school students (June 9-August 12); and A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions (opening August 4). In addition, the permanent galleries feature the natural sciences that encompass regional to global perspectives. The Museum also provides a range of programs related to its exhibitions and collections. Please visit for the complete schedule of exhibitions and programs.

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. This year’s participating Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, zoos, nature centers, and children’s museums. A list of participating museums nationwide is available at

The national program runs from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26, through Labor Day, September 3, 2018; the Bruce is pleased to be able to extend this offer to military personnel and their families on a year-round basis.

“Visiting a museum is a great way to get to know a community—whether it’s in your hometown or a stop on a road trip,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “We appreciate the enthusiasm of museums all across the country that open their doors for military and their families to spend time together and have new arts experiences.”

The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as Active Duty and Reservists, National Guardsman (regardless of status), U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.

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