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THE MORTON ARBORETUM PARTICIPATES IN BLUE STAR MUSEUMS

LISLE, IL (May 21, 2013) – As part of the annual Blue Star Museum program, The Morton Arboretum is offering free, year-round admission to active-duty service men or women with a valid ID. Blue Star Museums is 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.
 
"As a Blue Star Museum, The Morton Arboretum is thanking our active-duty military men and women for their service and sacrifice," says Anna Cosner, head of visitor services at The Morton Arboretum. "It's our hope that Blue Star Families will use this program to connect with nature and with one another at the Arboretum."
 
"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," said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet.
 
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 arboretums, nature centers, science museums, history museums, fine arts museums and 75 children's museums.
 
About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children's Garden, the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include the open-air tram ride, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, Fall Color Festival, and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes more than 800,000 visitors annually and serves more than 35,600 members. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org.
 
About Blue Star Museums
Blue Star Museums is 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 free admission 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. To find out which museums are participating, visit arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
 
About Blue Star Families
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 our partners, Blue Star Families hosts a robust array of morale and empowerment programs. 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. Our 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 bluestarfam.org.
 
About the National Endowment for the Arts
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.