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Published on May 22nd, 2017 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Columbia Museum of Art to Participate in Blue Star Museums

Pictured: Air Force Technical Sergeant (now Master Sergeant) John Roys (at right) reenlists in the CMA Collection galleries.

Free admission offered to military personnel and their families this summer

Columbia, S.C. – The Columbia Museum of Art announces participation in the Blue Star Museums program, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), 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 and their families from Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, through Labor Day, Monday, September 4. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and to learn more about their community, especially after a military move.

“We are so grateful to all military families for their service and sacrifice,” says Joelle Ryan-Cook, CMA deputy director and director of external affairs. “With Fort Jackson next door as well as Shaw Air Force Base nearby in Sumter, Columbia is very much a military community. Free admission is our way to say thank you and to encourage a connection between the museum and these families that can continue throughout the year.”

So far this year, museums in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have signed up to take part in the initiative (museums are welcome to join throughout the summer). At the time of this writing, 17 South Carolina museums have joined, including Historic Columbia and the SC Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame in Columbia. Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and children’s museums.

“The Blue Star Museums program is a great opportunity for the NEA to team up with local museums in every state in the nation to support our service members and their families,” says NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “It means a lot to offer these families access to high-quality, budget-friendly opportunities to spend time together.”

For more information, visit

For more information on Blue Star Museums, visit

About the CMA

The Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, S.C., the CMA ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses 7,000 works and spans 5,000 years of art history. Established in 1950, the CMA now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors annually and is a catalyst for community creativity and education, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds. It is the recipient of a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education, a National Park Foundation Award, and two Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina. To learn more, visit


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