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MICHIGAN LEGACY ART PARK JOINS ARTS ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES TO OFFER FREE ADMISSION TO ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY FAMILIES
Michigan Legacy Art Park has announced it will once again join museums nationwide in participating in the tenth summer of Blue Star Museums, a program which provides free admission to our nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families this summer. The 2019 program launches on Saturday May 18th, Armed Forces Day, and ends on Monday September 2nd, Labor Day.
One of the highlights of the nonprofit Michigan Legacy Art Park collection is Fallen Comrade—sculptor David Greenwood’s stylized interpretation of a World War II P-51 “Mustang” fighter plane. It is a tribute to the valor and skill of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the African American squadron of fighter pilots whose service was heroic on two fronts—in air combat as well as in breaking the barriers of racism in the U.S. military.
Prior, no black pilots had been allowed in the ranks of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Trained at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, they met the highest standards in qualifying to serve their country as pilots despite the imposition of restrictions designed to exclude them. Of the nearly 1,000 trained Tuskegee Airmen, 155 were from Michigan and many returned after the war for additional training at Selfridge Air National Guard Base near Mount Clemens. The airplane also symbolizes Detroit as the “Arsenal of Democracy.”
This expressive contemporary sculpture prompts us to remember those who fought for our personal and national freedom even as they were denied their own. It continues to create fresh and mystical experiences from history for thousands of visitors each year.
“We’re proud to celebrate the tenth summer of collaborating with Blue Star Families, Department of Defense, and especially the more than 2,000 museums across our nation that make this program possible, “ said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Organizations such as Michigan Legacy Art Park are providing wonderful opportunities for military families to share a memorable experience together this summer.”
This year’s participating organizations include fine art, science, history, and children’s museums, as well as zoos, aquariums, gardens, art parks and more. Michigan Legacy Art Park will be participating for the third year in a row.
“We’ve seen the tremendous impact the Blue Star Museums program brings to our military families, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating a decade of support,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, chief executive officer of Blue Star Families. “Not only are museums fun to explore but are also great for making memories and strengthening military families as a whole.”
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 members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members.
Michigan Legacy Art Park is a nonprofit arts organization founded by internationally acclaimed artist David Barr in 1995 to enrich lives through experiences that connect art, nature, and Michigan’s history. Contemporary Art comes to life in the park’s permanent collection of almost 50 works, located in the midst of a 30-acre forest preserve. The Art Park hosts thousands of visitors and students each year, features miles of trails, world-class concerts outdoors, art and nature workshops, and extensive education programs. It is open every day of the year.
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are.