The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) is proud to announce its participation in 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 and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2015. This is the sixth consecutive year of the program and MAM is especially proud to have participated since the beginning. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation's cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move.

“We’re very pleased to be part of this nationwide effort to honor members of the armed services and their families, “ said MAM Director Lora Urbanelli. “This summer, the Museum is highlighting its permanent collection. We are especially excited to present two new installations in our Rand Gallery of Native American Art. One focuses on Pueblo Indian Pottery and the other takes a look at the phenomenon of “basket mania,” a feverish collecting of Native American basketry in the Late Victorian era.”

In addition to free admission to the galleries all summer long for military families, MAM invites service members to participate in summer programming including:

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  • MAM Family Learning Lab, free with Museum admission and open during gallery hours — This interactive learning space includes self-directed hands-on activities for families. Together as a family, explore the theme of identity, inspired by our recent exhibition Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s
  • Free First Thursday Night, June 4, 5–9 p.m. — Enjoy an evening of free art and dynamic programming, including live music, tours, and interactive entertainment. A full-service bar is sponsored by Pig & Prince Restaurant.
  • Free First Friday and Closer Look Tour — Every first Friday of the month the Museum is free to all visitors and at 2 p.m. it offers Closer Look Tours, free informal gallery talks that provide an in-depth examination of one to two works on view in the galleries.
  • Park Bench, $18 per family/$6 Family-level members and above — This monthly family program introduces children to the Museum and serves as an artistic social outing. It is held the second Wednesday of the month, 9:30–11:30 a.m.
  • Family Art Adventure, $15 per family/$6 Family-level members and above — Explore and discuss artworks at this monthly drop-in gallery program for children 5 and up and their adult companions. It is held the third Saturday of the month, 2–3 p.m.

For more information about these events and additional upcoming programming at the Montclair Art Museum, please visit

“Parents of young children tell us that they go together to museums to learn new things and have family time together,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Blue Star Museums helps them do both, by helping military families learn about the cultural resources in their communities, and offering a fun, high-quality experience that’s budget friendly as well as family friendly. We’re proud to help connect museums to military communities nationwide.”

“Blue Star Museums has grown into a nationally recognized program that service members and their families look forward to each year,” said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet. “It helps bring our local military and civilian communities together, and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”

This year, more than 2,000 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association of Science‐Technology Centers. This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and dozens of children’s museums. The complete list of participating museums is available at‐star‐museums.