FSU’s The Ringling to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer

FSU’s The Ringling to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer. (Ringling Permanent Collection | Photo courtesy Ron Blunt)
FSU’s The Ringling to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer. (Ringling Permanent Collection | Photo courtesy Ron Blunt)

Florida State University’s The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art will join museums nationwide and provide free admission to current U.S. military personnel and their families this summer as part of the Blue Star Museums initiative.

The 2022 program will begin on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 21, and will run through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5. More than 1,400 service member families participated in 2021.

Blue Star Museums is a partnership that includes the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across the U.S.

“Museums educate and inspire, cause us to wonder and imagine, dream and remember,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “By participating in the Blue Star Museums program, The Ringling is offering military personnel and their families an opportunity to feel connected to the Sarasota community and to explore the world through the power of arts, culture and design, contributing to each person being able to live an artful life.”

A place of exploration, discovery and respite, The Ringling’s campus in Sarasota, Florida, includes the Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, bayfront gardens, a historic mansion and an 18th-century theater. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

“We are proud once again to partner with the NEA on this important program to recognize our active service families,” said Steven High, executive director of The Ringling.

Blue Star Museums include children’s museums, art, science and history, zoos, gardens, lighthouses and more. They hail from all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The free-admission program is available to those currently serving in the United States Armed Forces — Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy and Space Force, Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Commissioned Officer Corps, plus up to five family members.

Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), DD Form 1173-1 ID card or the Next Generation Uniformed Services (Real) ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.

“Our military community looks forward to the Blue Star Museum program each year, and I am excited to celebrate the 2022 season along with them,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families. “Thank you, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, for participating in this impactful program and offering military families the opportunity to enjoy the arts with you this summer.”

The list of participating museums will continue to develop over the summer as organizations register to be a Blue Star Museum. For more information, visit arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

About The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art

The Ringling is the pre-eminent center for the arts, history and learning that is dedicated to bringing the past and contemporary culture to life through extraordinary visitor experiences. From its inception, The Ringling has joined the diverse visual traditions and theatrical spectacle of yesterday with the genre-defying global practitioners of today.

As the State Art Museum of Florida and part of Florida State University, The Ringling fulfills an important educational mission by offering formal and informal programs of study serving as a major resource for students, scholars and lifelong learners of every age within the region, across the country and around the world.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support give 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. To learn more, visit arts.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families is the nation’s largest grass-roots military family support organization, with a mission to support military families to improve military readiness. Its distinctive approach builds stronger communities around military families through knowledge and programs that address the unique needs of those who serve. Blue Star Families’ nationally recognized surveys and analysis give military families an important voice that informs policymakers and its military family programs. It uses the power of its collective resources and cross-sector collaborations to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of members of military families to strengthen the troops, their families, and our nation as a whole. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org.