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Free admission is being offered to active-duty military personnel and their families through Labor Day by more than 1,800 museums across America participating in the Blue Star Museums program.

Pittsburgh institutions participating are The Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Frick Art & Historical Center, Mattress Factory and the Senator John Heinz History Center. Other local participants are Old Economy Village, Ambridge; Historic Hanna’s Town and Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg; Bushy Run Battlefield, Jeannette; Ligonier Valley Rail Road Museum, Ligonier; and the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, Washington.

This year, museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and American Samoa are taking part, including more than 450 new museums. Blue Star Museums include fine arts, science and history museums, nature centers and 75 children’s museums. Among this year’s added participants are the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum in Northport, Mich.; the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan, Alaska; and the World Museum of Mining in Butte, Mont.

The program is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Defense, the museums and Blue Star Families, a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families.

Institutions may join through the summer. Information and a list of all participants is at http://www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/ae/art-architecture/art-notes-1800-museums-waive-entrance-fees-for-active-military-689472/#ixzz2UxbQvPk0