About the State Historical Society > News > 2010

State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release July 28, 2010

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

State Historical Society joins Blue Star Museums program

Military personnel and their families receive discount at museum store, gift shop

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Society of Iowa is offering active duty military personnel and their families a 10 percent discount at its museum store in Des Moines and gift shop in Council Bluffs as part of the Blue Star Museums program.

The National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and more than 800 museums across the United States created the program to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2010.

“Because admission to the State Historical Museum in Des Moines and the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs is free, we are participating by offering military personnel and their families a ten percent discount in our museum store and gift shop,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Cyndi Pederson said. “We are very appreciative of our military personnel and their families, and this is one way we can thank them for their service and sacrifice.”

Active duty military personnel and their families can receive discounts at the following locations:

  • The Iowa Museum Store at the State Historical Museum, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. Store hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Call 515-281-7395 for more information.
  • The Trails West Gift Shop at the Western Historic Trails Center, 3434 Richard Downing Avenue in Council Bluffs. Gift shop hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Call 712-366-4900 for more information.

More information is available at www.iowahistory.org. The list of participating Blue Star Museums is available at www.arts.gov.

“America’s museums are proud to join the rest of the country in thanking our military personnel and their families for their service and sacrifice,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman. “I cannot imagine a better way to do that than welcoming them in to explore and enjoy the extraordinary cultural heritage our museums present.”

“There have always been wonderful examples of partnerships between museums and military installations, but the scale of this gift from the museum communities to military families is thrilling,” said Blue Star Families Chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Military families work hard for this country, and it is gratifying for us to be recognized for that. We anticipate that thousands of military families will participate in the program and visit museums this summer – many of them for the first time.  Blue Star Families will work hard to help our military families make the most of these opportunities.”

More than 800 museums in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are taking part in the initiative. The American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors and the Association of Children’s Museums each sent a letter from NEA Chairman Landesman inviting museums to participate in this program.

Blue Star Museums details

Blue Star Museums runs from Memorial Day, May 31, 2010, through Labor Day, Sept. 6, 2010. The program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention Common Access Card (CAC), a DD Form 1173, or a DD Form 1173-1, which includes active duty military and five immediate family members, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserve. Some special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, please contact the museum directly. To find out which museums are participating, visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. The site includes a list of participating museums and a map to help with visit planning.


The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa's past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


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