The museum received a delightful surprise—and honor—when the McNab family presented Visitor Services staff with a Blue Star Museums Certificate of Appreciation earlier this month.

Kristin McNab, a military spouse who arrived in Honolulu in March 2018, saw that HoMA participates in the Blue Star Museum program offering free admission to military personnel and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and brought her children, Ruby and Ray, to the museum last summer. When this summer rolled around, she brought her son and daughter again. (Pictured above are Visitor Services Volunteer Sharon Whatmore, Visitor Services Associate Diana Garcia, Ray McNab, Dan McNab, Kristin McNab, Ruby McNab, and Lead Visitor Services Associate Pilar Kirk.)

“The kids like to explore the different galleries. It’s good for them to be able to see the art and be around it,” says Kristin. “We’re really appreciative there are programs like this available to be able to do something fun with our kids.”

Then Kristin saw Blue Star Families’ Facebook post looking for Blue Star Museum Ambassadors  to give Certificates of Appreciation to their local Blue Star Museums. “My family has gone to the Honolulu Museum of Art, and I looked online and saw HoMA has participated for 10 years,” she explains. “So I wrote to Blue Star Families and said I’d be happy to represent. They sent the certificate in the mail.”

Ray and Ruby McNab explore Indonesian culture in the gallery of Southeast Asian Art.

Ray and Ruby McNab explore Indonesian culture in the gallery of Southeast Asian Art.

“It was a relaxed Sunday and this nice couple and their kids came to the Visitor Information Center and we told them we are a Blue Star Museum and Kristen said, ‘Yes, we know and we wanted to get this for you,’ and she brings out the certificate. We were really surprised and we really appreciate it,” says Visitor Information Center Associate Diana Garcia who was working the VIC with Lead Visitor Services Associate Pilar Kirk. The certificate is proudly on display on the VIC counter.

“Military families get disrupted all the time, so it is nice that the program give families a break, especially in the summer time, says Diana, who grew up in a military family and worked for the military. “Summer is also when military families move a lot. We’ve been lucky to have a lot of people take advantage of Blue Star this summer.”

“They wanted to thank us for being part of the Blue Star program. They love what the museum has to offer,” says Pilar. “It was a great surprise from a wonderful family.”

Life imitates art: Dan and Ray McNab have fun with Jacques Lipschitz's 'Mother and Child.'

Life imitates art: Dan and Ray McNab have fun with Jacques Lipschitz’s ‘Mother and Child.’

HoMA has been proud to be a Blue Star Museum since the program launched in 2010. And in 2011, it was one of six museums across the nation to host a Blue Star Museums Joining Forces event. This year, 310 adults and children visited HoMA as part of Blue Star Museums. HoMA is honored to be part of the program to support those who serve our country and their families.

The museum continues to offer free admission to military personnel and their families through Sept. 1. If you’re part of the armed forces, we hope to see you here!

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