The Academy was one of six museums chosen from across the nation to host a Blue Star Museums Joining Forces event, which happened today. As Blue Star Museums, the Academy and The Contemporary Museum are free to military personnel and their families through Labor Day. Blue Star Families invited to the event military families that have a deployed family member. Gov. Neil Abercrombie spoke glowingly of the Academy, telling the visiting families that the museum’s “exhibitions will take you to new worlds,” and urged them to take advantage of the Blue Star Museums program—on O‘ahu, Lyon Arboretum is also participating.

Col. Matthew S. Kelley, Deputy Commander (Rear) 25th ID, made me tear up and be proud that the museum is a Blue Star Museum. “[The Academy’s] gesture says that you understand our sacrifice,” he said.

Then docents Karlyn Pearl and Irv Schatz (who is the dad of our Lieutenant Gov. Brian Schatz!) took the children and the adults on a tour of the Holt Gallery, home of the Art of Hawai‘i, where they got to see volcanoes on canvas and as a foam sculpture (by Darren Waterston).

Said one mom: “We were transferred here from Germany, where the kids were exposed to a lot of culture. I’ve never been here before, and it’s great.” We think you’re great and hope you and the kids will be back!

Regina Galvin, program manager of Blue Star Museums, orchestrated the event, and next goes to Atlanta where the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum will host a Blue Star Museums event.

Blue Star Museums highlights civilian institutions supporting the military community as our nation has been called to do through First Lady Michelle Obama’s and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces Initiative. The initiative mobilizes all sectors of society to give American service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned.

The Honolulu Academy of the Arts is one of more than 1,500 participating Blue Star Museums. The program is a partnership between the museums, Blue Star Families, a national nonprofit that serves military families, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families.