For the tenth summer since Blue Star Museums began in 2009, Honolulu Museum of Art is offering active-duty military personnel and their families free admission as well as 10 percent off purchases in the Museum Shop until September 2. In honor of the the program’s milestone anniversary, we are sharing stories from some of the many veterans working at HoMA.


Budd Lauer, the museum’s director of advancement, joined our staff in April 2019. An Air Force veteran, Lauer was active-duty in the security forces from 2000 until 2006, then went on to serve as a Federal Police Officer until 2009. When asked what drew him to his current position at HoMA he says, “That’s pretty simple—I enjoy art!”

“I could always draw,” Lauer explains, “so being stuck on the flight line, doing security or something, I’d always draw planes. It actually got me in trouble once because I drew a stealth bomber.” In addition to his service record and love of art, Lauer also has brings a wealth of experience in fundraising and development from his previous roles at the USS Missouri and Maryknoll School. 

What does he love most about working at HoMA? “Coming to an organization such as the museum you see how donations and endowments are used everyday—for purchasing art, offering scholarships at the Art School, general operations, and making sure that students from other parts of the island are able to come in and experience the art. Being able to see that is a great feeling—whenever you wake up every morning you know that you’re actually achieving something.” 

If you see Budd or any of HoMA’s veterans on staff next time you visit, please remember to thank them for their service!blog_bluestar