INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The Vero Beach Museum of Art, the Environmental Learning Center, and McKee Botanical Garden are offering free admission to active duty military and family members from May 20 through Labor Day, Sept. 4, as part of the Blue Star Museums program.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Dept. of Defense, and museums in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and Space Force, and up to five family members. One person in each group must show their official military identification.

There is no limit to how many museums a family can visit during the summer.

“We are proud supporters of the Blue Star Museum initiative and know the important role the arts play to our overall well-being,” said VBMA Director of Marketing and Communications Sophie Bentham-Wood. “Now more than ever, we are committed to ensuring access for all, and hope our active military and their families will take full advantage of everything the museum has to offer this summer.”

Blue Star Families visiting the VBMA can enjoy Treasure Coast Creates: A Tribute to Local Artists exhibition May 20- Sept. 18; and an exhibition of drawings by Jack Tworkov from May 26-Sept. 3. Families can explore student artworks in the Patten Community Gallery as well as enjoy the Art Zone an interactive children’s space.

“The impact that this program has on our members is tremendous and something they look forward to each year,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet. “It is wonderful to offer military families the opportunity to explore the arts with their loved ones and create lasting memories. Museums are a spectacular place to find a sense of belonging, create connections, and have meant so much to my family over the years.”

“Blue Star Museums invites military personnel and their families to experience the many wonders our nation’s museums have to offer, whether it’s a glimpse into the past, an encounter with awe-inspiring art, or a moment of discovery,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. “These opportunities enrich the lives of military families and build meaningful connections within their local communities.”

Blue Star Families is the nation’s largest grass-roots military family support organization. They started Blue Star Museums to improve the quality of life for active duty military families, especially the two million children who have had at least one parent deployed since 2001.

The VBMA is located at 3001 Riverside Park Dr., Vero Beach. For more information, visit, call (772) 231-0707, or email

McKee Botanical Garden is located at 350 US Highway 1, Vero Beach. Visit, call (772) 794-0601, or email

The Environmental Learning Center is located at 255 Live Oak Dr., Vero Beach. Visit, call (772) 589-5050, or email

For more information about the Blue Star Museums program including a list of other participating museums around the state and the country, visit

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