Tacoma, WA — Are you or a member of your family active duty military? If so, you’ll want to know about Blue Star Museums. Washington State History Museum is proud to participate in this annual national program for military families. The History Museum will offer free admission during the summer months as a way to thank military families for their service and sacrifice. More than 2,000 museums across the country participate in Blue Star Museums in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense.
From Tuesday, May 29, through Sunday, September 2, the History Museum will offer free admission to active duty military personnel (ID required) and up to five family members. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM; closed on Mondays (including Memorial Day).
“We value this opportunity to thank the men and women in our community who serve in the nation’s military. Every year we look forward to connecting with military families during the summer months,” said Julianna Verboort, the History Museum’s marketing and communications director. “We have a terrific line-up of exhibitions this summer, starting with the blockbuster TOYTOPIA. Come see that before it closes on June 10 so you can play the free vintage arcade games, make music on the giant floor keyboard, walk through the life-size doll house, and have Zoltar tell your fortune! Our annual In The Spirit Contemporary Native Arts exhibit opens June 30th and is a summer favorite. Make/Do: A History of Creative Reuse opens mid-July and will include a hands-on maker station. Sleight of Hand opens on August 4, about the intriguing history of magic and spiritualism in Washington. And Washington: My Home is open in the Great Hall. Visitors can participate in unique and fun experiences for all ages.”
The Blue Star Museums free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent card), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty US military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps), along with up to five family members. See complete list of participating museums at arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.
Exhibition Highlights during Blue Star program, May 29 – September 2, 2018:
TOYTOPIA,through June 10. Play your way down Memory Lane! This exhibition captures the essence of childhood wonder. Highlights include:
- World’s largest Etch A Sketch, close to eight feet tall
- Vintage Arcade with working games to play, no quarters required!
- Life-size Doll House
- Life-size Monopoly car; take your photo next to Uncle Moneybags!
- Two memorable toys like those in the movie Big: the giant piano keyboard that star Tom Hanks played on, and Zoltar Speaks, the carnival arcade fortune teller machine
- LEGO® wall and play area
- Giant Lite Brite
- Keva Planks, Lincoln Logs, Jenga, and Brain Teasers play areas
IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Exhibition, June 30 through August 12. Native American artists showcase their works in this annual juried exhibition. Meet the artists at an opening awards celebration on July 1 at 3:00 PM. Come to the In The Spirit Northwest Native Festival on August 11, an indoor-outdoor cultural celebration and arts market, hosted in collaboration with Tacoma Art Museum.
Make/Do: A History of Creative Reuse, July 14 – December 6. Experience the beauty of transformed materials and explore the history of innovative reuse. See dozens of unique objects on their second or third life, created through upcycling, downcycling, or recycling. Learn about enterprising regional makers and admire their ingenuity! Earthwise Architectural Salvage will host a maker space so you can put your inspiration into action.
Sleight of Hand,August 4, 2018 – January 20, 2019. What is magic? Is it the magician who levitates a woman above the darkened stage of the Pantages Theater? The medium who gazes into the depths of Commencement Bay to awaken the ghosts of lost sailors? The escape artist who dangles himself in a straitjacket from the Seattle Times building? Magic is all of these things and more. In the past, this craft was used in places as disparate as religious ceremonies, public speaking, and warfare, and also served as a platform for the voiceless to speak, as seen in the connections between spiritualism and the suffragette movement. Learn about magicians who came through the Pacific Northwest and more. Come and be amazed!
For more information, visit www.WashingtonHistory.org or call 1-888-BE-THERE.