Kentucky Museums Offer Free Admission To Military Personnel And Families

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Blue Star Museums
More than 20 Kentucky museums are opening their doors free of charge to active duty military personnel and their family members as participants of the Blue Star Museums initiative.

Participating Kentucky Blue Star Museums join more than 2,000 of their counterparts in the initiative across the 50 states.

The program is a collaboration of the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and the museums.

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Free admission to participating museums is available to all active duty military personnel and their families now through Labor Day 2013.

"According to information provided by the Blue Star Museums initiative, there are more than 1 million children who have had at least one parent deployed during times of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq," said Lori Meadows, executive director. "We applaud Kentucky’s Blue Star Museums for participating in this program and offering our service families memorable, fun and informative experiences when many have limited time together this summer."

The 24 participating museums are:

Bowling Green
Eloise B. Houchens Center
Historic RailPark & Train Museum
Kentucky Museum

Covington
Behringer-Crawford Museum

Danville
McDowell House Museum

Fort Knox
The General George Patton Museum of Leadership

Frankfort
Kentucky Historical Society

LaGrange
Oldham County History Center

Lexington
The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky
Aviation Museum of Kentucky
Headley-Whitney Museum

Louisville
Frazier History Museum
Historic Locust Grove
KentuckyShow!
Muhammad Ali Center

Maysville
Kentucky Gateway Museum Center

Morganfield
James D. Veatch Camp Breckinridge Museum & Arts Center

Owensboro
International Bluegrass Music Museum
Owensboro Museum of Science and History

Paducah
National Quilt Museum
River Discovery Center

Paris
Hopewell Museum

Renfro Valley
Kentucky Music Hall of Fame

Winchester
Bluegrass Heritage Museum

This is the fourth year for the Blue Star Museums initiative. Museums are welcome to join throughout the summer, and this year’s national roster represents fine arts museums, science museums, history museums, nature centers and children’s museums.

Museums that wish to participate may contact bluestarmuseums@arts.gov, or Wendy Clark at 202-682-5451.

Blue Star Families is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government.

To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.

The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies and the philanthropic sector.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts.

Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.