South Carolina State Museum joins Blue Star Museums program this summer

May 15, 2024

Museum to offer free general admission to active-duty military and their Families

The South Carolina State Museum is proud to be part of the Blue Star Museums initiative, a national appreciation program to thank our military families for their service and share with them America’s cultural treasures. As a part of Blue Star Museums, active military and their families are invited to enjoy free general admission to the South Carolina State Museum from Armed Forces Day, May 18, 2024, through Labor Day, September 2, 2024.

“We are excited to join museums across the country in showing appreciation to those serving in the military,” said State Museum Executive Director Amy Bartow-Melia. “The museum is a great Summer destination and, as a Blue Star Museum, we are happy for the opportunity to make visiting more accessible to military families.”

Blue Star Museum guests will receive free entrance to all four floors of the museum’s galleries, including the upcoming exhibition “Shared Sacrifice: South Carolina in World War II,” opening on June 8. The museum will also host the 80th Anniversary D-Day Salute on June 8, which will feature a performance from the 282D Army Jazz Band among a variety of other activities. Entrance to the special event is also free under the Blue Star Museum program.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and participating museums across America. For a list of participating museums, visit

Free general admission to the South Carolina State Museum is available for those currently serving in the United States Military—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps—and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), DD Form 1173-1 ID card or the Next Generation Uniformed Services (Real) ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.


About the South Carolina State Museum

Since opening in 1988, the South Carolina State Museum has been committed to collecting, preserving and showcasing the rich culture, art, natural history, technology and innovation of the Palmetto State. Through a comprehensive collection of over 1.1 million objects and four floors of stimulating exhibitions and displays housed within the historic Columbia Mills Building, the State Museum provides educational environments that entertain, inspire and enrich the lives of millions of visitors and students from across South Carolina. For more information about the museum, visit

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families (BSF) is the nation’s largest Chapter-based military and Veteran family support organization. Its research-driven approach fosters strong communities with a focus on human-centered design and innovative solutions. Since its founding in 2009, BSF has delivered more than $200 million in benefits and impacts more than 1.5 million people each year.