Fairfield University's Bellarmine Museum of Art participates in Blue Star Museum initiative to support nation's military families



Image: BellarmineThe Bellarmine Museum of Art at Fairfield University is joining with 1,300 other museums across America to pay tribute to military personnel and their families, by participating in the Blue Star Museums partnership, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Blue Star Families organization. The program provides free museum admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2011.

Commenting on the initiative, Jill Deupi, Ph.D., director of the Bellarmine Museum, said, "While the Bellarmine is free, year round, this initiative is an important one and we, at Fairfield University, wanted to play a role in acknowledging and paying tribute to this group of individuals and the critical role they play in our society. Art has the capacity to teach, to delight, to move, and to transform, and it is an honor for us to share with these families what the Bellarmine has to offer."

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, "Blue Star Museums may be the program at the NEA of which I am proudest, as it recognizes and thanks our military families for all they are doing for our country, and simultaneously begins young people on a path to becoming life-long museum goers."

The Bellarmine at Fairfield University is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the academic year (September through June), and in July and August by appointment - contact (203) 254-4000, ext. 2215. Two upcoming events of particular interest to families include:

Thursday, June 2
Opening Reception for Illuminating the Gospel Values: Schoolchildren from the Diocese of Bridgeport Respond to the Book of Kells (runs to June 10)
Location: The Bellarmine Museum of Art and the Great Hall
Time: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 11
Family Day (tours, story-telling, crafts)
Time: Noon to 5:00 p.m.

The Blue Star Museums partnership is only one of several initiatives that Fairfield University has undertaken related to individuals involved in the military. Four years ago, the School of Nursing was selected, along with the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be part of a new pilot program called the "Nursing Academy" that addresses the nation's severe nursing shortage. The goal of that program was to ensure the VA has the nurses needed to continue high quality healthcare for veterans. In 2009, Fairfield launched the Veterans Pride Program that offers qualifying veterans tuition-free enrollment at the University.

The Bellarmine Museum, which opened in 2010, holds a rich and varied collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art objects, including paintings by masters from the Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods; a large selection of historic plaster casts after important works from ancient Greece and Rome, including several donated to the University by the Acropolis Museum in Athens. In addition, the museum showcases a range of non-Western art objects (including pre-Columbian vessels, 19th-century South East Asian sculptures, and African masks), and is fortunate enough to hold twenty objects from the Celtic, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Medieval periods on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters.

For more information on the collections and programming, visit www.fairfield.edu/museum.

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Media Contact: Martha Milcarek, Asst. Vice President for Public Relations, (203) 254-4190

Posted on May 23, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 212