Offering free admission for those on active duty
By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH - Two museums in Indian River County have decided to thank active military personnel this summer by offering free admission.
Active duty military members and their immediate family members can visit the Vero Beach Museum of Art and the Indian River Citrus Museum free through Labor Day 2012. The program includes active duty reserve and active duty National Guard.
The two museums are joining a group of more than 600 museums nationwide to participate in Blue Star Museums, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families. The program is designed to honor servicemen and women.
Rebecca Rickey, executive director of the Heritage Center in Vero Beach, was quite excited to have the citrus museum participate in the program this year.
"We don't charge admission for the museum anyway, but we wanted to be part of the Blue Star Museums anyway," Ms. Rickey said.
She and other members of the staff and several of the volunteers at the museum are retired military personnel and saw this program as a wonderful way to thank active military personnel.
"People aren't going on long vacations right now, they're doing the 'staycations' still," Ms. Rickey said.
With Patrick Air Force Base located just to the north of Indian River County, she hopes to have more visitors this summer because of their participation in the program.
The Heritage Center and Indian River Citrus Museum are located in a building that was used by servicemen in World War II, so the location actually has a military history of sorts, Ms. Rickey said.
"Where the museum used to be was a servicemen's lounge. They used to sit in there and write letters and read magazines," she said.
The Vero Beach Museum of Art is undergoing renovations this summer, but the Laura and Bill Buck Atrium and the Wahlstrom Sculpture Garden will be open.
"Form, Color, Light: Cast Glass" by Rick Beck will be on display in the atrium from June 23 through Oct. 14.
Mr. Beck is known for his cast glass sculptures of mechanical objects, such as saws, backscratchers and spoons, often in deep and vibrant hues and in much larger scale than the objects that inspired them, a press release said.
"We will have large sculpted glass works, very vibrant and colorful," said Joe Ellis, marketing coordinator for the art museum.
Art museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hours for the citrus museum are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information about participating Blue Star museums, visit www.arts.gov.
For more information about the Vero Beach Museum of Art, visit www.verobeachmuseum.org.
For more information about the Indian River Citrus Museum, visit www.veroheritage.org.