Heritage Sites to Join Blue Star Museums; Will Offer Free Tours to Military Families
JONESBORO — Arkansas State University’s Heritage Sites programs have registered to become Blue Star Museums throughout the summer months. Participating programs will offer free admission tours at each location to active military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their immediate families, from Memorial Day (Monday, May 30) through Labor Day (September 5).
The National Endowment for the Arts sponsors the Blue Star Museums, a military appreciation program, for the arts. The program also aids participating museums to gain new audiences, provide community outreach and generate good public relations.
Participating A-State Heritage Sites include the Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott, Lakeport Plantation near Lake Village and Southern Tenant Farmers Museum in Tyronza. Admission is free year-round, with donations encouraged, to visitors at other affiliated A-State Heritage Sites. These include the Arkansas State University Museum on the campus, the Japanese American Relocation Center Cemetery at Rohwer and the World War II Japanese American Internment Museum in McGehee.
Heritage Sites develops and operates historic properties of regional and national significance in the Arkansas Delta. These sites provide educational resources for formal and informal learning, including serving as living laboratories for students in the university’s Heritage Studies Ph.D. program. In addition, they serve as economic catalysts in communities where they are located by attracting heritage tourists from around the country and the world.
A-State Heritage Sites also is restoring the Historic V.C. Kays House on the Arkansas State campus and serves as an administrative agent for Arkansas Delta Byways, the official non-profit regional tourism promotion association serving 15 counties in the Arkansas Delta. These include Arkansas, Chicot, Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Desha, Drew, Greene, Lee, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett and St. Francis counties.
A-State Heritage Sites has been instrumental in developing and promoting two National Scenic Byways that traverse this region: the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway and the Arkansas segment of the 10-state Great River Road, which runs along both sides of the Mississippi River, from its headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.
An independent federal organization, the National Endowment for the Arts funds, promotes and strengthens the creative capacity of communities by providing all Americans with diverse occasions for sharing in the arts.