1,300 museums offer military families free tickets

WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 1,300 museums across the country are offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families all summer in a program with the National Endowment for the Arts.

The expanded Blue Star Museums program is being announced Monday with military families in San Diego where 17 museums are participating. The offer runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The program began last year with more than 600 museums and has added more than 500 new destinations for 2011.

The list includes a wide range of museums, including the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Flight in Seattle, the Art Institute of Chicago, New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Va.

Locally, the program includes the Telfair Museums, Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Museum & Nature Center, the Georgia Southern University Museum and the ARTworks: arts council of Beaufort, Port Royal and the Sea Islands.

Copyright 2011 WTOC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.