Military families can visit the Clay Center for free this summer
Free admission program kicks off Wednesday, June 1

(Charleston, W.Va.) 5/27/16 – In honor of the service of our many men and women in uniform, the Clay Center will once again offer free museum gallery admission to all active duty, National Guard and Reserve military personnel and their families through the Blue Star Museums program this summer.

Running from Memorial Day through Labor Day, the program is a partnership between Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Center joins more than 2,000 museums that will offer free admission to military families in 2016.

The Blue Star Museum program is the product of Blue Star Families, a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization that raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life. Joining Blue Star Families in the project is the National Endowment for the Arts, a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, bringing the arts to all Americans and providing leadership in arts education.

The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form1173 ID card (dependent ID) or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps – and up to five family members.

While at the Center, find yourself in the Island of Sodor with the “Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails” exhibit featuring a giant train track, activities to help sort and load cargo and a large model of Thomas the Tank Engine. Then, explore the wonders of transportation in “From Here to There,” opening May 28.

In the Museum of Art, discover two exhibits that have been curated from the Clay Center’s permanent collection. In “Creative Space,” see the different methods and approaches in interpreting works of art and in “Home Grown,” see pieces that show visual tributes to home in West Virginia.

For more information, visit or call 304-561-3570. Museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The Clay Center will be closed on Memorial Day. The complete listing of participating Blue Star Museums is available at