The West Virginia State Museum in Charleston and West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling (www.wvculture.org/museums) will be two of more than 1,000 museums participating in the fifth annual Smithsonian Museum Day on Saturday, Sept. 26. Across the country, museums will offer free admission on the day, reflecting the Smithsonian magazine’s spirit of celebrating culture, learning and knowledge.
Last year, more than 200,000 people enjoyed Museum Day, when more than 900 museums in all 50 states and Puerto Rico joined Smithsonian affiliated museums for this annual event.
“While our museums have always had a free-admission policy like the Smithsonian properties in Washington, D.C., we are excited to participate in a program that encourages people to visit museums of all types,” said West Virginia Division of Culture and History Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith. “Our Civil War flag exhibit at Independence Hall and the new state museum in Charleston celebrate our state’s heritage, land and people in special ways and we are proud to join museums around the country in this event.”
The state museums are two of eight West Virginia museums that are participating in the one-day event. The others are the Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum in Grafton, Arthurdale Heritage Inc. in Arthurdale, Castle Halloween Museum in Benwood, Huntington Museum of Art in Huntington, Museums of Oglebay Institute in Wheeling and Pocahontas County Historical Museum in Marlinton.
“Museum Day is an exceptional way to highlight the diversity of museums in our state and around the country,” Reid-Smith said. “It’s one of the best ways I can think of to let people know that there’s something for everyone when it comes to museums and that visiting museums is more than just about seeing collections, it’s about discovering your world and your place in that world.”
To participate in Museum Day, museum visitors must present the free Museum Day Admission Card which is available in the September 2009 issue of Smithsonian magazine or can be downloaded from www.smithsonian.com/museumday. Each card provides access for two people and one admission card is permitted per household. Listings and links to participating museums and sponsors also can be found at www.smithsonian.com/museumday.
This year, CITGO is the supporting sponsor for Museum Day.
For more information, contact Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner for the Division, at (304) 558-0220.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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