Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Antique Boat Museum and River Hospital Re-Launch Partnership; Blue Star Involvement

ABM continues to be one of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer

[See 5/22/15 update at the end of this article: Contains Statement Regarding Partnership with River Hospital]
CLAYTON, New York (May 20, 2015) – The Antique Boat Museum (ABM), North America’s premier freshwater nautical museum based in Clayton, NY, along with River Hospital of Alexandria Bay, NY, announced today that their award winning partnership will re-launch and span the 2015 summer calendar in support of our armed forces.

Beginning May 22, the Antique Boat Museum will feature a new exhibition located in the Haxall Building, which will run through the early fall, relating to the River Community Wellness Program (RCWP) based at River Hospital.

The RCWP at River Hospital provides intensive outpatient behavioral health services for active duty military personnel stationed at Ft. Drum. RCWP provides continuity of care for soldiers transitioning from an inpatient stay. It also serves as an intensive intervention option for mental health services locally to reduce potential admissions of service members to an inpatient level of care, focusing instead on building coping skills and supports in the community. It is the only program of its kind in the United States. The program keeps military members close to home while they are healing and learning to cope, using multiple forms of therapies such as Cognitive Processing Therapy, Group and Individual Therapy, Movement Therapy, Peer to Peer Therapy, Imaginal and In Vivo Exposure Therapy, as well as Psychiatry and Medication Management.

Through this partnership, the artwork and creative writing that has been done in recent years as part of Creative Arts Therapy will go on display to the public at the ABM.

In addition to the exhibition, participants in the RCWP will also be given the opportunity to explore the region’s beauty by climbing aboard one of the Museum’s in-water fleet boats to cruise the islands for relaxation and meditation time, as required by the program.

In the spring, the ABM and River Hospital partnership was recognized in Syracuse as a Non-Profit Collaborative Award recipient.

Along with the RCWP partnership, the ABM announced today that it will again serve as one of more than 2,000 Blue Star Museums across the country, providing complimentary admission to active military and their immediate families.

“With our close proximity to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, the nation’s most deployed installation, and the 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field, we feel as an institution that it is important to play a local role in the support of the troops we consider to be our friends and neighbors,” explained ABM Director of Marketing & Communications, Michael Folsom. “We look forward to engaging with those who visit us and hope to provide them with an enjoyable experience.”

In addition, River Hospital will again serve as the Official Sponsor of the Armed Forces at the Museum throughout the 2015 season, helping to underwrite those Blue Star admission fees, as well as the admission fees of all active and retired military members during the upcoming 51st annual Antique Boat Show to be held July 31 – August 2.

“Blue Star Museums has grown into a nationally recognized program that service members and their families look forward to each year,” said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet.
“It helps bring our local military and civilian communities together, and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”

This year, museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers. This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and dozens of children’s museums.

About ABM

The ABM, now open daily 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., is home to North America’s largest antique boat collection with more than 300 boats and over 1,000 boating artifacts. In addition, the Museum is also host of the longest running antique boat show, which will celebrate its 51st year this July 31 – August 2. For more information, please visit the Museum’s website at

About River Hospital

River Hospital was designated as a Critical Access Hospital in 2003. Holding 15 acute care and 9 swing beds, River Hospital also operates an active Emergency Room. Primary Medical Care, Behavioral Health, Laboratory, Physical Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, Ambulatory Surgery and Radiology services are available.  For additional information, visit our website at or call 315-482-2511.

About Blue Star Museums

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families. The program will run at the ABM throughout the entire 2015 season. Nationally, the program will run Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 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.

Some special or limited‐time museum exhibits or events may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, please contact the museum directly. To find participating museums and plan your trip, visit‐star‐museums.

All summer long, Blue Star Museums will share stories through social media. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums, on Facebook, and read the NEA Art Works blog for weekly stories on participating museums and exhibits.

Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums may contact, or Wendy Clark at 202-682-5451.

This is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families. Other NEA programs for the military have included the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.

5/22/2015 Update:

CLAYTON, New York (May 22, 2015) – “Despite the recent news regarding the potential changes to the River Community Wellness Program at River Hospital, the Antique Boat Museum and the hospital plan to proceed with their partnership as outlined in the news release dated May 20,” explained Michael Folsom, Director of Marketing and Communications. “Both organizations are avid supporters of our armed forces and feel strongly about relaying the message this partnership portrays. With or without the program at River Hospital, all elements of the partnership – exhibition of artwork, river cruises for soldiers, and admission discounts – will remain in effect for the Museum’s 2015 season.”