When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences opens its long-awaited movie museum on Wilshire Boulevard, everyone under age 18 will be getting in free thanks to a major donation from the George Lucas Family Foundation announced Thursday.
The exact amount of the gift to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures was not released, but it was described as a “transformative grant” in support of the museum’s “educational mission.” It will provide free admission “in perpetuity” for all visitors age 17 and under, according to the Academy.
“At the Academy Museum, we are committed to helping educate our youngest visitors, the children and teens who will be the next generation of filmmakers, writers and visual artists,” museum director Kerry Brougher said in a statement. “To succeed, though, we must break down the financial barriers that make it difficult for families, students and teens to visit cultural institutions.
“We are deeply grateful to the George Lucas Family Foundation for understanding our mission so well and making it possible for us to waive admission for our youngest audiences, so they can engage with exhibitions and programs that will nurture their creativity and encourage them to tell their own stories,” Brougher said.
The donation from the famed “Star Wars” director’s foundation was made in honor of Sid Ganis, the vice president of the Academy Board of Governors and chairman of its Museum Committee.
“Education has always been a primary goal of George’s storytelling,” Ganis said. “Now through his incredible generosity young people from everywhere can experience and learn about the art and the techniques of filmmaking.”
The museum is expected to open later this year in the former May Company building on Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. The Academy is still in the midst of a $388 million fundraising effort to support the building’s construction, along with exhibitions and programming. The fundraising drive is headed by Disney CEO Bob Iger and actors Annette Bening and Tom Hanks.
Academy officials on Thursday also announced the appointment of Amy Homma as the museum’s director of education and public engagement. She most recently served as the acting deputy director of the Arts & Industries Building at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
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