George Lucas and his wife, Chicago investment fund chief Mellody
The gift, reported by the
The name and purpose provide links to Lucas' profession as a filmmaker, but the $50 million in Chicago gifts Lucas and Hobson have announced in the last few months reflect Hobson's position as president of Ariel Investments, a Chicago firm that manages $9 billion in assets. The couple married last June at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in Marin County.
The Tribune said they were approached for the arts center gift by Hobson’s mentor, Ariel Investments founder and Chief Executive
In December, the George Lucas Family Foundation pledged $25 million over five years to
Lucas' biggest philanthropic gesture in L.A. has been his $175-million pledge in 2006 to his alma mater, USC's School of Cinematic Arts, which included near-total funding for a new Interactive Media Building that opened last year.
Meanwhile, officials in San Francisco have cause for concern that Lucas might decamp to another city –- perhaps Chicago? -- to build a museum to house his movie memorabilia from the “
This month, the board in charge of the Presidio's development unanimously rejected Lucas' proposal to build the museum on a bayfront property he had preferred. It offered an alternate on the former Army base -- a proposal that a Lucas spokesman told the San Francisco Chronicle seemed like "a hail Mary," but would be considered. The Chronicle said Lucas told the Presidio Trust's board he'd also be listening to offers from other cities for his Lucas Cultural Arts Museum.
Parks , who died in 2006, went from farming roots in Kansas to launching his photography career in Chicago in 1940. By the late 1940s, he'd become the first black staff photographer for Life magazine, then one of the nation's most prominent periodicals and venues for photography.
In 1969, Parks directed the
Parks also beat Oscar front-runner