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Lucas Family grant to film academy museum means free admission for kids and teens

Lucas Family grant to film academy museum means free admission for kids and teens
A rendering of the Academy Museum, due to open in 2019, as seen from Fairfax Avenue, with its spherical auditorium at left. (Renzo Piano Building Workshop / Academy Museum)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Thursday that the George Lucas Family Foundation has pledged a grant to support the educational mission of the soon-to-be-opened Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Museum director Kerry Brougher said the grant — which was for an undisclosed amount and donated in honor of Sid Ganis, former academy president and chair of the group’s museum committee — will be used to create an endowment allowing the museum to offer free admission in perpetuity to visitors ages 17 and under. This is in line with the neighboring Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where visitors 17 and under are also admitted free.

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“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,” 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.”

After years of delays and cost overruns, the museum is slated to later this year.

Even as he throws financial support to the academy museum, the “Star Wars” director is also founding the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which will house paintings, photography, illustration, cinematic art and digital art from his personal collection and is projected to open in Exposition Park, Los Angeles in 2021.

The academy museum also announced that Amy Homma has been hired as the new director of education and public engagement. Homma, who previously worked at the Smithsonian Institution, will oversee the museum’s K-12 programming, including the Shirley Temple Education Studio initiatives along with public programs such as lectures, symposia, panels and in-gallery talks.

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