Academy Museum to Offer Free Admission to Young Visitors Through George Lucas Family Grant

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Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

The grant will be used to create an endowment underwriting free admission to the museum.

The future Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, dedicated to the art and science of movies, on Thursday announced that it will create an endowment underwriting free admission to visitors aged 17 and younger via a grant from the George Lucas Family Foundation.

"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," said director Kerry Brougher. "To succeed though we must break down the financial barriers that make it difficult for families, students, and teens to visit cultural institutions."

He continued, "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.”

The grant was established in honor of Sid Ganis, former president and current vp of the Academy's Board of Governors and Chair of its Museum Committee. "I could not be more honored and humbled by George’s gift to young movie lovers around the world," said Ganis in a statement. "Education has always been a primary goal of George’s storytelling. Now through his incredible generosity young people from everywhere can experience and learn about the art and the techniques of filmmaking."

He continued, "With the impending openings of the Academy Museum and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles will soon have two major new resources for culture and education with a shared focus on the art of storytelling and a dedication to the next generation. We are proud and grateful that the George Lucas Family Foundation is making this tremendous commitment to serving the young people of L.A."

Catering to serious film scholars as well as casual movie buffs, the museum will showcase exhibitions and galleries that explore the making of hits such as The Wizard of Oz and Singin' in the Rain and also provide deep dives into less familiar corners of film history, like the silent era and early movies by African-American filmmakers. 

Amy Homma has been appointed as the museum's director of education and public engagement. Under her leadership, the Academy Museum is planning a core educational initiative to encourage young people to think critically about media and the arts, whether or not they pursue a creative career. 

"Movies, and the magic that surrounds them, offer limitless opportunities to delight, challenge, and educate both children and adults," said Homma, adding that the museum will offer programming for "everyone."

Located on Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, the Academy Museum will include a revitalized Saban building — formerly the May Company building — designed by architect Renzo Piano, featuring six floors of exhibition spaces, a 288-seat theater and a film center with "experiences and insights" into filmmaking. Two floors will be dedicated to a 30,000 square-foot permanent exhibition, Where Dreams Are Made: A Journey Inside the Movies.

The museum is set to open later this year, with hours and ticketing information coming soon.