Kerry Brougher, Director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, announced Thursday the George Lucas Family Foundation has provided a transformative grant in support of the Academy Museum’s educational mission. The Academy Museum will use the funds to create an endowment underwriting free admission to the Museum in perpetuity for visitors ages 17 and younger. The George Lucas Family Foundation established the generous grant in honor of Sid Ganis, former President and current Vice President of the Academy’s Board of Governors and Chair of its Museum Committee. Brougher also announced the appointment of the Museum’s inaugural Director of Education and Public Engagement, Amy Homma, who was most recently at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.
Kerry Brougher said, “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. 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.”
Sid Ganis said, “I could not be more honored and humbled by George’s gift to young movie lovers around the world. 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. 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.”
“Although not every child who visits the Academy Museum will embark on a career in filmmaking, each young person deserves to be inspired by the new perspectives and ideas that come through their exposure to the arts,” said Brougher. “As we prepare for these early initiatives, it is a perfect time to bring Amy Homma, our new Director of Education and Public Engagement, into the fold. She brings with her a wealth of experience engaging visitors of all ages.”
Homma will oversee the Museum’s K-12 programming, including the Shirley Temple Education Studio initiatives, as well as public programs ranging from lectures, symposia, and panels to in-gallery talks and online programming. She previously served as the Acting Deputy Director of the Arts & Industries Building at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, where she created innovative pan-institutional and multi-disciplinary public programs, including a 12-hour conversation series that brought together noted writers, musicians, scientists, technologists, and other experts in numerous arenas. She also piloted new technologies and online experiences for visitors across multiple Smithsonian museums. As Director of Digital Learning at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, she created a diverse range of education programs for all ages focused on learning, collaboration, and experimentation and established an internationally recognized education studio with distinctive arts programming, including the museum’s signature teen program. She also initiated a partnership with the National Museum of Natural History to demonstrate the power of teaching art and science together and oversaw the development of education efforts for teachers, families, schools, youth, and adults.
Under Homma’s leadership, the Academy Museum will build meaningful, long-term connections with local schools and will present public programs that welcome the broadest audiences in Los Angeles and beyond. The Museum’s core education initiative will be its teen program, based in the Shirley Temple Education Studio, serving young people of all backgrounds across the Greater Los Angeles area. The program will encourage teens to think critically about the media that surrounds them and help them to develop the necessary skills to make their own films and digital productions.
“Movies, and the magic that surrounds them, offer limitless opportunities to delight, challenge, and educate both children and adults,” said Homma. “The Academy Museum’s programming will offer something for everyone. I am delighted to be joining the team and especially grateful to the George Lucas Family Foundation for ensuring a barrier-free experience for our next generation of movie makers and movie lovers.”
Additional details about Museum admission, hours, and ticketing will be announced at a later date.
About the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
The Academy Museum will be the world’s premier institution dedicated to the art and science of movies. Located on Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles, the Museum will be simultaneously immersive, experimental, educational, and entertaining. More than a museum, this dynamic film center will offer unparalleled experiences and insights into movies and moviemaking. Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano, the Museum is restoring and revitalizing the historic Saban Building—formerly known as the May Company building (1939)—at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. The Saban Building will feature six floors, including exhibition spaces, the 288-seat Ted Mann Theater, the Shirley Temple Education Studio, special event spaces, conservation areas, a café, and store. The new spherical addition will connect to the Saban Building via glass bridges and will feature the state-of-the-art 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater and the rooftop Dolby Family Terrace with its sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills.
The Academy is currently raising $388 million to support the building, exhibitions, and programs of the Academy Museum. The Campaign for the Academy Museum was launched in 2012, headed by chair Bob Iger and co-chairs Annette Bening and Tom Hanks. These industry leaders join other generous philanthropists who have named spaces, including Cheryl and Haim Saban (Saban Building), The David Geffen Foundation (David Geffen Theater), Rolex (Rolex Gallery), Dalian Wanda Group (the Wanda Gallery), Dolby Laboratories/Family of Ray Dolby (Dolby Family Terrace), The Walt Disney Company (Walt Disney Company Piazza), Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg (Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Gallery), Steven Spielberg (Spielberg Family Gallery), Shirley Temple Black and Family (Shirley Temple Education Studio), Gale Anne Hurd (Hurd Gallery), NBCUniversal, Netflix (Netflix Terrace), Participant Media, Cecilia DeMille Presley (Founders Room), Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman (Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman Terrace), The Simms/Mann Family Foundation (Ted Mann Theater), Jeff Skoll, The Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, Warner Bros. Entertainment (Warner Bros. Entertainment Gallery), Wasserman Foundation, and Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events LLC/Compass Group USA, Inc. The Academy Museum’s Digital Engagement Platform is sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.