*Filmmaker George Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, are donating $25 million to The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools that will pay for a new arts hall to be named after late photographer Gordon Parks.
Set for a 2015 open on the schools’ Hyde Park campus, the 86,000-square-foot Gordon Parks Arts Hall will support programs in theater, music and the visual arts with three new performance halls, studios, rehearsal and practice rooms, a digital media lab, and more.
The Hyde Park campus has about 1,800 students in nursery school through 12th grade.
Hobson and Lucas insisted that the new building be named in honor of Gordon Parks, the iconic African American photographer, writer, film director, musician, and social justice advocate.
Parks first came to Chicago at age 17, in 1929, where his first-hand experience of urban life for African Americans during the Depression helped shape his worldview. A later stint in Chicago helped launch his photography career in earnest, and some of his most recognizable images were captured here.
“We believe in the power of art to transform lives and communities,” said Lucas. “Gordon Parks’ work did just that. Keeping his example at the heart of one of the nation’s outstanding urban schools will serve to inspire future generations for many years to come.”
“It was important to us that the University of Chicago campus have a building named for an African American, given the diverse community in which it sits, and the outstanding contributions to our society by people of color,” said Hobson.
Hobson is president of the Chicago-based Ariel Investments. She married the “Star Wars” filmmaker in 2013.
- Amiri Baraka’s 'Dutchman' Opens July 15 Limited Engagement @ Edgemar Center for Arts
- 50 Cent Celebrates 40th; Diddy Offers Him Lifetime of Ciroc
- Kanye Babysits Kourtney's Kid After Bust-up with Scott Disick
- Cynthia Bailey Responds to NeNe Leaving RHOA
- Maybe We Can't Solve World Hunger...But We Can Put a Serious Dent in It By Doing This!
- George Takei Apologizes for Calling Clarence Thomas 'Clown in Blackface'
- ‘Empire’s’ Kaitlin Doubleday Looking Forward to Chris Rock, Alicia Keys
- Paula Deen Says She Didn't Post the Brownface Pic; Her Twitter Handler Did
- Rick Ross Released from Jail after Posting $2 Million Bail
- FSU’s De’Andre Johnson Says Woman Called Him N-Word Before he Hit Her (Report)
- Discover More Stories on EURweb: Click Here