When Star Wars creator George Lucas first proposed his visual arts mainstay, the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, it was presumed it would be built and housed in San Francisco, not too far from Lucas’ hometown of Modesto, California. But talks between the filmmaker and the city never actually reached the action stage, and so the museum began looking at other places, most likely Chicago, where a riverfront location as the optimal spot. But Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has a better idea for Lucas: put the museum in L.A.!
Taking advantage of social media’s power to sway people, Garcetti advised his citizens to show their love and support for their city by taking to Twitter with the hashtag “#WhyLucasInLA,” along with their reasons why the museum belongs in L.A. and photos or videos of potential locations. To say that the campaign was a success would be understating things.
People far and wide (in Los Angeles) joined the fun, and it was a great combination of random people, journalists, and businesses. Here’s Garcetti and his sign, followed by a celebratory tweet for the hashtag’s trending power.
— Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti) June 11, 2014
The L.A. proposal would put the museum in Exposition Park, near the University of Southern California, where Lucas started his professional path to filmmaking. It’s a campus to which he has already donated $175 million for the renamed USC School of Cinematic Arts. The LCAM would also sit near the Natural History Museum, the California African-American Museum, and the California ScienCenter.
Along with workshops, the museum would give visitors the scope on a multitude of different branches of visual art. Exhibits would focus on comic illustrations, digital animation, cinematic art and design, and visual effects. Examples cited on the website include Toy Story 2, Jurassic Park, Mad Magazine, and — surprise! — Star Wars. Listen to Lucas talk about the project himself in the video below.
Expect an announcement on LCAM’s location by the end of the summer, with construction to presumably begin soon after.