Aspiring filmmakers, don’t ever say that George Lucas hasn’t done anything for you. This week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced it had received what it is calling a “transformative grant” from the George Lucas Family Foundation. This windfall of funding will allow the upcoming museum—set to open at some point in 2019—to offer free admission to all persons 17 years of age and younger, in perpetuity. Which is to say, George Lucas just made school field trips in the L.A. area a whole lot easier on budget-strapped classrooms.
The Academy has been working on the opening of its museum for several years now, and with that date now within sight, it was presumably the perfect time to get that patented George Lucas Bump. The organization didn’t announce the size of the grant—nor do we know exactly how expensive tickets will be for adults, once the museum is open—but it’s a pretty cool move by the foundation nevertheless. It’s also a move that could potentially inspire many additional thousands of children a year with the history of film.
Kerry Brougher, director of the museum, states that the organization is “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. … 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.”
Lucas, of course, has long been in the process of opening his own, sprawling museum in L.A., facing much public scrutiny along the way. It will be hard for anyone to criticize this particular move regarding the Academy museum, though.
As for what will actually be in the Academy Museum, it sounds pretty damn impressive. Including a 1,000 seat theater, the museum will feature moving exhibitions on all eras of film production, opening with a centerpiece on Studio Ghibli creator and animation legend Hayao Miyazaki. Check out the video below for more details on what you can expect to see in the museum once it opens.