Published: June 29, 2016
CHICAGO, ILL. — The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art announced June 24 that ongoing resistance from the not-for-profit group Friends of the Parks had caused it to eliminate Chicago from consideration as a potential site for the new museum. The board of directors and executive leadership of the museum confirmed that California will be the museum’s future home.
“No one benefits from continuing their seemingly unending litigation to protect a parking lot,” said George W. Lucas, founder and chairman of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. “The actions initiated by Friends of the Parks and their recent attempts to extract concessions from the city have effectively overridden approvals received from numerous democratically elected bodies of government.”
The location — a parking lot near Soldier Field — was originally selected by Chicago’s Site Selection Task Force in May 2014 and subsequently approved by the City Council, Park District, Plan Commission, Department of Zoning, Illinois General Assembly and the governor. When the city offered McCormick Place East as an alternative to the parking lot, Friends of the Parks announced plans to block consideration of that location as well as any lakefront site or park in Chicago.
On behalf of his wife, Mellody Hobson, and other members of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art board of directors, Lucas expressed gratitude to the many people throughout the community who worked to bring the institution to life on Chicago’s Museum Campus.
“We are deeply appreciative to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor Bruce Rauner and countless others for all the time and effort they invested in trying to secure the museum for Chicago,” said Lucas.
The education-focused public institution remains dedicated to expanding public understanding and appreciation of narrative art in all its forms, providing inspiration and learning, especially for young people.
“While Chicago will not be home to the museum, my wife and I will continue to enthusiastically support a wide variety of educational and cultural activities throughout the city,” Lucas said.
In a memo to supporters, the museum’s founding president, Don Bacigalupi, said he was heartened by enthusiastic support for the museum project in the arts community.
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