Feb 27, 2014
By Scott Walker
Star Wars creator George Lucas and his new wife, Chicago Investment Executive Melody Hobson, have donated $25-million to the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools to help construct a building for the arts.
They have requested that the school be named the Gordon Parks Arts Hall. Parks was the first African-American staff photographer at Life Magazine. He later became the first African-American to direct a major Hollywood film. His most famous was Shaft in 1971.
Lucas says, “We believe in the power of art to transform lives and communities.”
The new school will contain an art gallery, performance spaces of 700, 250, and 150 seats, and four art studios. The donation will cover more than half of the $44-million price tag.