Dear Members of the Presidio Trust,
As a travel author and journalist it is my job to find venues that will be of the highest interest to my readers and tourists. One of the challenges of my work is to find the sights and attractions that are not merely historical or famous, but actually remain popular and relevant to contemporary and future audiences. Destinations that were popular with previous generations do not always sustain their public interest.
There is no question that the name of George Lucas alone, attached to anything, attracts attention. Through his beloved films, George Lucas has fostered a reputation for enduring quality and imagination. However, it is the choice of subject matter that sets the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum apart as an enduring attraction for tourism, education and inspiration. Illustration has been a universally mode of story telling since the beginning of civilization in cultures across the planet. Unlike other forms of visual art, which come in and out of vogue, the art of Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish and others in the collection of the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum have unquestionably resonated with the general public over the past century and continue to inspire, unite and encapsulate the emotions of our culture.
The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum is precisely the sort of area attraction that I want to feature in a guidebook, magazine article or other media outlet. More directly: it is the sort of place that I already know I want to visit, and bring my family and friends. It has appeal in numerous spheres, from education to entertainment, and engages lovers of art, cinema, and above all, good stories.
There are some commonalities in what George Lucas is striving for with this museum, and my friend Sir Richard Taylor has done with the ‘Weta Cave’ in Wellington, New Zealand, albeit on a smaller scale. The Weta Cave is a mini museum and shop showcasing the artwork of Weta Workshop and Weta Digital in film and television, including features like The Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit, King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia. The Weta Cave, which includes a limited tour, an exclusive film documentary, periodic book signings, artist demonstrations and other special events, also promotes the independent artistic endeavours of Weta artists, including sculptors, illustrators, authors and computer effects artists. The Weta Cave has become a focal point not only for tourism in the nation’s capital but a creative heart for the local artist community.
On a much larger scale, The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum will become a core cultural arts attraction for not only the Presidio and the San Francisco Bay Area, but will undoubtedly become one of the celebrated museums of the country.
As such I enthusiastically give my professional recommendation to the Presidio Trust that the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum should be awarded with development of the former Commissary site at Crissy Field. The museum will be a valuable asset for tourism, education and culture for generations to come.
Contributor to CNN Travel, BBC Travel and more than 30 guidebooks for Insight Guides, DK Eyewitness, Berlitz, Thomas Cook, Lonely Planet and others.