WASHINGTON – A foundation created by Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas — who is embroiled in a controversy over the location of a museum he wants to build in Chicago — is a new major donor to the Obama Foundation, which is overseeing the construction of the Obama presidential library and museum on the city’s South Side.
The Chicago-based Obama Foundation on Friday disclosed contributions it had received in the first quarter of 2016; new givers are stepping up as President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle decide which architect they want to design their legacy center, to be located in either Washington or Jackson parks.
Quarterly disclosures filed by the foundation don’t reveal the exact amount of any donation, providing only a broad range of giving.
New donors to the Obama Foundation are:
The Lucas Family Foundation, created as the LucasFilm Foundation, donated between $500,001 and $1 million. As the Sun-Times was first to report, Mayor Rahm Emanuel now is proposing to tear down McCormick Place East and build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on part of that site, instead of the currently proposed site just south of Soldier Field.
Lucas is married to Mellody Hobson, the president of Ariel Investments, which was founded by John W. Rogers Jr., who is very close to the president and first lady.
Rogers and his daughter, Victoria Rogers, donated between $250,001 and $500,000 in the first quarter of 2016.
Robert G. Clark, the CEO of the Chicago-based Clayco, contributed between $100,001 and $250,000. Clark is a member of a team advising the Obama Foundation on the selection of an architect for the center.
Steve and Lisa Gerber, who are from Indiana, gave somewhere between $200 and $100,000 and are described by the foundation as grassroots supporters.
Other donors who have given previously but threw more money in the pot are Scott Miller and Tim Gill and their Gill Foundation based in Denver. Gill is the founder of Quark Inc. Miller and Gill are in the $500,001 to $1 million range.
Also giving more was Sheila Anderson of Ocala, Fl. described by the foundation as a grassroots giver, donating between $200 and $100,000.