A $5 million grant from The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] to Chicago's Millennium Park project will create the "Boeing Galleries," two new outdoor exhibition spaces that will open this summer.
Boeing announced the grant at a press conference today at the Chicago Cultural Center in a formal presentation by President and Chief Executive Officer James Bell to Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Construction already has begun on the Boeing Galleries, which are planned to open in June. Located on the Park's south and north mid-level terraces, above Wrigley Square and the Crown Fountain respectively, the open-air gallery spaces will feature regular exhibitions of both visual arts and sculpture, primarily in the spring and summer months.
"Boeing is excited to be counted among the contributors to Chicago's Millennium Park," said Bell. "The Boeing Galleries will build upon the city's rich history of public art in a venue that will be enjoyed and cherished for generations to come." Bell added that Boeing strongly supports the vision and innovative spirit that Millennium Park represents.
Mayor Daley referred to Boeing's contribution as another successful example of the great things that can happen when the public and private sectors work together to achieve a common goal. "We are proud to have Boeing, one of the newest members of Chicago's business community, represented in Millennium Park in this way," he said. Daley also noted that the grant is the last major capital contribution needed to complete major construction within the park.
A portion of the Boeing contribution will be used for an endowment that will help fund visual arts exhibitions in the galleries. Boeing was a sponsor of the "Family Album," a photographic exhibition presented last summer in the park. This summer, "Revealing Chicago: An Aerial Portrait," opening on June 10, will be the first exhibition in the new gallery spaces.
The Millennium Park donation kicks off a limited capital investment program for Boeing in the Chicago area. According to Bell, this and future investments are intended to build on the solid foundation the company has established in Chicago through its ongoing support of community initiatives. Chicago has been the site of the company's world headquarters since 2001.
Boeing is the world's leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft. Boeing employs more than 159,000 people in 48 states in the United States and 67 countries, with major operations in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, Southern California and St. Louis. Total company revenues for 2004 were $52.5 billion.