SFMOMA will give George Lucas its 2013 Bay Area Treasure Award. The award goes to visual arts leaders who are based in the Bay Area. It is given out by the Modern Art Council (MAC), the museum's biggest fundraiser. However, the award is also perhaps a strategic move. The director has submitted a proposal to construct a billion-dollar Lucas Cultural Arts Museum that honors “the art of storytelling” in the city’s Presidio Park. That would make them competitors.

Lucas will be the 14th person to receive the award. He joins a regal league of recipients, including artist Jim Campbell, large-scale steel sculptor Richard Serra, and photographer Ruth Bernhard. “I’m proud to be recognized by SFMOMA and this award in the Bay Area,” Lucas said in a statement. “It’s an honor to be included in the company of such esteemed artists and cultural figures.”

“We’re honored to celebrate such an original talent,” the president of the MAC said. “Lucas’s influence has made our region a center for innovation in film and animation. He has also contributed greatly to the community through his support of progressive education in K-12 schools, a shared priority for the museum.”

Money from the gala will go toward's SFMOMA’s programs promoting education, which help around 50,000 students, families, and teachers each year, as well as the museum’s exhibitions.

[via Artinfo]