Our friends at Newsarama have published the news that Comic-Con International has staffed a key component to its planned Comic-Con showcase, the Center For Popular Culture, housed in the former Hall Of Champions Sports Museum in Balboa Park. Brit ADAM SMITH, originally from Burnley in Lancashire, joins the company after a successful four-year career as Executive VP of Commemorative Air Force in Texas, spearheading the design, fundraising and construction of that popular aviation museum, taking on a similar task for CCI.
Smith will be making quite the change in interest after a full lifetime’s work in the skies, previously serving as Curator of the Museum Of Flight in Scotland, before crossing t’pond and taking on the roles of Museum Director for EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) and Senior VP at the boldly-titled Center To Advance The Pilot Community, before his appointment at Commemorative Air Force. Still, that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t always had his heart set even further above the clouds.
“I’m excited that my lifelong passion for pop culture, science fiction and comics, combined with my experience in museum management, will blend effortlessly in our efforts to get this new facility off the ground,” said Smith in a release today. Pun fully intended, no doubt.
The Center For Popular Culture is a 70,000-square-foot facility which, at this moment, is currently lying dormant as part of the Federal Building in Balboa Park. When the new museum is opened – expected to start taking visitors some time in 2018 – it will serve not only as an expansion to the San Diego Comic-Con exhibit that featured in the New San Diego Library but also as a “new cultural attraction [which] will explore the appreciation of comic book and popular arts, films, and science fiction/fantasy literature through exhibitions, performances, educational programs, and outreach efforts.” Exciting stuff.
CCI’s Chief Communications & Strategy Officer David Glanzer spoke to the challenges ahead for the project and also the level of confidence they have in Smith. “The level of talent interested in this position made the choice a daunting one. However, in Adam, we feel we have found the perfect balance of fan enthusiasm and necessary expertise to bring this new endeavour to life.”
We at An Englishman In San Diego wish Adam all the very best for the project and look forward to seeing the fruits of his labours, when the doors are opened next year. Personally, we think he’s going to do a sterling job. The bloke studied at Leeds University in his youth, for heavens sake: if he can handle that, the man can handle anything!