Former President Obama unveils plans for presidential center

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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What Have the Obama's Been Up To?

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Former President Barack Obama has revealed plans for his presidential center in the Jackson Park neighborhood in Chicago's South Side, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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He and former first lady Michelle Obama visited the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago Wednesday and discussed the center as well as goals for the space and the design, which the Chicago Sun-Times reported will include three buildings -- a museum, library and auditorium.

“It’s about hope. It’s about belief. It’s about a story that our kids tell themselves when they see a world-class institution in their community, populated by people who come from their community, then they have a sense of importance,” Obama said. “And that ultimately is what I want to give back because that’s what Chicago gave to me.”

Obama said he hopes to include food trucks, barbecue grills, basketball and a recording and film studio on the center’s campus.

WBBM reported that Obama does not want the place to be a monument, but a space to help develop the next generation of leaders.

“It’s not just a single building, but it’s more like a campus,” he said. “Because what we want this to be is the world’s premier institution for training young people and leadership to make a difference in their communities, in their countries and in the world. That is our goal.”

The studio space, the Sun-Times reported, would be for artists like Chance the Rapper, Spike Lee and Bruce Springsteen to speak about making art with social commentary.

“Right now, what many of you saw as you came in, you saw the models, you saw the pictures – that’s our basic conception,” Obama said. “But it’s not fixed yet. We want to continue to have input to make sure we get this just right, because ultimately this is your center, not just mine.”

Renderings of the Obama Presidential Center and the Obamas’ visit to Chicago can be seen below.