November 17, 2008

Lucie Arnaz Visits the Lucy-Desi Center

Lucie Arnaz paid a visit to the Lucy-Desi Center and met with the Center's Acting Excutive Director, Ed Fagan on a new initiative.

From the Jamestown Post-Journal:

Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill was in Jamestown on Friday morning to see the center off on its newest venture - a national initiative that will combine humor and health care.

The center's initiative will bring humor to hospitals and clinics around the country.

"Laughter is the best medicine," said Ed Fagan, the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center's acting executive director. "We want to carry that idea to clinics and hospitals - anywhere where the healing power of laughter is most needed. We think this, more than any center or museum, most closely represents the way Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz wanted to enrich the world."

This weekend, experts from Tampa, Fla., St. Louis, Mo., and Rochester will come to Jamestown and collaborate with Lucy-Desi Center officials on how their initiative can best be undertaken. A local advisory committee has also been formed, according to Mary Jane Price, the center's mission and outreach director.

"This weekend marks a greatly needed, new direction for the Lucy-Desi Center," Ms. Price said.

Ms. Price said the weekend's roundtable discussion has been in the works for about the last six months - ever since she met Ms. Luckinbill at the National Humor Conference in June.

"We got to talking about my ideas for the (mission and outreach) department and discussing our thoughts on how we could best honor the legacies of her parents, and those kinds of things," Ms. Price said. "Other participants joined in the brainstorming, and now we're coming together this weekend to define our initiative."

Mrs. Luckinbill said the center's new initiative is "perfect."

"Since we first agreed to be involved here in Mom's hometown, all Desi and I have ever hoped for was that she and Dad would be remembered with something unique and uplifting," she said. "We thought Jamestown could be a powerful destination offering more than just memories and memorabilia with a vision toward the future. It's headed that way, and I think it's perfect."

Also Friday morning, Mrs. Luckinbill and Fagan announced that last month, a new three-year business and licensing agreement between Mrs. Luckinbill, Desi Arnaz Jr. and the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center was signed. The agreement means the center can continue using images and likenesses of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

"I can't overemphasize how important this licensing agreement is to the center," Fagan said. "Lucie and her brother have entrusted to us the legacy of their parents. We will make carrying that legacy forward in new directions a top priority."