On the heels of reopening with its 2021/2022 Season, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is thrilled to announce a $1 million-dollar leadership gift from Gregory Annenberg Weingarten through GRoW @ Annenberg, a philanthropic initiative of the Annenberg Foundation. Given in honor of Weingarten’s mother, Wallis Annenberg, for whom The Wallis is named, the gift will support the continued success, growth, and innovation of GRoW @ The Wallis educational initiatives over the next five years.
The Wallis’ umbrella for the robust mix of education and outreach programs was originally established as GRoW @ The Wallis in 2015 by a visionary gift from Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family to ensure arts learning as central to The Wallis’ mission. The Education Wing at The Wallis is named in the Weingarten family’s honor. Weingarten is a Vice President and Director of the Annenberg Foundation, a family foundation established by Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg in 1989 and currently led by Wallis Annenberg, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO. Gregory has served as a member of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Board of Directors since 2018. Regina Weingarten, Gregory’s wife and philanthropic partner, also served as a Board member of the Performing Arts Center for two years from 2016 to 2018.
GRoW @ The Wallis uses the power of the arts to address critical needs in the greater community through arts leadership, learning, collaboration and partnership. Established because of The Wallis’s commitment to the belief that everyone deserves to learn and grow through the arts, GRoW @ The Wallis features a wing on The Wallis’ campus dedicated to sharing the arts with learners of all ages. Arts learning is integral to all that is done at The Wallis. Overseen by Director of Education, Mark Slavkin, long recognized as a dedicated advocate for children, families and the arts, GRoW has continued to thrive and even innovate during the pandemic, particularly in its Creative Aging programs. As the pandemic left many older adults feeling isolated and alone, the weekly online classes offered by The Wallis helped participants connect to a community of peers.
“Gregory’s passion for arts education is evident in his significant contributions globally for over two decades culminating in this significant investment in the future of The Wallis,” says Michael Nemeroff, The Wallis’ Chairman of the Board. “We are proud to serve the larger community through the programs of GRoW @ The Wallis. Everyone – of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds – is invited to participate. This gift will help ensure The Wallis’ continued vibrancy as a destination for the performing arts, education and civic life in Los Angeles.”
Slavkin remarks, “A gift of this magnitude is a game-changing investment in the future of GRoW @ The Wallis. Gregory’s generosity affirms our belief that the arts are a unifying force to help people recover from the trauma of the pandemic. We are deeply grateful for this forward-thinking investment, which will ensure that GRoW @ The Wallis’ deeply meaningful work of arts learning, education, and outreach will continue to thrive.”
“I have always been proud to support the work of GRoW @ The Wallis and even more so now as we make this gift in honor of my mother,” says Weingarten. “Its programming, staff and governing board – beginning with Wallis Annenberg – share GRoW’s long-standing philanthropic value that every person deserves access to the arts, and that starts with arts education.”
Weingarten, who received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University and worked as a journalist at The Times of London, went on to become an accomplished artist whose work has been exhibited in galleries and private collections throughout the United States and Europe. His philanthropic work is both programmatically and geographically diverse and ranges from repatriating sacred Native American objects from Paris to the United States to supporting teachers in remote areas of Peru, building healthcare centers in Bangladesh, supporting school safety programs in Watts, California, to funding museums, opera companies, and numerous student scholarships across the U.S. and Europe. He is a member of various boards and committees, including London’s National Gallery and V&A Museum; Paris’s Les Talens Lyriques, Opera & Ballet, Louvre Museum, and Musée des Arts Décoratifs; and across the United States, the National Park Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
For information on giving at The Wallis, please contact Rachel Fine, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, at [email protected] or 310.246.3800.