GRoW @ ANNENBERG TM is the philanthropic initiative led by Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, Vice President and Director of the Annenberg Foundation. It is dedicated to supporting humanitarian efforts across the globe as well as innovative projects in health, education, civic & cultural life and the arts, some of which are highlighted below.
Return of Native American Objects
Gregory's own experience as an artist has fostered a deep appreciation for the visual arts. In December 2013, Gregory directed the purchase of sacred Native American objects that were being auctioned to the public in France, against the will of their rightful owners. After purchasing 25 of the sacred objects, Gregory promptly returned them to their rightful owners. His grant was featured in the New York Times and covered by news outlets across the globe.
As an artist, I was struck by the awesome power and beauty of these objects. But these are not trophies to have on one’s mantel; they are truly sacred works for the Native Americans. They do not belong in auction houses or private collections. It gives me immense satisfaction to know that they will be returned home to their rightful owners, the Native Americans.
Educational Opportunities and Cultural Diplomacy for Students and Families
Recognizing how education can lift families out of poverty and provide cultural diplomacy, Gregory has supported programs focused on scholarships for promising students and support for families in need. Over the years Gregory has supported a Los Angeles based organization called One Voice that provides support to Scholars which helps low-income students from underserved Los Angeles-area high schools to reach their dreams of a college degree. In addition, One Voice provides immediate intervention and relief services to low income families in crisis situations. Gregory has also supported Los Angeles Trade Technical College through funds directed to support scholarship programs, which assist students at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College with tuition and textbook expenses. Contributions to Peace By Tourism provide scholarship support to students attending the Institute Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France. Peace by Tourism, Inc. supports trainees, both Israeli and Palestinian, who study and work together in the business of hotels and restaurants in an area of the world where tourism is a fundamental source of economic development.
Global Humanitarian and Environmental Concerns
In the area of global humanitarian and environmental concerns, Gregory has funded programs for Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital that provide essential primary healthcare services to char and riverbank-based population clusters in northern Bangladesh; and the National Parks Foundation, which enriches America’s national parks and inspires generations of national park enthusiasts. In 2011, Gregory initiated a multi-year research program with the Institut Curie, supporting the creation of a research laboratory.
Arts, Arts Education & Culture
Believing that access to the arts is critical to a productive society, Gregory has funded arts education programs such as GRoW @ THE WALLIS: A Space for Arts Education held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California. The Wallis partners with K-12 schools to create arts education programs for young artists, students, teachers and families; The Royal Opera House Welcome Performances in London, where families are invited to attend a performance and also experience the behind-the-scenes work that is required to mount a main stage performance; and the LA Opera, which is one of the largest opera companies in the United States based in Los Angeles, California. Gregory has also supported special exhibitions at internationally recognized museums including Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Centre Pompidou, the Grand Palais, and the Louvre.