The Annenberg Foundation

The Annenberg Foundation

Annenberg Foundation (main office)
2000 Avenue of the Stars
Suite 1000 S
Los Angeles, CA 90067
phone: 310.209.4560
fax: 310.209.1631

Media Inquiries

Annenberg Foundation (Pennsylvania Office)
The Annenberg Foundation
101 West Elm Street, Suite 640
Conshohocken, PA 19428

Annenberg Learner
1301 Pennsylvania Avenue NW #302
Washington, DC 20004
phone: 202.783.0500
fax: 202.783.0333

Our Story

The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation founded by Walter H. Annenberg. Serving as Ambassador to the Court of St. James from 1968 to 1974, Ambassador Annenberg enjoyed a distinguished career as a publisher, broadcaster, diplomat and philanthropist.  He was President, and subsequently, Chairman of the Board, of Triangle Publications, which included TV Guide and Seventeen magazine, as well as radio and TV stations nation-wide. 

The Annenberg Foundation was established in 1989 with $1.2 billion, one third of the assets from the sale of Triangle Publications. Ambassador Annenberg founded The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958 and The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California in 1971.  In 1983, he established the Washington Program in Communication Policy Studies.

Ambassador Annenberg endowed chairs at more than a dozen colleges; and major gifts to support the arts, presidential libraries, hospitals, orchestras, and museums. He and his wife Leonore Annenberg were celebrated art patrons whose collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces were donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

In 1993, the Foundation made a staggering commitment to public education with one of the largest gifts in philanthropic history: the $500 million Annenberg Challenge for School Reform, which worked to revive and inspire public school reform in eighteen sites across the nation. Its funding was spread among cities throughout the U.S. and catalyzed more than $600 million in matching grants. The Annenberg Challenge initiated reform in countless school districts in which work continues today.

Upon Walter H. Annenberg's death in 2002, his wife Leonore assumed leadership of the Foundation. In March, 2009, Leonore passed away, leaving the foundation's trusteeship to Wallis Annenberg and three of her children: Lauren Bon, Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Charles Annenberg Weingarten.

At their direction, the Foundation continues its historic program focus but is expanding to include environmental stewardship, social justice and animal welfare. Over the past several years, the Foundation has evolved from a traditional grantmaking institution to one that is also directly involved in the community with its unique charitable activities through which large-scale solutions to systemic problems are pursued.

The Annenberg Foundation
The Honorable Walter H. Annenberg and the Honorable Leonore Annenberg

Strengthening Nonprofits by Offering Professional Development and Technical Assistance

The Annenberg Capacity Building Initiatives: To further serve the community, the Foundation is committed to strengthening the nonprofit infrastructure through a series of efforts that include free executive development and subsidized grantwriting training.

Annenberg Alchemy is a free capacity building and leadership development program designed to assist small to midsized Los Angeles-based nonprofit organizations and their leaders. The sole cost of admission is the attendance of the nonprofit's executive director and board chair during the sessions. Annenberg Alchemy includes two phases: Leadership Seminar, Alchemy's signature course, and Alchemy+, the higher level course for graduates of Leadership Seminar who want to take their learning further.

Project Grantsmanship is a comprehensive, hands-on workshop held in Los Angeles, California designed to train nonprofit leaders to plan more effective programs and produce compelling proposals for funding. Development professionals from qualified nonprofits are eligible for low-cost grantwriting training. Additionally, program officers often participate on panels, informally named Meet the Grantmakers, with Los Angeles nonprofit leaders to better acquaint them with the Foundation and its mission. 

Our Philanthropy

Bridging Private and Public Partnerships
The Foundation has supported a number of collaborative projects with city departments and nonprofits to create new opportunities, benefits and experiences for the people in our community.

The Wallis Annenberg Heart Program: Coordinating with both the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County fire protection agencies along with private and public healthcare entities, the Foundation helped create a new paramedic system for improving the diagnosis and treatment of chest pain in thousands of Los Angeles area residents each year. Implemented in 2005, the new method replaced previous 4-lead EKG procedures, with a more accurate and revealing 12-lead system that helps paramedics and hospital-based physicians better diagnose and treat patients with symptoms of heart attacks.

Creating Community Space

While all of the following efforts incorporate public private partnerships, they are also examples of another priority of the Foundation: creating community space. The Foundation has been instrumental in a number of projects which preserve and repurpose historic properties for public use.

Annenberg Space for Photography: The Foundation created a new community cultural destination that informs and inspires the public by connecting photographers, philanthropy and the human experience through powerful images and stories, located on the former site of the Shubert Theater in Los Angeles, California. The Photography Space features images by established and emerging photographers in cutting-edge digital format and traditional print, lectures, workshops and other events.

Annenberg Community Beach House: The five-acre former Marion Davies Estate at 415 Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, California is a public community beach house with recreational and meeting facilities, a pool, paddle tennis courts, and ready access to the beach. The facility is designed to provide a vibrant public recreational destination for the region.

Not a Cornfield: A living sculpture in the form of a 32-acre field of corn in Los Angeles, California was created in 2005 by artist and Foundation Trustee Lauren Bon. The “Not a Cornfield” temporary art installation was located just north of Chinatown and south of Lincoln Heights on the site of the future Los Angeles State Historic Park. Major design elements – including community access—were created through the broad input of local residents and public officials. The program enabled visitors to the site to participate in far-ranging artistic and cultural activities while addressing larger issues of community space and urban sustainability.

The Universally-Accessible Treehouse in Torrance, California: The first universally-accessible treehouse in a public space in California was opened April 10, 2005 at Wilson Park in Torrance, California. The treehouse, a 2,500 square foot wooden structure, was designed to give children and adults of all ages and physical abilities an awe-inspiring experience -- and a bird's eye view. Created as a service to the immediate community and as an inspiration for others, nearly 30 treehouses have been built nationally.

Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, Beverly Hills, California: The landmark, historic Beverly Hills Post Office (adjacent to the Beverly Hills City Hall) was preserved and transformed into a dynamic performing arts and cultural facility for the presentation of theater, dance, music, professional children's theater and other cultural activities. The Center features a 500-seat theater, a 150-seat studio theater/rehearsal hall, classrooms, café, gift shop and sculpture garden. The project opened in 2013

Malibu Legacy Park Project: The Foundation offered a 1:1 challenge grant to the City of Malibu to help raise funds for a project to address water quality improvement, habitat restoration, educational outreach, and improved recreational opportunities in Malibu, California through the creation of a 15-acre park on undeveloped land.

Ocean Alliance's Tarr and Wonson Paint Manufactory: The Foundation provided funding to help purchase, preserve and restore the Tarr and Wonson Paint Manufactory in Gloucester, Massachusetts. This historic 1863 building at the entrance to the harbor will become the headquarters for Ocean Alliance, a world renowned nonprofit oceanographic research center.

Philanthropic Initiatives

Metabolic Studio: A think tank and studio dedicated to the preservation and perpetuity of living things in an urban environment, Metabolic Studio explores the use of art, creative thought and care of the environment. Research, projects and events address issues of urban land use, farming, social justice, culture, environmental responsibility, and the need for a more balanced use of global resources.

In Fall 2013, on the centenary of the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio performed One Hundred Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a commemorative artist action to connect Los Angeles to its water source. This performative parade of 100 mules traversed the 240 miles of pipelines and canals that bring water from the Eastern Sierras through a gravity-fed system to Los Angeles, passing through three counties and nearly 50 communities along the way.

Explore: Created and led by Foundation Vice President and Director Charles Annenberg, explore is a multimedia organization that documents leaders around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. Both educational and inspirational, explore creates a portal into the soul of humanity by championing the selfless acts of others.  explore features a wide range of topics—from animal rights, health and human services, and poverty to the environment, education, and spirituality. Delivered in short, digestible bites, explore films appeal to viewers of all ages, from children learning about other cultures for the first time to adults looking for a fresh perspective on the world around them.  explore's growing library consists of more than 250 original films and 30,000 photographs from around the world.  

GRoW: Led by Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, a Vice President and Director of the Foundation. GRoW is dedicated to supporting innovative projects in the arts, education and humanitarian effortsIn December 2013, Gregory announced that the Annenberg Foundation had purchased 24 sacred Native American artifacts from an auction house in Paris for the sole purpose of returning them to their rightful owners, the Hopi and San Carlos Apache Nations.  

Additional Information

In 2005, its 15th anniversary, The Annenberg Foundation issued a report to convey the scope and depth of its investments in education, the arts, civic life and health. Click here to read more about this publication.

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To all the wonderful staff at Sarah House, words cannot express the gratitude I have for what you all did for my grandma and my entire family. You helped me look at death as a beautiful journey that grandma was on, it really helped us get through a very difficult time. I would not have wanted to be anywhere else but there in your serene environment. I feel very fortunate that we got to be there with her.