GRoW, the philanthropic initiative led by Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, a Vice President and Director of the Annenberg Foundation, is dedicated to supporting humanitarian efforts across the globe as well as innovative projects in education and the arts.
Repatriation 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 Hopi and San Carlos Apache artifacts that were being auctioned to the public in France, against the will of the Hopi and San Carlos Apache. After purchasing 25 of the sacred artifacts, Gregory promptly returned them to their rightful owners. His grant was featured on the front page of New York Times and covered by news outlets across the globe.
“As an artist,” Gregory said, “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."
Improving Outcomes for Children and Families
Recognizing the great burden of poverty on children and their families, Gregory has supported programs focused on breaking the poverty cycle, such as MONARCH SCHOOL in San Diego, CA, which provides students with an accredited education while caring for their basic needs, including meals, clothing and family support services. Gregory has also supported the EARLY LEARNING MOBILE TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM run by the Mooresville Graded School District in Mooresville, North Carolina – which is working with a curriculum developer that combines mobile gaming technology with the latest in cognitive research to accelerate student achievement; and the SMILES ACROSS AMERICA DENTAL PROGRAM in California, which provides children with oral disease prevention and oral health promotion services such as dental sealants, fluoride varnish treatments and family education, in a school-affiliated setting. Gregory also funded three programs in San Bernardino, CA, that offer a nurturing environment to homeless children and their families and foster healthier development and a brighter future, despite severe economic challenges: TIME FOR CHANGE FOUNDATION, DESERT MANNA MINISTRIES and COMMUNITY ACTION PARTNERSHIP OF SAN BERNARDINO.
Global Humanitarian and Environmental Concerns
In the area of health and human services, Gregory has funded programs for CARE FRANCE that provide drinking water to arid regions of Africa; and MEDECINS DU MONDE, which provides health care to underserved and at-risk youth in Peru and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2011, Gregory initiated a multi-year research program with the INSTITUT CURIE, supporting the creation of a laboratory of translational research in pediatric oncology that works to better understand the origin of neuroblastoma, one of the most common forms of childhood cancer, in order to identify new drugs targeting the tumor cells.
Arts & Culture
Believing that access to the arts is critical to a productive society, Gregory has funded arts education programs such as GRoW with THE WALLIS: A SPACE FOR ARTS EDUCATION at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing arts in Beverly Hills, California, where they partnered with K-12 schools to create arts education programs for young artists, students, teachers and families; WELCOME PERFORMANCES at the Royal Opera House in London, where families are invited to attend a performance and also experience the behind-the-scenes work that required to mount a main stage ballet performance; and the LOUVRE’S EDUCATIONAL TOOLS, which allow both school and individual families to interact with the Louvre’s collection in a much deeper way. Gregory has also supported special exhibitions at internationally recognized museums including MoMA, LACMA, the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Centre Pompidou, the Louvre and the Tate Gallery.