LOS ANGELES – June 8, 2020 – After more than ten impactful years, the Annenberg Space for Photography (ASP), the first cultural destination to open in Los Angeles solely dedicated to photography, will not re-open after closing its doors to the public in mid-March, in order for the Annenberg Foundation to further focus its philanthropy on the coronavirus pandemic recovery.
ASP has brought a range of culturally relevant and unique photography exhibits to Los Angeles, showcasing photography in an intimate environment. Many of the exhibits continue to be shown in cities around the world.
Founder Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation created the community space a decade ago to celebrate not just outstanding photography, but its potential to engage and connect us to the world.
“It’s been a joy to share my favorite art form with the Los Angeles community for these ten wonderful years,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “Because a great photograph does much more than capture what’s in front of us. It captures what’s deep inside us, the trials and the triumphs the naked eye rarely sees. That’s why the Annenberg Space has been so meaningful to me, and to everyone who‘s been a part of it. We’ve staged some extraordinary exhibits; we’ve showcased some astonishing work; we’ve highlighted some critical issues. As hard as this moment is, I’m proud that we made so much stirring work so accessible.”
Going forward, the Annenberg Foundation will focus on continuing to offer its support to those affected by the pandemic. In addition, it will look at building out its commitment to social and economic justice issues.
ASP has been closed due to the COVID-19 health crisis for nearly three months. Given the state and city mandated social distancing restrictions on public cultural spaces, it is unknown when ASP would have been able to accommodate its regular numbers of guests.
Over the past decade, nearly one million visitors have experienced ASP’s distinctive and socially relevant exhibitions and programs including Who Shot Rock & Roll; Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop; National Geographic’s Photo Ark; Refugee; Generation Wealth; Identity: A Study of Race, Gender, Class, Sexuality and Ethnicity in America; and W|ALLS: Defend, Divide and the Divine.
Its most recent exhibit, Vanity Fair: Hollywood Calling, was on pace to become one of ASP’s most popular and well-attended exhibits, along with acclaimed in-person and online programming that attracted people from all over the world.
“The goal of the Annenberg Space for Photography was to inform and inspire the public by connecting photographers, philanthropy, and the human experience through powerful imagery and visual storytelling,” said Katie Hollander, Director of ASP. “I’m proud that we have accomplished that through our thought-provoking and diverse exhibits, original films, education programs, and panel discussions.”
The Annenberg Foundation will continue to support the arts, which has always been a means to connect and shine a light on the needs of its communities and have remarkable impact.
The Annenberg Foundation has a 30-year history of providing support to the arts, public health, social justice, education and education reform, underserved communities, criminal justice reform, and racial equity. ASP has worked to reflect those values and priorities, and will ensure that its past exhibits, archives of interviews, and audio tours will live online through social media and www.annenbergphotospace.org.
ABOUT THE ANNENBERG FOUNDATION
The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation focused on addressing the critical issues of our time for more than 30 years. Since 1989, it has funded programs in education and youth development; civic and community life; health and human services; animal services and the environment; and arts, culture and humanities.