GRoW @ Annenberg™ Awards Grants to Two European Arts Organizations

Royal Opera House

Through his philanthropic initiative GRoW @ Annenberg™, Gregory Annenberg Weingarten continues his support for the arts with two new grants – one supporting the work of a young artist, the other working to inspire a new generation of artists.

Barbie® Foot at the Musées des Arts Decoratifs

In Paris, the Musées des Arts Decoratifs has added an exciting new work to its permanent collection:  Barbie® Foot, acquired through a grant from GRoW @ Annenberg™, Gregory Annenberg Weingarten’s philanthropic initiative of the Annenberg Foundation.  Designed by the young French artist Chloé Ruchon, Barbie® Foot combines foosball, an icon in the game world, and Barbie®, an icon in the world of toys, to question sexual codes and norms in society.  The standard foosball table is transformed with both teams now represented by twenty-two Barbie® dolls that have long hair, wear makeup and are dressed in short skirts and t-shirts.

Barbie® Foot will be a centerpiece of the large-scale exhibition,Des jouets et des hommes (Toys and People), which is being presented by the Musées des Arts Decoratifs and the Association of National Museums in France.  Featuring thousands of toys from antiquity to the present, Toys and People examines the relationship children have with their miniature reproductions of the larger world around them.  It also looks to answer how toys capture reality for children, particularly since toys are designed by adults.  The exhibition runs from September 14, 2011 – January 23, 2012 at the Grand Palais in Paris, France.

Welcome Performances at the Royal Opera House in London

This fall, the Royal Opera House in London prepares to launch Welcome Performances, a three-year project to bring main stage performances of opera and ballet to those families and students typically unable to afford tickets to these shows.  The first Welcome Performance on October 1, 2011 will provide approximately 2,000 individuals the opportunity to see Gianni Schicchi, a comedic, one-act opera by Puccini, and Rubies, part of the Jewels ballet by George Balanchine.

Made possible through a grant from GRoW @ Annenberg™, each Welcome Performance offers pre-show activities for underserved families including backstage tours, opportunities to play musical instruments and dress up in Royal Opera and Royal Ballet costumes, dance and music workshops, and question and answer sessions with the stage manager about how scenery is constructed and moved during the performances.

Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, a Vice President and Director of the Annenberg Foundation, is dedicated to supporting innovative projects in the arts, education and humanitarian efforts.  From the Paris-based office of GRoW @ Annenberg™, Gregory is among the most generous American contributors to France, as well as to organizations throughout the United States.

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