Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Meets Pre-Opening Fundraising Goal of $388 Million

Natalie Oganesyan and Gene Maddaus
·3-min read

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has exceeded its pre-opening fundraising goal of $388 million, director and president Bill Kramer announced Friday. A donation from film production company Laika closed out the campaign goal, the total of which encompasses capital gifts endowments, funding for education programs and other special gifts.

More than 13,000 donors contributed to the campaign, which is headed by chair Bob Iger and co-chairs Annette Bening and Tom Hanks, including individuals, corporations, foundations and government entities.

“Closing this fundraising campaign is an important and exciting milestone for the Academy Museum,” Kramer said. “We are deeply grateful to our campaign leadership and to our Trustees, donors, and partners who have made important commitments to the campaign. Their support is helping to make the Academy’s long-held dream of building the world’s premier film museum a reality.”

The Academy announced in January that it had reached 95% of the $388 million goal. However, in February the Academy acknowledged that the museum’s budget had ballooned to $482 million and said that it would have to undertake a second, “post-opening” fundraising campaign to raise an additional $100 million.

Newly named at the Academy Museum is the Laika Gallery dedicated to special collections, which will debut with “The Path to Cinema: Highlights from the Richard Balzer Collection,” an exhibition that will showcase a collection of pre-cinema artifacts. Metro Goldwyn Mayer is providing support for the museum’s core exhibition, “Stories of Cinema.”

Cheryl and Haim Saban made the largest contribution with a $50 million gift for which the Saban Building was named. Meanwhile, Eric and Melina Esrailian led a campaign effort to develop a program to increase accessibility and opportunity to underrepresented communities. Drs. Kathy Fields and Garry Rayant contributed to the museum’s general education fund in honor of Sid Ganis and Nancy Hult Ganis.

New donors to the Pillar Campaign, co-chaired by museum trustees Laura Dern and Kimberly Steward, which names the support columns in the Saban Building, include Julia and Ken Gouw in honor of Miyoshi Umeki, the Oneida Indian Nation, New York in honor of Native American musician and advocate Buffy Sainte-Marie as well as Steward and K Period Media in honor of Hattie McDaniel.

Additional philanthropists include: The David Geffen Foundation (David Geffen Theater), Rolex (Rolex Gallery), Dalian Wanda Group (the Wanda Gallery), Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation in honor of Sid Ganis, Dolby Laboratories/Family of Ray Dolby (Dolby Family Terrace), The Walt Disney Company (Walt Disney Company Piazza), Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg (Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Gallery), Steven Spielberg (Spielberg Family Gallery), Patricia Bellinger Balzer, Shirley Temple Black and Family (Shirley Temple Education Studio), East West Bank (East West Bank Gallery), Gale Anne Hurd (Hurd Gallery), Bob Iger and Willow Bay (Bob Iger and Willow Bay Terrace), NBCUniversal, Netflix (Netflix Terrace), Participant, Cecilia DeMille Presley (Cecil B. DeMille Founders Room), PwC, Richard Roth, Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman (Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Terrace), The Simms/Mann Family Foundation (Ted Mann Theater), Jeff Skoll, Wendy Stark of The Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, Barbra Streisand (Barbra Streisand Bridge), Steve Tisch (Steve Tisch Terrace), Warner Bros. Entertainment (Warner Bros. Gallery), Wasserman Foundation (Wasserman Bridge), and Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events LLC/Compass Group USA, Inc.

A post-opening campaign to raise new endowment, programming, operating and capital funds is being planned.

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