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Cal State LA Receives Million-Dollar Grant From Hauser & Wirth Gallery To Support Diversity In Filmmaking

Cal State LA Receives Million-Dollar Grant From Hauser & Wirth Gallery To Support Diversity In Filmmaking

Cal State LA has received a grant of $1 million from noted international modern and contemporary art gallery Hauser & Wirth to support the undergraduate program in the Department of Television, Film and Media Studies.

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State LA is committed to engagement and service for the public good. The university is ranked number one in the nation for the upward mobility of its students, many of whom are first-generation college students.

"Cal State LA's commitment to civic engagement and public service aligns perfectly with our gallery's desire to contribute to the communities where we work," said Marc Payot, partner and vice president of Hauser & Wirth, who also oversees all of the international gallery's activities in the United States. "We want to support scholarship in all forms, from art historical research and the preservation of artists' archives, to the efforts of young students seeking to become community activists themselves through the art and films they are learning to make."

The grant is the latest development in a partnership that began in fall 2017 with a new semester-long course titled Community Impact Media. This innovative course provides student filmmakers with hands-on experience in media production and offers storytelling mentorship to guide them through creation of original short documentaries about the inspiring work of local nonprofit organizations.

The participating nonprofits and social change initiatives featured in the student documentaries include Piece by Piece in Los Angeles, My Friend's Place in Hollywood, Youth Justice Coalition in Inglewood, Grades of Green in El Segundo, Communities for a Better Environment in Huntington Park and Green Technology in Altadena.

The Community Impact Media course is also envisioned as a way to support greater future diversity in the film and entertainment industries. By building bridges between academic theory and real-world application, this initiative uniquely supports Cal State LA students' ability to offer a wider set of advantageous skills as they enter the professional sphere.

Hauser & Wirth's gift will be disseminated over five years and will go toward purchasing equipment and software, student mentorship and employment, and faculty support and development. Hauser & Wirth is providing space at its large complex on East 3rd Street for public screenings by and programming with Cal State LA faculty and students.

Over the past year, Hauser & Wirth has worked closely with Cal State LA to help identify ways to support long-term, faculty-led growth in the Department of Television, Film and Media Studies, which is housed in the College of Arts and Letters. Funding will also be provided to faculty members in support of rewriting course content beginning with required foundation courses.

"It is particularly gratifying to find a partner who shares our institutional values, vision, and hopes for the future of students as both successful professionals and agents of social change," said Cal State LA Assistant Professor and filmmaker Heather Fipps, who leads the university's Student Production Unit and the Community Impact Media course.

Photo: Cal State LA, Community Impact Media, Fall 2017. (Credit: Heather Fipps/Cal State LA)

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