The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts has received two endowment gifts totaling $1 million.
The Walter and Peggy Grauman Endowment Fund, which establishes the Walter and Peggy Grauman Fellowship in Music, and the Steven D. Cochran Memorial Fund, will provide ongoing funding to support emerging talent through GRoW @ The Wallis, the organization’s education and outreach programs. GRoW @ The Wallis uses the arts to address social issues and respond to critical needs through leadership, learning, collaboration and partnership. Overseen by Director of Education Mark Slavkin, GRoW @ The Wallis has continued to thrive during the pandemic and The Wallis’ closure.
The Walter and Peggy Grauman Endowment Fund and the establishment of the Walter and Peggy Grauman Fellowship in Music are made possible by performing arts philanthropist Peggy Parker Grauman and her late husband, Walter Grauman. The Grauman Fellowship in Music, the first-ever fellowship program at The Wallis and the first of its type in Los Angeles County, will provide an annual fellowship award of $15,000 to advance the career of an exceptionally talented emerging classical pianist or strings player based in Los Angeles.
The program is intended to support the fellow during the transition from formal education to professional career. In addition to receiving $15,000, the Grauman Fellow will receive mentorship from The Wallis, including live performance opportunities, guidance on successful auditioning and exposure to career-readiness opportunities. Fellows will also be asked to plan and implement a community-based project to promote awareness and appreciation of classical music among new audiences in Los Angeles County, including younger audiences and those who lack regular access to the arts. The Wallis will announce the selection of the Grauman Fellow annually at the beginning of the season.
“I have personally witnessed Peggy and Walter Grauman’s passion for supporting talented young artists over our more than 20-year friendship, and I find it humbling that Peggy, who could have chosen to partner with any number of Los Angeles area institutions, is making this investment in GRoW @ The Wallis,” Slavkin said. “I believe it speaks to her belief in The Wallis as a creative and innovative institution, and it is a huge boost of confidence in our work.”
“Walter and I have made a special effort over the last 50 years to help advance the training and talent opportunities of so many outstanding young musicians here in Los Angeles County,” Grauman added. “One of Walter’s proudest accomplishments was in 1988 when he created the nationally recognized scholarship and arts training program at the Music Center known as the Spotlight Awards. I am excited that now The Wallis will have the ability to provide opportunities to talented, young string musicians and pianists through a mix of performance and professional learning opportunities during their fellowship year at The Wallis.”
The Steven D. Cochran Memorial Fund, committed to inspiring and encouraging a love for the performing arts among young people, is made possible by Wallis ambassador Dan Clivner, husband of the late Steve Cochran, a former board member and supporter of The Wallis. It is the first endowed fund of its kind at The Wallis and is dedicated to supporting education, arts learning and community engagement initiatives.
“Steve Cochran chaired The Wallis board’s Education Committee and continued to attend board meetings and GRoW performances as often as he could during his illness,” Slavkin said. “This includes the appearances of Steven’s Puppets that Steve and Dan sponsored, so that their shows on the Promenade Terrace of The Wallis were free for all children and families who attended. It was a huge source of joy to him to see our theaters filled with kids. We are deeply moved that Dan and many friends and family members came together to make such a significant gift, and it is an honor for us at The Wallis to steward Steve’s legacy in this way.”
“The Wallis is the cultural heart of Beverly Hills and the greater Los Angeles region,” Clivner added. “These funds will help bring youthful vitality to The Wallis and ensure the beat goes on for a long, long time.”
For information, visit thewallis.org.
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