Hearst Foundations Make Gift to Hearst Museum

In September 2017, the Board of Directors of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation (the “Foundations”) approved a $250,000 grant to the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology (the “Museum”). The award supports a series of marketing–communications initiatives and an implementation study grant that will seed a 2018 capital campaign to transform the Museum’s conservation science center.

The grant award comes at the perfect time for the Museum. Following a successful inaugural exhibition in its newly renovated gallery, the Hearst is recasting itself as a cultural hub for sharing stories and research with the UC Berkeley campus, Bay Area communities, and beyond. “Grants toward transformative efforts like those underway at the Hearst Museum are an example of our commitment to help leading cultural centers respond to evolving educational needs,” said Paul “Dino” Dinovitz, Hearst Foundations executive director. “The Foundations are pleased to support the museum.”

Working in partnership with digital design firm Free Range, the award allows the Museum to reimagine its visual identity—including the launch of a fresh web site in November—as it prepares to debut a new K-6 program and array of cultural offerings. One such offering relates to the Museum’s important media collection. This 117-year-old institution—one of the oldest at UC Berkeley—cares for 360,000 feet of 16MM color research film on North American Indian societies. Working in partnership with its Native American Advisory Council, the Museum will digitize and circulate this never-before-seen footage to interested publics.

The footage will also be made available for documentary film projects and special events, including screenings at the newly-renovated Kroeber Hall gallery or at off-campus venues, and will be shared with tribes around the country to be used for their own cultural revitalization projects. Many of the films document the construction or use of objects in the Museum’s collection and so could be edited to illustrate these items in future exhibits, or to complement contemporary documentary films produced by Native Americans.

As Museum Director Benjamin Porter noted: “These zeitgeist projects will inform, empower and grow audiences while placing the Museum firmly on the Bay Area’s map of cultural organizations worth visiting again and again. I am grateful to the Foundations for its steadfast and continuing interest in raising the capacity of the Museum to be a quality resource for audiences local and far.”

Looking ahead to 2018, the Museum is continuing on a fast-paced trajectory of building the kind of physical and virtual infrastructure that its global collection of 3.8 million objects deserves. The roll-out of new programs, such as Hands-On at the Hearst and Lounge Lecture Series are proving popular with audiences. And the imminent launch of The Phoebe Hearst Society, a multi-tier donor program that offers expert-led trips to destinations in California and overseas, is eagerly awaited by volunteers and supporters alike. “I’m thrilled the Hearst is helping Cal to increase community access to excellence by offering exciting programs both in and outside of its renovated gallery spaces,” said Museum Board President, Laura Wen-yu Young.


For further information about the Museum, please contact:

David Tozer, Head of Development
dtozer@berkeley.edu | (510) 642-3683