The Annenberg Foundation is helping to fund the new UCSB Center for Film, Television and New Media facility with a $1 million gift.
On Monday, Wallis Annenberg, the vice president of the foundation and an honorary member of the center advisory board, presented the gift to UCSB. This amount brings donations received by the center to a total of $6.75 million — over half the $10 million needed to build the facility. David Marshall, Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts, said the academic complex will encompass 200,000 square feet and will house a public theater, a state-of-the-art production suite, instruction and research laboratories and a climate-controlled film and television archival space. In recognition of the contribution, the university will name a conference room in the facility for Wallis Annenberg, said Constance Penley, co-director of the center. Construction of the building is scheduled to begin in 2005.
The building will be located in parking lot 29, the lot between Robertson Gym and the Humanities and Social Sciences Building.
According to the center’s Web site, other contributions to the project include a $2 million donation from Joseph and Helene Pollock and their family for the construction of a public film theater in the center. Actor Michael Douglas contributed $1 million and The Carsey Family Foundation contributed $2.5 million, Marshall said.
Leonard Aube, managing director of the Annenberg Foundation, said the new facility will serve multiple purposes.
“The center will bring together students and visiting scholars from the campus’ departments of film studies and communication as well as 15 other departments that study film, video, television and new media,” he said. “So it’s in the context of the university’s liberal arts and sciences curriculum, but it’s intended to be a focal point for that great number of various departments.”
Penley said the center has three areas of programming including an Environmental Media Initiative, a Media Ownership Project and the UCSB Media Internship Program.
“Every contribution not only goes to concrete, but also to programming,” Penley said. “There are a lot of UCSB students out there but they aren’t necessarily film studies majors. We decided to open up the internship program to other majors.”
Penley said the $1 million marks the first major gift given to any University of California campus by the Annenberg Foundation.
The foundation made the contribution because it has a deep interest in supporting effective communications, Aube said.
“In this particular case, the Center for Film, Television and New Media by definition is essentially going to create a venue where students have access to some of the best practices in popular communications,” Aube said. “Therefore, this ties to the foundation’s interest in fostering a deeper and more meaningful communications among the public.”
Marshall said the facility will be a beacon for other departments and other campuses.
“Our faculty are working at the cutting edge of research and UCSB is well known for its interdisciplinary collaborations,” he said. “The center is really trying to play and important role in bringing people together from different areas to work on issues.”