Cal State LA receives million-dollar grant from Hauser & Wirth Gallery to support diversity in filmmaking

January 23, 2019

Ongoing five-year partnership devoted to advancing the use of film as a tool for social change


By Cal State LA News Service

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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Hauser & Wirth was founded in 1992 in Zurich by Iwan Wirth, Manuela Wirth and Ursula Hauser, who were joined in 2000 by Partner and Vice President Marc Payot. A family business with a global outlook, Hauser & Wirth has expanded over the past 27 years to include outposts in Hong Kong, London, New York, Los Angeles, Somerset, Gstaad and St. Moritz. The gallery represents over 80 artists and estates who have been instrumental in shaping its identity over the past quarter century, and who are the inspiration for Hauser & Wirth’s diverse range of activities that engage with art, education, conservation and sustainability.

Hauser & Wirth opened its Los Angeles location in March 2016 in the heart of the burgeoning Downtown Los Angeles Arts District. Occupying a former flour mill located at 901 East 3rd Street, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles is a vibrant communal space that links art and architecture with a dynamic events program. In addition to supporting and collaborating with many local and international cultural organizations, nonprofits, and universities, the Los Angeles gallery fosters public dialogue with the arts through a range of activities that engage the city’s diverse population. Learn more at

California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 28,000 students and has more than 245,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit