May 8, 2007
Leonore and Walter Annenberg (Douglas Kirkland)

Leonore and Walter Annenberg (Douglas Kirkland)

Newseum Announces $15 million Annenberg Foundation Gift

WASHINGTON — The Newseum today announced that the Annenberg Foundation will give $15 million to support the museum of news under construction in Washington, D.C. In recognition of the gift, the Newseum will name its 450–seat theater the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater.

The gift is the largest received to date by the Newseum. In the last year, the Newseum has announced a total of $79 million in gifts from 11 media organizations, foundations and families, including the Annenberg Foundation, in support of the new Newseum.

The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater is the largest of 15 theaters in the new Newseum and will offer a flexible presentation space, capable of seating 450 or more visitors for public programs, film screenings, debates, artistic performances and town–hall gatherings. In its primary daytime configuration, the Annenberg Theater will present a customized, high–tech, four-dimensional interactive time travel that transports visitors to great news events of history in a "you–are–there" experience combining museum–quality content with theme–park excitement.

"My husband, Walter, dedicated his life as a publisher, broadcaster, diplomat and philanthropist to communication, education and public service," said Leonore Annenberg, president and chairman of the Annenberg Foundation. "The Newseum will provide an exciting new venue for visitors of all ages to learn about the rich history of the communication world and the importance of a free press in all societies."

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