Jeff Skoll, philanthropist and Participant Media founder, and Teri Schwartz, Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television have announced the launch of the new Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at the university.
Part of the School of Theater, Film and Television, the new center is dedicated to promoting social change through entertainment and performing arts. Skoll has made a $10 million gift to name and endow the center, which will be organized around research, education and special initiatives, and public programming and exhibition, to advance the power of entertainment and performing arts to inspire social change.
“I founded Participant Media in the belief that a story well-told has the power to ignite positive social change,” said Skoll. “This new center at UCLA TFT is an extension of that vision, with the goal of empowering a new generation, and elevating storytelling as a tool to create impact and empower people to connect to the social issues which can have a profound impact on our world.
“A key goal of the center is to bring together groups that don’t often connect around the topic of storytelling, serving as a hub for foundations, social entrepreneurs, non-profits, philanthropists, corporations, and the creative community, who need a resource to create new ways to connect and tell stories,” he said.
“The new Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television builds on UCLA’s longstanding commitment to scholarship and programming that not only enlightens and inspires but also leads by addressing some of the world’s most challenging problems,” said Chancellor Gene Block.
Added Schwartz, “The Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment is an exciting extension of our School’s vision and leadership for a new kind of entertainment and performing arts education that prepares our students to meet the demands of a rapidly changing global industry not only with new skill sets, artistry and real-world knowledge, but with and an eye towards using the power of story and research to inspire and galvanize social change.”
The center is Skoll’s newest endeavor with UCLA, where he created and funded the “Jake Eberts Fellowship for Social Impact Filmmaking” in 2013. It is also his second endowed university program. He previously endowed the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University’s Said Business School.