×

Ariadne Getty Honored as Variety’s Philanthropist of the Year

Ariadne Getty doesn’t like being in the spotlight. While her foundation has donated millions of dollars to charities and causes since launching 15 years ago, the oil heiress is reluctant to accept praise or fame for her work.

Even so, she was on hand on Tuesday night when Variety named her philanthropist of the year during a swank cocktail reception and dinner at the Montage in Beverly Hills. Before being presented with the award by the magazine’s editor-in-chief Claudia Eller, Getty was recognized for her work on behalf of the Los Angeles LGBT Center as well as GLAAD.

She donated $2 million for the Ariadne Getty Foundation Youth Academy, which opened in April on the Center’s newly opened Anita May Rosenstein Campus. She also donated $2.5 million for the Ariadne Getty Foundation Senior Housing program, which is slated to open in 2020 and will provide 99 affordable housing units for senior citizens.

“All of us at the LGBT Center are eternally grateful to Ari and for all the work she has made possible and all the lives that she has improved,” the center’s CEO Lorri E. Jean said. “Ariadne Getty has spent a lifetime giving generously to causes she cares deeply about. We would be here all night if we talked about all of the important work her extraordinary generosity over the many decades has made possible here in Los Angeles, across the county and around the world.”

Calling Getty a “friend,” Jean said, “I don’t say this very often, especially in this town, but Ari Getty is the real deal…She gives because she sees that there are important needs that must be met and she wants to help. She gives because her heart is filled with compassion and empathy. She gives because she feels she has a responsibility to make a difference.”

Lorri Jean, Ariadne Getty and Sarah Kate EllisVariety's Philanthropist of the Year Dinner, Inside, Los Angeles, USA - 30 Jul 2019
CREDIT: Christopher Polk/Shutterstock

GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis recalled becoming fast friends with Getty after she attended her first GLAAD Media Awards. Getty famously donated $15 million to the LGBTQ media watchdog group during an appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“She gives with her heart, as Lorri Jean said, with no strings attached,” Ellis said. “When you’re trying to raise money and find work, Ari trusts the leadership of that work and doesn’t try to micromanage it and that’s a really big deal for leaders in a movement because a lot of people give money but there are a lot of strings attached and you have to do certain things. Ari gives you money because she believes in what you’re doing and that is a huge vote of confidence.”

Getty told Variety that her support of LGBTQ causes came about because both her children — son August Getty and daughter Nats Getty — are gay. Nats recently married YouTube personality Gigi Gorgeous.

“My new chosen family, which are all August and Nats and Gigi’s friends…they’ve become a part of my family and this is what I understand and this is what I want from the Center and what GLAAD does,” Ari said. “It brings people together and then only then do you feel a part of and only then do you understand that your involvement is so needed.”

Gigi Gorgeous, Nats Getty, Ariadne Getty and August GettyVariety's Philanthropist of the Year Dinner, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 30 Jul 2019
CREDIT: Andreas Branch/Variety/Shutterstock

She went onto say that she didn’t feel like she deserved the award because “this is what happens when you make friends who are doing important work and you have the ability [to help]. It’s all about the people who bring the work to you.”

Getty promised to live up to being philanthropist of the year: “I’ll continue to do my best to make the differences that I can.”

The evening’s guest list included “Pose’s” Johnny Sibilly, “Transparent” actress Trace Lysette, NBC Entertainment’s Chip Sullivan, ABC correspondent Karl Schmid, Sony Pictures’ Andre Caraco, “State of Pride” filmmaker Raymond Braun and YouTubers Connor Franta and Hannah Hart.

More Scene

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19:

    Emmys 2019: Inside All the Hottest Pre-Parties

    It’s (Emmys) party time! Before the 71st annual Emmys go live on Sunday, stars and execs are keeping busy by party-hopping in the days leading up to the big show. Here, Variety gives you the inside details on who was where and what they were doing. Keep checking back right here throughout the weekend for [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Green Dress

    Jennifer Lopez Closes Out Versace Show in Famous Green Grammys Dress

    Jennifer Lopez has found her way back into the Versace dress that broke the internet in 2000. The “Hustlers” star closed out Versace’s Spring 2020 show in a re-worked version of the revealing, bright green silk chiffon dress that she wore to the Grammy Awards 20 years ago. The dress quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, [...]

  • 10 Storytellers to Watch

    Variety Celebrates Inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch Event

    Storytellers from across the spectrum of entertainment — film, literature, podcasting and play writing — were honored Thursday at Variety’s inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch luncheon at Gramercy Park Hotel, hosted with partner the Independent Filmmaker Project and presented by Audible. Honorees Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of “Friday Black”; “Limetown” podcasters Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie; [...]

  • Demi Moore Corporate Animals

    Demi Moore Teases Upcoming Memoir 'Inside Out,' Talks 'Corporate Animals' Team Bonding

    As Demi Moore gears up for the Sept. 24 release of her autobiography “Inside Out,” the actress says she feels like a weight has been lifted. “Even the stuff that I may have been nervous about is completely lifting…because it’s a process,” Moore told Variety at the premiere of her upcoming film “Corporate Animals” at [...]

  • Connie Britton BlogHer Summit

    Connie Britton on ‘Friday Night Lights’ Remake: ‘You Need to Let it Go’

    Connie Britton opened up at a fireside chat Wednesday at the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit in Brooklyn by talking about one of her most beloved roles — Tami Taylor in the fan favorite series “Friday Night Lights.” When asked if a remake of the sports cult film and Emmy-winning TV show is in the works she [...]

  • Mariah Carey Tracee Ellis Ross

    Mariah Carey, Tracee Ellis Ross Celebrate Biracial Heritage at “Mixed-ish” Premiere

    Mariah Carey and Tracee Ellis Ross embraced their “ish” at Tuesday night’s series premiere event for ABC’s “Mixed-ish” by reflecting on how their biracial identity makes working on the new show even more personal. “I’m just so thankful that this show exists,” Carey told the assembled crowd during a Q&A with series creator Kenya Barris. [...]

  • #WorldIsInOurHands Campaign

    Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Joaquin Phoenix And More Join #WorldIsInOurHands Campaign

    At the 44th annual Toronto Film Festival last week, in addition to attending red-carpet premieres and promoting films, some stars also joined in the fight to tackle the climate crisis. Antonio Banderas, Susan Sarandon, Joaquin Phoenix, Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Neve Campbell and Alfre Woodard are among the bold-faced names to join forces with the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content