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The Impact of Your Support

With your generous contributions, we have accomplished so much over the years. In addition to helping secure $93 million for Griffith Observatory’s most recent renovation, here is a selection of some of the programming and enhancements made possible by your support.

Fifth-grade School Field Trip Program

Each year, 28,000 fifth graders are exposed to a variety of STEM learning experiences over a 2.5-hour visit – free of charge. Students leave the Observatory inspired, having found that there is so much fun to be had in scientific discovery and exploration. The program includes a live presentation of Water is Life in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, a look at the rooftop Zeiss telescope, small group interpretive experiences in the exhibit galleries led by Museum Guides, and of course the lively, interactive program "Let's Make a Comet" in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater. Hear what kids and teachers have to say about their experience.

Music by Spirit Music Collective.
Video by Nathan Brunskill

Signs of Life Samuel Oschin Planetarium Show

FOTO partnered with the Observatory to develop an exciting and innovative, live planetarium show called Signs of Life. This program has been produced with stunning visual effects and created specifically for the 8K, state-of-the-art digital projection system in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. The dynamic, 34-minute feature will explore how life developed on Earth, where else life might exist in our solar system, and whether the right conditions for life could exist on exo-planets elsewhere in the universe. The show will premiere when it is safe to do so.

Observatory Programs

FOTO provides support like equipment, services, and staffing for live-streaming astronomical events, special lectures, and programs like All Space Considered.

Theater and Exhibit Upgrades

Ongoing support is required to keep Griffith Observatory current with state-of-the-art technology. FOTO supports regular upgrades to theaters and exhibits as well as larger undertakings and major updates. In 2015-2016 for example, with funds from a generous grant secured by FOTO from The Ahmanson Foundation, Observatory Curator Dr. Laura Danly led the most significant initiative since renovation to replace and upgrade both the digital video projection and lighting systems in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. This, once again, secured the Samuel Oschin Planetarium as the most advanced such environment in the world.