First-Class Theater, on Expanded Campus, to be Named S. Mark Taper Foundation Theater

The S. Mark Taper Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to support the expansion of Holocaust Museum LA, doubling the museum’s existing footprint in Pan Pacific Park. The expansion will allow the Museum to increase visitor capacity, expand educational programs, present a wider range of community and cultural events, and  incorporate cutting-edge technology to preserve Holocaust survivor testimonies. 

The grant is earmarked toward the construction of a theater, to be named the S. Mark Taper Foundation Theater. Located on the new Jona Goldrich Campus, the 200-seat first-rate facility will enable the Museum to accommodate larger and more diverse audiences of students and visitors for thought-provoking programs and events – including Holocaust survivor talks, concerts, and lectures – that teach the critical lessons of the Holocaust and their continued social relevance. A performance stage, top-of-the-line audio-visual equipment, and live streaming capabilities will also enable to Museum to expand its offerings to include family programming, theater performances, film screenings, conferences, and more.

Amelia Taper Bolker, Vice President of the S. Mark Taper Foundation, said, “Ten years from now, most Holocaust survivors will be gone. The Foundation is proud to partner with Holocaust Museum LA to build a space where visitors, now and into the future, can learn from survivors’ important legacies. The intensifying war in Ukraine and refugee crisis reinforce the significant and continuing need for Holocaust education.”

In addition to the S. Mark Taper Foundation Theater, the new campus will feature outdoor reflective spaces; large galleries and classrooms; a new pavilion to house an authentic Nazi-era boxcar found outside Majdanek; and a dedicated theater for USC Shoah Foundation’s “Dimensions in Testimony” exhibition that allows visitors to have a virtual conversation with a Holocaust survivor using a holographic capture and voice recognition software. 

The Museum’s “Building Truth” capital campaign goal is $45 million. With this generous leadership grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation, the project is on track to break ground this summer. The expanded campus will be open for business by summer 2024 and will allow the Museum to triple its current capacity in its first year of operation to 150,000 visitors, including 60,000 students. By 2030, the Museum aims to reach 500,000 visitors. 

Beth Kean, Holocaust Museum LA CEO, said, “The S. Mark Taper Foundation was a lead donor in the construction of the Museum’s permanent home in Pan Pacific Park in 2010 and we are exceptionally grateful for their continued support of our efforts to ensure ‘never again’ becomes a reality, as we are seeing history repeat itself. As a prominent grantmaker in the Southern California philanthropic community, this new generous grant from the Foundation highlights the importance of multiplying our critical work to empower future generations to stand up against antisemitism, hatred, and bigotry. The Taper name is synonymous with the cultural landscape of Los Angeles, and we are thrilled to have it grace our new theater.”

For more information about the Museum’s expansion, please visit: www.holocaustmuseumLA.org/expansion

About Holocaust Museum LA

Holocaust Museum LA is the first survivor-founded and oldest Holocaust museum in the United States and houses the West Coast’s largest collection of Holocaust-era artifacts. Since 1961, the museum has carried on the mission of the founding survivors to commemorate those who perished, honor those who survived, educate future generations about the Holocaust, and inspire a more dignified and humane world. Museum admission is free for all students and California residents. https://holocaustmuseumLA.org/