NET WORTH: $120 million, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Screenwriter, Producer
FUNDING AREAS: Arts, Education, Cultural Inclusion, TBD
OVERVIEW: Shonda Rhimes established the Rhimes Family Foundation in 2016 to support arts, education, and activism with a focus on cultural inclusion, fighting for equality, and standing up against bigotry. Rhimes and her family have made at least $10 million in grants to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
BACKGROUND: Born in 1970 in suburban Chicago, Rhimes received a B.A. from Dartmouth College. She worked in advertising, and then enrolled in the screen and television writing program at USC School of Cinematic Arts, earning an MFA. Soon after grad school, Rhimes sold her first screenplay and went on to become the first black woman to create and executive produce a top 10 network series: ABC's Grey's Anatomy. She is also the creator of its spin-off, Private Practice, as well as Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder.
ARTS: Rhimes and her family, via the Rhimes Family Foundation, gave at least $10 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The foundation has also supported the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Debbie Allen Dance Acadmy, and IAMA Theatre Company in Los Angeles, funding in part the Rhimes Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission, which emphasizes culturally inclusive storytelling. Rhimes has said that she "had been missing the world of theater in L.A...there’s a couple of very nice large theaters, but there’s not a lot of interesting small theater, like you can find in New York. And I was sort of craving it.”
Rhimes and family have given at least $1 million to the Obama Foundation.
EDUCATION: The Rhimes Family Foundation has supported Beyond 12 in Oakland, whose mission is to "dramatically increase the number of low-income, first-generation, and historically under-represented students who graduate from college."
LOOKING FORWARD: Philanthropy by Rhimes and her family foundation have recently come into the spotlight. Rhimes went to the theater often as a child, so expect growing support here, and more broadly in the arts. Issues of diversity and inclusion will likely loom large for this funder: Rhimes has been outspoken about these issues, which are reflected in her work.
Rhimes Family Foundation
2029 Century Park East, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Executive Director, Lindsay Rachelefsky