NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Peter Norton Computing
FUNDING AREAS: Education, Families, Environment, Arts & Visual Arts
OVERVIEW: Eileen Harris Norton launched the Eileen Harris Norton Foundation, which seeks to achieve social and environmental justice through supporting organizations dedicated to education, families, and the environment. She also helped found Art + Practice, which is committed to supporting the needs of local foster youth while also providing free access to museum-curated contemporary art.
BACKGROUND: Raised in the Watts section of Los Angeles, Eileen Harris Norton graduated with her bachelor’s degree from UCLA and earned a master's in bilingual education from USC. She worked a series of teaching jobs in the Los Angeles Unified School District and married Peter Norton, a computer programmer who went on to launch Peter Norton Computing, Inc., behind such staples as Norton Utilities. The couple are no longer married. She is an active art collector based in Los Angeles.
EDUCATION, FAMILIES & ENVIRONMENT: The Eileen Harris Norton Foundation’s grantmaking primarily focuses in on the Los Angeles area and has the mission of achieving “social and environmental justice through supporting organizations dedicated to education, families, and the environment.” Its Education Program area focuses on progressive programs including arts education that target low-income youth. Its Families Program Area focuses on parental engagement and youth development. And its Environmental Program Area funds programs at the “intersection of environmental justice and health and wellness targeting children from low-income communities.” Grantees have included Children’s Defense Fund, Heart of Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, Southern Poverty Law Center, Venice Family Clinic, Studio Museum in Harlem, ProPublica, and the UCLA Foundation.
(VISUAL) ARTS: Norton and her ex-husband Peter Norton once moved philanthropy through the Peter Norton Family Foundation, which was launched in 1988 and shuttered earlier in the decade. The then-couple amassed one of the largest modern contemporary art collections in the country, with strengths in African-American, southern California, and women artists. Through the foundation, Norton and Peter also gave strong support to places like Crossroads School in Santa Monica, where Norton lives, Reed College, and Smith College.
Eileen Norton went on to found Art + Practice (A+P) with artist Mark Bradford, and social activist Allan DiCastro. The organization occupies a nearly 20,000-square-foot campus in the Leimert Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles. A+P is an “exhibition space for museum-curated contemporary art and a public program space for moderated art lectures and discussions organized to coincide with exhibitions on view.” It also provides foster youth with access to housing, individualized education, and employment support.
Norton has also supported CalArts, and underwrites the CAPSA Summer Film Academy, which “offers intensive hands-on film instruction to high-need students.”
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect Norton to continue to fund her established interest areas.
The foundation does not accept unsolicited requests for funding but below is an address:
Eileen Harris Norton Foundation
10866 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90024