Our Funders

KITS is one of the only organizations that gives LA foster youth hands-on filmmaking experience and the chance to heal along the way. I feel connected to their cause because I can see my impact. With every movie and youth I support, I give life and legacy to the stories of the young people that write them.” 

 

At Kids In The Spotlight (KITS), we empower opportunity youth impacted by foster care through the transformative power of filmmaking. With the support of our generous funders, we’re building a pipeline toward higher education, economic stability, and community leadership for these talented young individuals.

Our incredible donors have generously provided post-production services, filming equipment, craft services during production days, and acting classes, among other avenues of support.

 

Radford Studio Center, MBS, Our Funders

MBS Radford Studio Center

KITS production days would not be possible without the support of in-kind sponsors like CBS Radford Studios. As we film the youth’s short films in a single day, CBS Radford Studios has made it possible with equipment – like lighting and cameras – for many of our productions for the last 5 years.

Further, the staff have served as volunteers on production days and participated in judging the films to select the KITS Film Awards winners.

Paramount Pictures Studios

Paramount Pictures Studios

Paramount Pictures Studios has not only hosted the KITS Film Awards, Paramount has been offering in-kind finishing services with both color correction and sound correction of KITS short films for many years.

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Picture Head

Picture Head’s support of KITS started as sponsors of the KITS Film Awards, and shortly grew into an invaluable partnership.

From tours of their office space, to post-production support (both color correction and sound correction on various KITS films), to an internship program specifically for KITS alums, Picture Head has helped move the needle for our youth since 2021.

Music is Unity Foundation

Music Is Unity Foundation

Philip Bailey – of Earth, Wind & Fire – & his family have been supporters of KITS since our inception of KITS & the work we do with foster youth. Because of that, Music Is Unity has been a sponsor of the KITS Film Awards for many years.

Further, they’ve included KITS as one of the community partners they have helped through their #FosterChallenge Emergency Fund, in response to the recent pandemic.

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The Burrell Family Foundation

The Burrell Family Foundation has been supporting KITS since 2018, as part of KITS Ambassador Ty Burrell’s commitment to the mission of KITS & support of foster youth. Ty Burrell also volunteers his time to guest teach acting classes during our Screenwriting & Filmmaking Program, and serves as host for the KITS Film Awards.

His commitment is in honor of his father’s work, which is why in 2019, KITS surprised Ty with the inaugural Gary Burrell Humanitarian Award at the KITS Awards.

KING Studio, Purpose Partners, Zach King

Zach & Rachel King

Zach and Rachel King, of KING Studio, has been supporting KITS since 2021 as presenter at the KITS Film Awards, through giving a tour of his studio to our youth, surprising KITS with a $350,000 donation that was used to secure the KITS Production Studio with Purpose, and hiring KITS alums to co-star in some of Zach’s amazing videos.

With the help of Rachel and his team, KITS surprised Zach King with the Gary Burrell Humanitarian Award at the KITS Film Awards in 2022.

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California Arts Council

This organization is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. The Cal Arts Council has supported KITS with various grant support since 2018.

Their support has included grants for operational support as well as programming support, allowing KITS to offer our Screenwriting & Filmmaking Program, while also providing a consultant to help KITS Board members create a strategic plan to guide KITS into the next decade of service to foster youth in Los Angeles.

National Endowment of the Arts

National Endowment of the Arts

Selected KITS programs and services are generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Thanks to the National Endowment of the Arts, this operational support allows KITS to cover teaching mentor fees, maintain our administrative team and underwrite programming costs.

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Weingart Foundation

Unrestricted operating support from the Weingart Foundation is designed to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions advancing equity and justice.

Pritzker Foster Care Initiative, our Funders, purpose partners

Pritzker Foster Care Initiative

KITS Production Studio PURPOSE PARTNERS, Pritzker Foster Care Initiative cares about ensuring that older youth and young adults who have grown up in foster care achieve education and workforce opportunities to support their emotional wellbeing and financial independence.

kids in the spotlight

LA County Department of Arts & Culture

This organization is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.

Thanks to the LA County Department of Arts & Culture, this operational support has allowed KITS to maintain our administrative team, giving us the manpower needed to pivot our programming during COVID to support our youth through the arts virtually.

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Dwight Stuart Youth Fund

The mission of the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund (DSYF) is to support organizations in LA County that provide direct services and experiences to underserved children and youth so they may gain values, skills, and confidence to achieve their potential.

We’ve been honored to be grant recipients of the DSYF for the last couple years, which has included specialized training as well as funding.

Crail-Johnson Foundation

Crail-Johnson Foundation

 

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The Canet Foundation

The Canet Foundation believes that the education and exploration of creative endeavors is the key to a healthy society.

KITS has been honored to be the recipient of sponsorships from The Canet Foundation for both the KITS Film Awards as well as the KITS Night at the Drive-In Fundraiser we had in place of the KITS Film Awards in 2020, due to the pandemic.

kids in the spotlight

NBCUniversal 

 

NBCUniversal has supported KITS since 2018, thanks to the Black Employee Network (BEN at NBCU). The BEN members have served as volunteers both on production days and at our KITS Film Awards. They’ve also hosted our Summer Program for our transitional age youth, hosted judging sessions, sourced auction items for fundraising events, and covered the cost of craft services on production days.
In 2021, NBCUniversal hosted a Virtual Career Day for foster youth, allowing our youth to learn from creatives & executives in various departments; and donated pro-bono time to consult KITS in the area of marketing and communications. In 2023, KITS was awarded one of NBCUniversal’s Local Impact Grants. 

Warner Bros. Discovery, Funder, Community Partner

Warner Bros. Discovery

For the last 5 years, the Black Employees at Warner Media (a business resource group) has been supporting KITS as a community partner, hosting our Spring Program for transitional age youth, volunteering time and resources, hosting fundraisers & events, sourcing auction items for fundraising events, sponsoring the KITS Film Awards.

Warner Media’s Prop Department has helped with in-kind support for our productions, and WB Good has donated old set materials for our KITS Production Studio with Purpose.

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The SAM Initiative

The SAM Initiative has been an instrumental part in KITS expanding our team, twice, through their funding. First, in 2017, with an Executive Administrator, and again, in 2021, with the onboarding of our part-time Youth Advocate Specialist.

As Tige always says, “it takes a village,” and the SAM Initiative has indeed helped expand our village, giving KITS the internal support to grow our program and the impact it makes.

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U.S. Bank Foundation

The U.S. Bank Foundation has sponsored the KITS Film Awards as well as our KITS Night at the Drive-In Fundraiser, as well as funding KITS with a grant in 2021.

U.S. Bank has also showed their commitment to helping us further our mission as local Vice Presidents have served on our KITS Board for the last few years.

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The Cal Wellness Foundation logo

The Cal Wellness Foundation

 

The vision of Cal Wellness is for every resident of California to enjoy good health and experience wellness. Our mission is to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California by increasing access to health care, quality education, good jobs, healthy environments and safe neighborhoods.

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Mericos Foundation

Mericos Foundation

 

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Aging Out Institute, Our Funders, Fire Award

Aging Out Institute

 

Aging Out Institute (AOI) honored KITS with the Fire Award in 2023.

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kids in the spotlight Entertainment Industry Foundation

Entertainment Industry Foundation

 

Thanks to a referral by FosterMore, the Entertainment Industry Foundation awarded KITS with a grant to help us continue our mission through the challenges 2020 brought, helping underwrite the production costs from filming 2 of our films that had been put on hold for a year due to COVID-19.

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Schimmel & Parks, funders, purpose partners

Schimmel & Parks

Sponsors of the KITS Film Awards and KITS Night at the Drive-In, Schimmel & Parks has supported KITS since 2020. Further, Alan & Nita Schimmel contributed as Purpose Partners to our KITS Production Studio with Purpose, and have the Courtroom named after them. 

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LeMark Realty

LeMark Realty 

 

 

 

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DirecTV

DirecTV

Thanks to LA Super Bowl Host Committee and the Super Bowl LVI Legacy Program, KITS was awarded a $25,000 donation by DirecTV at The Chairman’s Party; an award that was voted on by their employees as the Champion Organization that most aligned with their mission.

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kids in the spotlight Super Bowl LVI Legacy Program

Super Bowl LVI Legacy Program 

Thanks to LA Super Bowl Host Committee, LA SEC, LA84 Foundation & Play Equity Fund, KITS has been selected for the Super Bowl LVI Legacy Program –“Champions Live Here”.

We are one of the 56 local-non-profit organizations recognized for making a transformative impact in underserved communities across the Los Angeles region.

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