The nonprofit organization relies on donations by industry companies and individuals to move it forward as it supports the LA Opera internship program, Broadway Master Classes, and the Safety Certification Program. It also sponsors the Wally Russell Award, which honors outstanding lifetime achievement in entertainment technology, and a Newcomer Award for an innovative person in the industry. A list of winners can be found online in the Awards section of the Foundation's website.
Wally Russell’s friends and business associates created the Wally Russell Foundation in 1992 to honor the memory of Russell—a visionary in lighting design, product innovation, theatre design, technical direction, and general management—whose frequently unrecognized impact on the profession was profound. Russell helped bring about the first computer controlled lightboard; brought automated lighting to the LA Opera as their technical director; and designed many theatres, including the modernizing of Buenos Aries’ Teatro Colon.
The Wally Russell Foundation Board of Directors are Donna Appleton, Phil Bernard, Rusty Brustche, David Cunningham, Tom Folsom, John Howe, Philip O’Donnell, Richard Pilbrow, Brian Russell, Glen Russell, Robert Schiller, Jennifer White, John Wiseman.
Donations can be made to the Foundation in the following levels:
Wally Patron: $2,500 and above
Platinum Circle: $1,000 to $2,499
Gold Circle: $100 to $999
Donations can be sent to:
The Wally Russell Foundation
c/o Tom Folsom
2061 Hoefner Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90040