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FAQs: General

What is Friends Of The Observatory (FOTO)?

Friends Of The Observatory (FOTO) is Griffith Observatory's member-based volunteer support organization. Founded in 1978 as a 501(c)(3)non-profit, FOTO works to ensure that Griffith Observatory has the resources to achieve its mission of inspiring the future, one imagination at a time for the millions of children, youth and families who annually rely upon it for accurate astronomical, space and other information.


FOTO is instrumental in leading the path to excellence in the renovation and expansion of the Observatory and proud of its successful public-private partnership with the City of Los Angeles and the Department of Recreation and Parks.

What is the relationship between FOTO, the City of Los Angeles and Griffith Observatory?

Griffith Observatory is owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles. The City provides public funds for staff, facilities and ongoing operating expenses. With the completed renovation and expansion of this well-known landmark and its facilities, the opportunities to increase Griffith Observatory's leadership role in informal science education within our community, nationally and worldwide are expanded cosmically.


FOTO will continue to be an important partner with public and private sectors to be sure funds are available to develop and support the interpretive educational programs at the Observatory, including field trips for school children, star talks and shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium theater, and demonstrations in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater, as well as expanded outreach programs to Los Angeles area schools and recreation centers, teacher development programs, public lectures, and much more.

How can I become a member and what does it cost?

Click on JOIN NOW to view membership levels and benefits and to complete your membership form. Your membership card will arrive within four weeks. Please click here to learn about membership prices & benefits.

Can I help support the observatory in some other way?

YES! Add your personal support by contributing to any one of our campaigns -  Grab A Seat theater seat sponsorship campaign, Adopt a Class and sponsor a whole 5th grade class’ visit to the Observatory for our acclaimed School Field Trip program, Sponsor a Bus and you are making sure that schoolchildren in schools who are unable to pay for a school bus to visit the Observatory will have transportation. Honor a family member or friend through our Make A Gift program. Consider a gift that supports the mission of Griffith Observatory with our naming and sponsorship opportunities.

Events and Registration
2019-11-25: Bonestell Presentation 2019
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Your Contributions at Work

School Visit Program for 30,000 students per year

New projector for the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater

Support excellence at Griffith Observatory with your donations to FOTO

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FOTO Newsletter and Blog

Back issues of FOTO's newsletter

Current issue for members

Stay updated with all the latest about FOTO and Griffith Observatory

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Visiting Griffith Observatory

Print self-guided tours

Interested in a show?

How do I look through a telescope?

Exclusive members-only opportunities!

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Looking up! Astronomy at Home

What is up in the sky?

Print your own star chart

Astronomy Experiments at Home

Turn your computer into a telescope

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