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Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Presents West Coast Debut of “Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall”

Immersive Multimedia Exhibition on the Legacy of Dr. Jane Goodall on View November 7, 2021 through April 17, 2022

Jane Goodall making an observation outdoors
Photo by Michael Nichols, National Geographic. Jane Goodall, 35 years after her original observations, finding great joy in watching the Gombe chimpanzees. Gombe National Park, Tanzania.

Los Angeles (June 17, 2021)— Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace has created an indelible legacy in the fields of science and conservation. Her legacy will be celebrated in the west coast premiere of Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall, a new exhibition on view at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) from November 7, 2021 through April 17, 2022. Produced in partnership with the National Geographic Society and the Jane Goodall Institute, the exhibition explores Dr. Goodall’s life from her early years as an intrepid young woman with a dream to learn about animals in Africa, to her years establishing herself as a renowned scientist in Gombe, Tanzania to her current role as an activist, mentor and advocate for creating a better world for all life on Earth. This exhibition debuted at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. in November 2019 and has since traveled to the Field Museum in Chicago.

“We are honored to present this marvelous exhibition and share Jane Goodall’s journey with audiences from all over the world,” said Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, President and Director of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County. “As we emerge from the past year and continue on a path towards healing, Dr. Goodall’s life and work provide an unparalleled example of how curiosity can lead to environmental stewardship with tremendous impact.” 

Widely known for her innovative approach to animal behavior research, Dr. Goodall traveled to what is now Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park and immersed herself by observing chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Her work studying the lives of chimpanzees in the wild captured the imagination of the world. Rather than seeing the animals as subjects, she came to know them as individuals with personalities and emotions—a notion once rejected by the scientific world, yet now considered revolutionary. Her story—one of fearless determination, curiosity, the pursuit of knowledge and a passionate love of the natural world—has resonated with generations of people around the globe.

“Jane Goodall has been inspiring National Geographic audiences, young and old, for over half a century,” said Kathryn Keane, Vice President of Public Programming at the National Geographic Society. “This exhibition allows us to experience her amazing life story in a highly personal and powerful way. Through immersive media, authentic scenic and interactives, this exhibition takes visitors into the field and around the world with Jane, walking in her shoes and experiencing her powerful message of hope firsthand.”

Highlights from the exhibition include: 

  • A multiscreen experience introducing visitors to Dr. Goodall’s extraordinary work, alongside surprising encounters with digitally rendered chimpanzees.
  • A replica of Dr. Goodall’s research tent, offering a hands-on experience where visitors can envision themselves as scientists jotting down observations in their field journal. 
  • A hologram-like projection of Dr. Goodall who shares her memories in Gombe and recalls her thoughts, feelings, impressions and lessons learned while living among chimpanzees.
  • A projection of Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park. 
  • Interactive immersive activities, including one in which visitors can test their skills at matching the pant-hoot vocalization of a chimpanzee. 
  • Updates on the current state of Gombe Stream National Park and the chimpanzee range in Africa, along with the work of the innovative scientists and conservationists who are following in Dr. Goodall’s footsteps.
  • A call to action to visitors from Dr. Goodall to join her, the Jane Goodall Institute and National Geographic, in an effort to ensure a more sustainable future for us all. 
  • A pledge station where visitors can share what actions they will take to help Dr. Goodall in her mission.

Tickets will go on sale in early Fall. Visit NHM.ORG/becoming-jane to sign up for updated information.  

The presentation at NHM is made possible by the Annenberg Foundation with additional support from Visionary Women.

Image Caption: 
Jane Goodall, 35 years after her original observations, finding great joy in watching the Gombe chimpanzees. Gombe National Park, Tanzania. “Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall,” is organized by National Geographic and the Jane Goodall Institute.

About Dr. Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934 in London, England. At the young age of 26, she followed her passion for animals and Africa to Gombe, Tanzania, where she began her landmark study of chimpanzees in the wild—immersing herself in their habitat as a neighbor rather than a distant observer. Her discovery in 1960 that chimpanzees make and use tools rocked the scientific world and redefined the relationship between humans and animals. In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) to advance her work around the world and for generations to come. JGI continues the field research at Gombe and builds on Dr. Goodall’s innovative approach to conservation, which recognizes the central role that people play in the well-being of animals and the environment. In 1991, she founded Roots & Shoots, a global program that connects young people in more than 50 countries to be conservation activists in their daily lives. Today, Dr. Goodall travels the world, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope. In her books and speeches, she emphasizes the interconnectedness of all living things and the collective power of individual action. 

About the Jane Goodall Institute
The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) is a global, community-centered conservation organization founded in 1977 that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall in over 30 countries around the world. We aim to understand and protect chimpanzees, other apes and their habitats, and empower people to be compassionate citizens in order to inspire conservation of the natural world we all share. JGI uses research, collaboration with local communities, best-in-class animal welfare standards, and the innovative use of science and technology to inspire hope and transform it into action for the common good. Through our Roots & Shoots program for young people of all ages, now active in over 50 countries around the world, JGI is creating an informed and compassionate critical mass of people who will help to create a better world for people, other animals and our shared environment. 

About the National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.

About the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County  
The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) include the Natural History Museum, La Brea Tar Pits, and the William S. Hart Museum. They operate under the collective vision to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds. The museums hold one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history—more than 35 million objects. Using these collections for groundbreaking scientific and historic research, the museums also incorporate them into on- and offsite nature and culture exploration in L.A. neighborhoods, and a slate of community science programs—creating indoor-outdoor visitor experience that explore the past, present, and future. Visit NHMLAC.ORG for adventure, education, and entertainment opportunities.

NHM is located at 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90007 and is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on days it is open to the public. Visit NHM.ORG for more information.

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MEDIA CONTACTS
Sally Marquez, NHM
smarquez@nhm.org; (213) 763-3580

Alli Steinberg, Polskin Arts & Communications Counselors
alli.steinberg@finnpartners.com; (212) 583-2754

Lexie Simpson, National Geographic Society
lsimpson@ngs.org; (202) 807-3100