An Update from the AHC Board of Directors- January 2023

By January 13, 2023Future Planning

Dear AHC Members,

As we move into the new calendar year, the Board continues to prioritize transparency and communication as core values of our work. In that spirit, we’re pleased to share with you a brief state of the organization to date, inclusive of where we came from, where we are now, and where we are headed.

Where We Came From

Over the course of two years, the Transitional Working Group accomplished five key benchmarks before their dissolution:

  • extricated AHC from the broader organizational structure of the Michigan Theater;
  • established AHC as an independent entity via fiscal sponsorship with The Sundance Institute;
  • established AHC’s first membership roster;
  • built the system to facilitate Board elections; and
  • facilitated the first Board elections and inaugurated the first AHC Board.

Where We Are

Over the first three months of its tenure, the AHC Board has:

  • onboarded to the current issues facing AHC as a legal entity and membership organization, including reviewing and digesting the work of the Transitional Working Group;
  • established internal communication systems and norms for meetings and non-meeting work;
  • formed and convened Board committees (Operations; Incorporation/Finance; Board Governance; Programming/Membership/Communications);
  • established a forum for member feedback via a standing Google form; and
  • convened the first open Zoom forum.

Ongoing work during this time includes:

  • exploring the best legal structure for our organization, including consulting pro bono legal counsel;
  • continuing to host open Zoom forums for membership connection and community building;
  • listening to the conversations happening through our unofficial community, the AHC Google Group; and
  • getting to know our fellow board members.

Where We are Headed

To be frank, we have a lot of work ahead of us as we build the next iteration of AHC from scratch. Our immediate priorities are:

  • Organizational Incorporation. Fiscal partnership with Sundance was intended to be a temporary solution; one of our primary goals is to determine and pursue the best legal structure for our organization.
  • Organizational Structure. Once we’ve established ourselves as an entity independent from other organizations, we will:
    • establishing an organizational governance model;
    • elect board positions;
    • determine the form and function of membership;
    • establish regular and varied communication channels between the board and membership, and between members.
  • Resources and Programming. One of the most consistent pieces of feedback we receive from members is their desire for access to a varied set of resources and opportunities to connect with their peers in the industry. We firmly believe developing these toolkits and spaces is a critical function of our early work.

As you know, when you joined AHC as inaugural members, that membership was valid until December 31, 2022. Since we are still in the building phase, all existing memberships have been extended until June 30, 2023 at no cost. Additionally, Board Members Lela and Matt will be available at Sundance to meet, chat, and listen. Come by and charge your phone, get some coffee and say hi! They will be in the Alpine Room of Doubletree Park City – The Yarrow on Friday January 20th from 9:00am-12:00pm. The Yarrow is ADA compliant, and a full list of the building’s accessibility features can be found on their WCAG 2.1-accessible website.

To continue community building across our membership, we will be hosting a number of “social hours” at upcoming festivals over the next year. Social hours are informal gatherings for AHC members to meet, connect, and chat, and will be facilitated by one or more AHC board member. Keep an eye out for more information on those events.

We are keenly aware that we are embarking on a new path for AHC, but we are ready and excited to undertake this work because we firmly believe in the mission of – and need for – an organization like AHC. Your continued feedback and participation will be a critical part of our success, and we can’t thank you enough for sticking with us.


The AHC Board

Matt Bolish, Film at Lincoln Center

Javier Chavez, AFI Silver Theatre

Carolyn Chen, Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival & Symposium

Yasmin Chin Eisenhauer, Amherst Cinema

Ben Delgado, FilmScene

Ben Godar, Des Moines Film

Deirdre Haj, Film Streams

Alicia Kozma, Indiana University Cinema

Arin Liberman, Ragtag Film Society

Lela Meadow-Conner, mamafilm

Garineh Nazarian, FilmRise

Asha Phelps, IFC Center

tt stern-enzi, Over-the-Rhine Film Festival

Emelyn Stuart, Stuart Cinema

Stephanye Watts, Be Reel Black Cinema Club