Art House Convergence Announces Agile Ticketing Solutions Sponsorship

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June 29, 2023


Phone: 708.655.5928


Chicago, Illinois – Art House Convergence (AHC) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a sponsorship agreement with Agile Ticketing Solutions (ATS) to support core AHC programming and membership functions. 

Under the agreement, Agile will underwrite a year of benefits for current and new AHC members and provide AHC with platforms for constituent management, event registrations, member services, and customer support at no cost to the organization.

“Agile has been a crucial supporter of AHC through all its iterations,” said Lela Meadow-Conner, President of the AHC Board of Directors. “Their generosity and commitment to the success of our organization has been instrumental, particularly during our transitional phase, and we are so grateful for their continued engagement.”

Richard Steward, Agile CEO, noted, “Agile Ticketing Solutions has been a long-time committed partner of AHC and its constituency for more than a decade and our commitment continues to deepen. We are truly excited to be a part of this new dynamic organization and help carry the mission and vision forward.”

In 2006, a group of fourteen independent cinemas were brought together by the Sundance Institute’s Art House Project to discuss independent film and independent film exhibition, opening dialogues and lines of communication between cinemas around the US. In 2008, this group formally cohered into the first iteration of Art House Convergence (AHC), an organization that grew into a year-round entity that hosted an annual conference, regional seminars, Art House Theater Day, the Visiting Members Program, and other key initiatives that connected the art house exhibition industry. 

Thanks to the support of Sundance Institute, as of 2023 the current iteration of AHC operates as a fully independent and incorporated organization with approximately 2,000 members across North America and Western Europe that serve 30 million patrons annually. AHC is managed by a member-elected Board of Directors.



Art House Convergence (AHC) is a coalition of independent exhibitors that connects, amplifies, and advocates for its community. AHC  provides networking opportunities, resources, and best practices for the AHC membership while promoting inclusivity, sustainability, and equity within our industry.


AHC Announces New Board Officers, Plans to Relaunch Annual Conference

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Plans underway to relaunch annual conference in 2024 

Chicago, May 4, 2023 – Art House Convergence (AHC) announces the election of its inaugural officers of the newly formed Board of Directors. Steering the organization into its new iteration, alongside the rest of the board, is Lela Meadow-Conner, President (mamafilm), Alicia Kozma, Vice President (Indiana University Cinema), Ben Godar, Treasurer (Varsity Cinema) and Javier Chavez, Secretary (AFI Silver). 

“The AHC board is collectively committed to helping art house and community-based theaters thrive in an increasingly precarious exhibition landscape. Key to that commitment is AHC’s role in facilitating progressive industry development and sustainability while working in tandem with our sister organizations” said Meadow-Conner. “It’s paramount that we continue to keep art house and community-based cinemas at the forefront of the ever-evolving conversation about the future of cinema exhibition, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. These spaces play a crucial role in the ecosystem of both mainstream and independent film, film festivals, and community building. Sustaining art house cinemas is critical to the perpetuation of film culture and theatrical exhibition as an industry.”

The AHC board has been meeting since October of 2022, focusing on key initiatives to build organizational stability after 3 years of transitional status within the organization and the industry at large. The Board recently wrapped-up their first in-person retreat, kindly hosted by the AFI Silver Theatre, where they delved into AHC’s purpose and mission while planning for organizational sustainability and service to membership.

“Though we haven’t gathered in person for three years, our community remains vibrant, with an active listserv, an expansive membership, and a strong desire to collectively chart the course for independent exhibition in an industry that is vastly different than just a few short years ago,” said Kozma. “To that end the board is happy to announce that AHC will invite our community to come together once again in June 2024 for the AHC annual conference.” A location for the annual conference has not been announced; the Board is currently exploring location options that will best serve its membership and the overall art house community.

AHC was founded in 2006 as a project of the Michigan Theater Foundation in partnership with the Sundance Institute’s Art House Project. What began as an annual meeting of fourteen independent exhibitors transformed into a national organization with year round activities including Art House Theater Day, the Visiting Members Program, and regional conferences that attracted hundreds of attendees from theaters, film festivals, distributors, vendors, and allied organizations.

In 2020 AHC became a fiscally sponsored project of the Sundance Institute, and in 2022, AHC’s inaugural Board of Directors was elected. The group is tasked with transforming AHC, including unwinding AHC from its previous fiscal sponsorship, setting up the organization as an independent 501(c)(3), and determining the best form and function of membership, resources, and programming for the art house community.

The AHC Board of Directors is composed of 14 independent cinema professionals from across the country. In addition to the executive committee, the board of directors at large includes Matt Bolish (Film at Lincoln Center), Yasmin Chin Eisenhauer (Amherst Cinema), Ben Delgado (FilmScene), Deirdre Haj (Film Streams), Arin Liberman (Ragtag Film Society), Garineh Nazarian (Vanera Films), Asha Phelps (IFC Center), tt stern-enzi (Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival), Emelyn Stuart (Stuart Cinema), and Stephanye Watts (Be Reel Black Cinema Club).


Officer Bios:

Lela Meadow-Conner
Lela Meadow-Conner is a Creative Producer and Founder of – where storytellers, changemakers and nurturers come together to champion humanity through a maternal gaze. curates films that center women, identity and the human experience. In 2020, launched rePROFilm, a virtual monthly film series advocating for reproductive justice. In 2021 & 2022 served as a Satellite Screen for the Sundance Film Festival in Kansas and now operates as a nomadic cinema experience. Meadow-Conner has 20 years of experience in independent cinema exhibition, most recently serving as the Executive Director of Film Festival Alliance from 2017-2022. Her filmmaking credits include Chasing Chasing Amy (Tribeca, 2023) Run Amok (2024) and The Spice Poet, currently in development with Priyanka Chopra’s Purple Pebble Pictures. She also sits on the board of the Vidiots Foundation, soon to relaunch in the historic Eagle Theater in Eagle Rock, CA, and is a member of the Brown Girls Doc Mafia.

Alicia Kozma
Alicia Kozma, PhD, is the Director of Indiana University Cinema, an art house cinema dedicated to using film and cinema studies for intellectual development and cultural enrichment. An educator, writer, and researcher, her work is focused on practical and interventional analyses around the labor of underrepresented populations in the entertainment industries with an emphasis on gendered labor in the neo-art house and below the line production work. She also works on evaluations of emerging media technologies on the business of theatrical distribution and exhibition particularly focused on the impacts to independent theaters.

Ben Godar
Ben Godar is the co-founder and executive director of Des Moines Film, as well as the programmer for Varsity Cinema. Before creating the nonprofit, Ben was a filmmaker, college instructor and journalist. He earned an MFA in Screenwriting from Chapman University.

Javier Chavez
Javier Chavez is Associate Film Programmer at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland. He is part of a team that curates over 700 films annually at the theater, from first-run to repertory to several festivals, including the AFI Latin American Film Festival and AFI European Union Film Showcase. He has served as a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Grant Panelist for Media Arts and was formerly Associate Director of Coral Gables Art Cinema for six years. Outside the world of cinema, he is a self-taught computer programmer who hopes to automate his entire workday – a task not yet accomplished. Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, he holds a BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.


Art House Convergence (AHC) is a coalition of independent exhibitors that connects, amplifies, and advocates for its community.


An Update from the AHC Board of Directors- January 2023

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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

A Message from the AHC Board

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Dear Art House Convergence members,

On behalf of the inaugural Board of Directors, we’re energized to collaborate with you – our first official membership –  on the next iteration of this organization.

Since our election in October, we’ve been working on several projects, including:

  • organizing internally as a board
  • determining the most sustainable organizational infrastructure for AHC
  • developing a mission and vision for the new organization
  • setting membership communication channels and calendars

All of this work is geared toward once again convening our community on a regular basis, as well as establishing new support structures and resources for the art house industry as a whole. While there will not be an official in-person convergence in 2023, keep an eye on your email for information about an informal Sundance gathering as well as additional regional meet-ups.

In the new year, there will be ample virtual and in-person opportunities for feedback sessions, and you can definitely expect to hear from us more regularly. In the meantime, if there is anything you’d like the Board to know, think about, consider, etc. please feel free to share using this Google form – we are here and we are listening!

We appreciate the trust you’ve put in us, and we are ready to work to bring the next iteration of this organization to life. As we do, please don’t hesitate to reach out via the form above or here. Our best wishes for bountiful year-end fundraising and ticket sales!

As we reflect on the year behind, and the year ahead, the AHC Board invites you to join us for a casual zoom get-together, to say hello to old friends and meet new ones. To help facilitate conversation, we will separate into breakout rooms by focus/expertise for some peer to peer networking.  We look forward to one of what will surely be many touchpoints with the wonderful art house community.

Your AHC Board (and Admin),

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
Kate Markham, AHC Administrative Coordinator

Announcing the 2022 Board of Directors

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October 3, 2022

Art House Convergence Announces the Results of Inaugural Board Election: Welcomes 15 Board Members

Art House Convergence (AHC) announced today the results of the Board of Directors election. An election was held Sept 21-28, 2022 with an electorate comprised of Art House Convergence members using secure, virtual ballots. Out of 42 candidates, the 15 candidates with the most votes were elected to the Board of Directors, a new governance body. 

Since its inception, AHC operated as a project of the Michigan Theater Foundation, without its own governing board, bylaws, or bank account. In September 2020, a volunteer group, the Transitional Working Group (TWG) was formed to support and facilitate Art House Convergence’s transition from the Michigan Theater to an independent organization by effectuating a membership drive and board election. The TWG shall dissolve and cede any and all responsibility for the management, government, and fiscal oversight of the Art House Convergence to the new Board. This board is tasked with incorporating the organization, effecting financial independence, and building the future of Art House Convergence as a democratic, transparent, diverse, equitable, inclusive organization.

The new board members will serve a term of office for a minimum of one year, with rolling terms of 1-3 years to be determined by this newly established board. Officers will be elected by the board. The fifteen (15) board members are:

  • Matt Bolish, Producer, NYFF & VP of Production & Operations, Film at Lincoln Center
  • Javier Chavez, Assistant Film Programmer, AFI Silver Theatre
  • Carolyn Chen, Legislative Analyst, Montgomery County Council; Film Festival Manager, Double Exposure Film Festival
  • Yasmin Chin Eisenhauer, Executive Director, Amherst Cinema Arts Center
  • Ben Delgado, Programming Director, FilmScene
  • Ben Godar, Executive Director, Des Moines Film / Varsity Cinema
  • Deirdre Haj, Executive Director, Film Streams Cinemas
  • Alicia Kozma, Director, Indiana University Cinema
  • Arin Liberman, Co-Executive Director, Ragtag Film Society
  • Lela Meadow-Conner, Creative Producer/Curator/Founder, mamafilm
  • Garineh Nazarian, Director of Marketing and Distribution, FilmRise
  • Asha Phelps, Operations & Administrative Manager, IFC Center
  • TT Stern-Enzi, Artistic Director, Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival
  • Emelyn Stuart, Owner, Stuart Cinema & Cafe
  • Stephanye Watts, Founder, BeReelBlack Cinema Club 


To learn more about the Art House Convergence Board and read member bios, click here.



About Art House Convergence:
The Art House Convergence (AHC) is dedicated to advancing excellence and sustainability in community-based, mission-driven cinema exhibition.


Media Contact:
Kate Markham
Administrative Coordinator, Art House Convergence

A Letter from the Transitional Working Group: Membership & Board Nominations

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Dear Art House Community,

We, the members of the Art House Convergence Transitional Working Group, are writing today to invite your participation in the next phase of the Art House Convergence Community. We hope you’ll read this entire message and join us for next steps that invite your involvement.


Since 2006, the Art House Convergence (AHC) has been dedicated to advancing excellence and sustainability in community-based, mission-driven cinema exhibition. The annual conference, regional seminars, AHC Google group forum and programs provided networking opportunities, educational resources, and defined best practices for hundreds of theaters and festivals located throughout North America.

AHC made some mistakes along the way. Art House Convergence grew faster than ever could have been anticipated—much faster than the infrastructure and oversight necessary to support its own operations and governance. Since its inception, AHC was operated as a project of the Michigan Theater Foundation, without its own governing board, bylaws, or bank account. Nevertheless AHC evolved organically as a vibrant “community of practice” — a collection of programmers, administrators, distributors, vendors, critics, academics, and others who “share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”

This community of practice was built over the past 16 years — largely from an engaged and enthusiastic cohort of volunteers — and we want to honor the efforts of these individuals, including past conference chairs and track heads, as well as the prior AHC staff members who worked to bring it all together.

While AHC was formed to be a nurturing professional network, it exhibited a pattern of failing to live its stated values, creating a historically unequal environment that felt hostile to some. In trying to repair those inequalities without proper training or more diverse staff changes, more harm was caused. It erased, maligned, devalued, and tokenized the contributions of volunteers of color, silenced criticism, and limited the development of healthy participatory democratic decision-making.  In perpetuating these behaviors, AHC failed to treat all of its stakeholders with respect and dignity.


Formed in September 2020, the AHC Transitional Working Group (AHC TWG) is a volunteer body made up of previous AHC participants and new colleagues. The AHC TWG is a bridge. Our only charge is administering the formation of new representative leadership, through the process of a membership drive and an inaugural board election.  This is so a new, elected body can lead this organization into the future with a toolbox which includes transparent structure, operational accountability, and cultural competency.

AHC TWG recognized that we could not move forward with this endeavor without first acknowledging, examining, and addressing the systemic racism and structural oppression historically perpetuated within AHC. With the guidance of outside facilitators, we have further recognized and named individual and collective traumas that were born out of that environment.

The TWG has wrestled with the stark reality of AHC’s past failings, yet we entered into this work with the conviction that the mission remained worthwhile and important. The AHC could only be born anew if it addressed the pivotal questions of who is currently included in this community, ways in which we want to expand the community and how individual and team contributions are seen and valued.


We are excited to now invite you to join this cinematic community of practice – either anew or for the first time – to be part of rebuilding AHC as a democratic, transparent, diverse, equitable, inclusive organization with a commitment to becoming anti-racist.

As announced in January, AHC has transitioned from being a program of the Michigan Theater Foundation to a fiscally-sponsored project of the Sundance Institute — an important step in ensuring our autonomy, independence, and accountability. Therefore we have created a template for a board structure, a code of conduct, bylaws, and a mature and effective financial structure. We want to build an organization that supports and sustains the broader art house community while respecting and reflecting the values of our constituent cinemas.

Here’s what comes next and how you can be a part of it:

We welcome you to opt-in as a member of AHC by filling out this New Member form, which includes a pledge to abide by AHC’s Code of Conduct. Membership will be free for 2022, with decisions about a future dues structure to be determined by AHC’s inaugural board. This call for membership will remain open, and we invite you to share this letter and the form with your networks so that it reaches new individuals and organizations.

AHC will be run by an elected board of directors, as described here. If you are interested in nominating yourself to run for a board seat, please fill out this form by August 5, 2022. The election for the inaugural board will be held Sept 1-7, 2022 with a strong commitment to transparency and democratic norms. (Upon the election and formation of the new board, the AHC TWG will disband and all leadership and decision making will be handled by the new, elected board.)

The AHC TWG looks forward to this transition by continuing this important, foundational process, and thanks you in advance for your involvement, support, and voice as we all map out the future of this organization.

Your Art House Convergence Transitional Working Group,

Camile Blake Fall
Brett Bossard
Chris Collier
Gina Cuomo
Ira Deutchman
Rebecca Fons
Jessica Green
Eugene Hernandez
Dan Hudson
Jan Klingelhofer
Stephanie Silverman
Dylan Skolnick
Emily Long
Kyle Westphal
Ronnie Ycong

Thank You, and Goodbye

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Hello Art House friends and colleagues,

I hope you are doing well and caring for yourselves through these difficult times.

I am writing this to let you all know that the time has come for me to move on from Art House Convergence and the Michigan Theater. My last day with both organizations will be Friday, October 29.

The absolute best part of this job over the years, what kept me going on tougher days, has been getting to know you all and your cinemas. I do not know what is next for me yet but I am certain that wherever I end up, one of your screens will be right down the road.

The torch of AHC will continue to be carried by the extraordinary Transitional Working Group, who have been shepherding this organization with care and intention over the past year. I am so excited for the new and brighter future they are building for our sector.

If you would like to keep in touch, please reach out to me at my personal email makenziepeecook(AT)

Thank you all — for everything.

With so much love,
Makenzie Peecook


A Message From the Transitional Working Group

Hello Art House Convergence community,

The Art House Convergence Transitional Working Group (AHC TWG) has been working over the past year and a half to transform the Art House Convergence, which has operated as a project of the Michigan Theater Foundation since its inception, into its own independent organization. Following a public process to nominate/self-nominate for service in the AHC TWG, a volunteer body — comprised of existing AHC members and new colleagues not previously affiliated with AHC, but active in the arthouse cinema sector and committed to reimagining AHC as a diverse and inclusive organization reflective of the community — has spent time working towards the goal of making the AHC a new organization that is distinct from the Michigan Theater Foundation.

In recent days, we have learned that AHC Events and Operations Manager Makenzie Peecook will be stepping away from her role at the end of October. All of us at the AHC TWG want to thank Makenzie wholeheartedly for her wisdom and grace throughout this whole process, and the AHC community is forever indebted to her leadership during this difficult time. Makenzie has embodied everything that we hope that our future organization will stand for — transparency, empathy, collective leadership — and we’re excited to see what she does next to make the independent film industry a stronger, warmer, and more engaged community. We want to also acknowledge the AHC TWG members who have had to step away from this work in the past 18 months — Carolyn Chen, Beth Gilligan, Shakira Refos — and are ever grateful for the contributions they have made toward these efforts.

Though with Makenzie’s departure there are no longer any staff members directly managing AHC operations on an ongoing basis, the AHC TWG is committed to ensuring that basic services such as the community Google Group and other organizational assets remain whole as we work toward finalizing a new organizational structure and home.

We know that this announcement will leave you with a lot of questions. We may be able to answer some, but please know that at this time we are still working out details. We expect that by the end of the calendar year, we will make a fuller announcement about the transition of AHC into a separate entity, initially with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor until such time as we establish ourselves as our own independent 501(c)(3), and present our plan of action to create a new governing Board accountable to the AHC community. While we will not be producing an in-person event in Utah in January, we look forward to gathering with you sometime in 2022 at a relaunched and reimagined conference, after the new Board and independent organization are in place.

Sincerely signed,
Art House Convergence Transitional Working Group:
Camile Blake Fall
Brett Bossard
Chris Collier
Logan Crow
Gina Cuomo
Ira Deutchman
Rebecca Fons
Jessica Green
Eugene Hernandez
Dan Hudson
Jan Klingelhofer
Gary Meyer
Stephanie Silverman
Dylan Skolnick
Emily Long Vito
Kyle Westphal
Ronnie Ycong

Art House Convergence Community Meeting 5.27.20

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An open meeting was held on the evening of May 27, 2020 to discuss plans for the future of Art House Convergence. The agenda for the call can be found here. A full transcript of the meeting can be found here.

Meeting Follow-up

Please find the link to submit questions to the transitional board here.

Please find the link to a form to nominate yourself or someone you think would be great to the transitional board hereThe deadline to apply is Monday, June 1.

Below is a list of proposed actions steps to be taken by the transitional board. Please use the form above to submit questions and the Provisional Board will work to get those answered and posted as quickly as possible. They ask that this be done in a 72 hour window because there is urgency to this first phase of work.

Proposed Actions to be taken by Transitional Board:
  1. That the Art House Convergence immediately re-hire Alison Kozberg in the role of Interim Managing Director. Compensation and terms of employment to be determined.
  2. That the Provisional Board hold an emergency election to add new members to help facilitate the next stage of the organization and separation from the Michigan Theater Foundation.
  3. That the Provisional Board will negotiate with a new organization to transition the fiscal and intellectual assets of the Art House Convergence from the Michigan Theater. Any arrangement with that new organization will be a limited term, allowing the AHC to continue vital operations and programs to support theaters and to provide support while the AHC incorporates as a stand-alone organization. Any agreement entered will recognize the independence of the Art House Convergence, the timing to incorporation and separation, and the autonomy of the Convergence to pursue its mission.
  4. That the Provisional Board will work with the Board of the Michigan Theater Foundation to effectuate the transition, retaining all AHC assets, emails, website and access, relevant files, and finances related to the AHC including the $200,000 organizational seed money and any proceeds from the 2020 annual conference.
  5. That the Provisional Board will work with the Board of the Michigan Theater Foundation to retain Makenzie Peecook through at least September 30th, with no changes to her compensation or benefits per written documentation, to effectuate the transition to a new organization.
  6. That the Provisional Board work with the Interim Managing Director and delegates of the Convergence to create a Governance Committee, who will be tasked with creating a membership program and organizing elections for a new board of directors.
  7. That the Provisional Board effectuate a vote for a new board – selected and elected by the delegates of the Convergence – to be in place by Monday, Sept 7th, 2020.
  8. And that upon the election of the new Board of Directors, the Provisional Board shall dissolve and cede any and all responsibility for the management, government, and fiscal oversight of the Art House Convergence to the new Board.

Thanks all — this is an incredibly challenging time for so many reasons and I am so grateful to this community for coming together in this moment to work through next steps so we can come out the other side with an evolved, stable and forward moving AHC.

Take care,

Stephanie along with Chris, Dylan and Ronnie
criterion homepage (3)

Art-House America Campaign

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On March 30 the Criterion Collection and Janus Films launched the Art-House America Campaign, an emergency fundraising effort dedicated to providing financial relief to art house movie theaters experiencing COVID related closures. As of May 28 the campaign has raised over $840,000 from over 5,000 donors dedicated to keeping the filmgoing experience alive. We are incredibly touched by the outpouring of support for art house cinemas.

We are also thrilled to announce that the campaign has been able to distribute its two rounds of grants. Congratulations to the 153 cinemas who have received support from the Art-house America Campaign! Thank you for you for making sure we can all return to the movies. 

14 Pews Houston, TX • ACME Screening Room Lambertville, NJ • AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center Silver Spring, MD • Alexander Valley Film Society Cloverdale, CA • American Cinematheque Los Angeles, CA • Amherst Cinema Amherst, MA • Anthology Film Archives New York, NY• a/perture cinema Winston-Salem, NC • Arena Cinelounge Los Angeles, CA • Arena Theater Association Point Arena, CA • Ark Lodge Cinemas Seattle, WA • ArtsEmerson Boston, MA • ArtsQuest, Bethlehem, PA • Athena Cinema Athens, OH • Austin Film Society Austin, TX • Avalon Theatre Washington DC • Avon Theater Film Center Greenwich, CT • The Beacon Cinema Seattle, WA • Bedford Playhouse Bedford, NY • BendFilm Bend, OR • BIJOU Theatre Lincoln City, OR • The Bookhouse Cinema Joplin, MO • Brattle Theatre Cambridge, MA • Broadway Metro Eugene, OR • Bryn Mawr Film Institute Bryn Mawr, PA • Byrd Theatre Richmond, VA • Cameo Cinema St. Helena, CA • Capri Theater Montgomery, AL • Carlisle Regional Performing Arts Center Carlisle, PA • Central Cinema Knoxville, TN • Chelsea Theater Cinema Capitol Chapel Hill, NC • Rome, NY • Cinema21 Portland, OR • CinemaSF San Francisco, CA • Cinematique of Daytona Daytona Beach, FL • Ciné Athens, GA • Cinema Arts Centre Huntington, NY • Cinema Detroit Detroit, MI • Cinemapolis Ithaca, NY • cinéSPEAK Folsom, PA • Cinestudio Hartford, CT • Circle Cinema Tulsa, OK • City Lights Cinemas Florence, OR • Civic Theatre of Allentown Allentown, PA • Clinton Street Theater Portland, OR • Colonial Theatre Phoenixville, PA • Coral Gables Art Cinema Coral Gables, FL • Columbia Film Society Columbia, SC • Court Square Theater Harrisonburg, VA • Dairy Arts Center Boulder, CO • Darkside Cinema Corvallis, OR • Denver Film Society Denver, CO • Dietrich Theater Tunkhannoock, PA • Echo Park Film Center Los Angeles, CA • The Emmaus Theatre Emmaus PA • Enzian Theater Maitland, FL • Eveningstar Cinema Brunswick, ME • Facets Chicago, IL • Fargo Theatre Fargo, ND • Film at Lincoln Center New York, NY • The Film Lab Hamtramck, MI • Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul Minneapolis, MN • Film Streams Omaha, NE • Film Scene Iowa City, IA • Frida Cinema Santa Ana, CA • Gateway Film Center Columbus, OH • Gold Town Theater Juneau, AK • Grail Cinema Asheville, NC • Grandin Theatre Roanoke, VA • The Grand Cinema Tacoma, WA • Grand Illusion Cinema Seattle, WA • Guild Cinema Albuquerque, NM • The Historic Artcraft Theatre Franklin, IN • Historic Howell Theater Howell, MI • The Historic Vogue Theatre of Manistee Manistee, MI • Images Cinema Williamstown, MA • Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre Moscow, ID • Light Industry Brooklyn, NY • The Lyric Council Blacksburg, VA • Jacob Burns Film Center Pleasantville, NY • Jane Pickens Theater & Event Center Newport, RI • Kiggins Theatre Vancouver, WA • Kimball’s Peak Three Theater Colorado Springs, CO • Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation Mount Vernon, WA • The Little Theatre Rochester, NY • Loft Cinema Tucson, AZ • Lumiere Cinema Beverly Hills, CA • The Luna Theater Lowell, MA • Maiden Alley Cinema Paducah, KY • Manlius Art Cinema Manlius, NY • Martha’s Vineyard Film Society Vineyard Haven, MA • Maysles Documentary Center New York, NY • Media Arts Center San Diego – Digital Gym Cinema San Diego, CA • The Midwest Theater Scottsbluff, NE • Milwaukee Film Milwaukee, WI • Montclair Film Festival Montclair, NJ • The Moviehouse Millerton, NY • Music Box Theatre Chicago, IL • The Nantucket Dreamland Foundation Nantucket, MA • Naro Cinema Norfolk, VA • The Neon Dayton, OH • Nightlight Cinema Akron, OH • North Park Theatre of Buffalo Buffalo, NY • Northeast Historic Film Bucksport, ME • Northwest Film Forum Seattle, WA • Old Greenbelt Theatre Greenbelt, MD • Old Town Music Hall El Segundo, CA • Olympia Film Society Olympia, WA • Osio Theater Foundation Monterey, CA • Pageant Theater Chico, CA • La Paloma Theatre Encinitas, CA • Park City Film Park City, UT • Parkway Theatre and Maryland Film Festival Baltimore, MD • Philadelphia Film Society Philadelphia, PA • Pickford Film Center Bellingham, WA • The Picture House Regional Film Center Pelham, NY • Plaza Atlanta Atlanta, GA • The Plaza Cinema and Media Arts Center Patchogue, NY • The Prospector Theater Ridgefield, CT • Provincetown Film Society Provincetown, MA • Ragtag Film Society Columbia, MO • Reel Pizza Cinerama Bar Harbor, ME • Robinson Film Center Shreveport, LA • Rose Theatre Port Townsend, WA • Rosendale Theatre Rosendale, NY • Row House Cinema Pittsburgh, PA • Roxie Theater San Francisco, CA • Roxy Theater Missoula, MT • Salem Cinema Salem, OR • Salt Lake Film Society Salt Lake City, UT • Savoy Theater Montpelier, VT • Screenland Armour Theatre North Kansas City, MO • The Screening Room Amherst, NY • Sedona International Film Festival & Mary D Fisher Theatre Sedona, AZ • Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema Birmingham, AL • SIFF Seattle, WA • Sol Cinema Cafe New York, NY • The Strand Theatre Rockland, ME • Stuart Cinema & Cafe Brooklyn, NY • Suns Cinema Washington, D.C., DC • Tampa Theatre Tampa, FL • Tropic Cinema Key West, FL • Trylon Cinema Minneapolis, MN • The Tull Family Theater Sewickley, PA • The State Theatre Modesto, CA • The Texas Theatre Dallas, TX • Upstate Films Rhinebeck, NY • The Winterset Iowa Theater Winterset, IA • Traverse City Film Festival / State and Bijou Theaters Traverse City, MI • The World Theatre Foundation Kearney, NE • Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge Arabi, LA • Zinema 2 Duluth, MN



COVID-19 Preparedness Resources

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During this challenging period, art houses around the world are working together to innovate and develop film programming and education for their audiences. Art House Convergence strongly encourages film lovers to invest in their local art house now so that theaters can continue to serve them in the future. 

Closures and Reopening 
Administration & CARES Act
Advocate for Arts Funding and Support
Online Platforms and Solutions
Prevent the Spread of Misinformation & Racist Rhetoric
Resources for Individuals
COVID-19 Overview 
Member Benefits
Revenue Opportunities
Bringing Education Online
Reopening Operations
Human Resources & Staffing
Reduce Expenses
Reopening Programming
Virtual Cinema: FAQs
Virtual Cinema: Platforms
Virtual Cinema: Live Events 
Alternative Programming

More Resources

General Resources

Closures and Reopening

  • Theaters should always comply with public health guidelines and enhance precautions when appropriate in order to ensure the safety of staff and guests. 
  • Before reopening, identify and assemble key stakeholders and board members and establish a task force to address the ethical, legal, and financial concerns associated with reopening.
  • Consult with your insurance broker and legal representation. Identify risks associated with reopening and scope of insurance coverage. 
  • Establish regular communications with local and state departments of health.
  • Work with human resources to provide a forum for staff and front of house staff to share their thoughts and concerns about returning to work.
  • Work with communications to create a survey to assess community sentiment. IU Cinema: Reopening Survey, FilmScene: Summer 2020 Camp SurveyIndieWire: Risks and Rewards of Reopening.
  • Assess if it is possible for your theater to reopen safely. Art House Convergence: Operations AssessmentArt House Convergence: Public Health Assessment.
  • Reopening: OperationsReopening: Programming

Administration & CARES Act

    • Review updated tax provisions. Tax return filing dates have been extended to July 15, 2020 and corporate tax payments are delayed until October 15, 2020. Read more here.
    • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
      • Resources: Small Business Owners GuideInside Charity: How Nonprofits Will Receive CARES Act Funding
      • Paycheck Protection ProgramBusinesses with under 500 employees may qualify for federally guaranteed loans to cover the cost of payroll and may be eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount spent on costs including payroll, rent, and utilities. Small businesses are eligible to apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply.
      • Emergency Economic Injury Disaster LoansThis program provides emergency advances of up to $10,000 to small businesses and non-profits harmed by COVID-19. EIDLs are low interest loans of up to $2 million. These grants are available between January 31, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Resources: Application.
      • Small Business Debt Relief Program. This program provides relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and micro-loans. SBA will cover all payments on these loans including principal, interest, and fees for six months.
      • Employee Retention Credit. This provision provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during COVID-19 crisis. The credit is available to employers, including non-profits, whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of a government order limiting commerce, travel or group meetings. This credit is not available to employers receiving assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program. More information available here.
      • Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes. This provision would allow taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022. Payroll taxes that can be deferred include the employer portion of FICA taxes, the employer and employee representative portion of Railroad Retirement taxes (that are attributable to the employer FICA rate), and half of SECA tax liability. This deferral is not available to employers receiving assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program.
      • Seeking support from a business counselor? Find a local resource partner here.
    • Contact your landlord or lender, renegotiate payments schedules and terms.
    • Review your insurance policy and contact your insurance provider to determine if your business interruption and liability insurance include any coverage for an outbreak in your community. Even without explicit coverage for pandemics of communicable diseases, theaters can file a claim.
    • Review existing contracts and check force majeure and cancellation clauses to ensure that they include protection during epidemics and pandemics. Communicate with your board and key stakeholders about financial risks and liability.
    • Contact you vendors and suppliers, anticipate changes in demand and respond accordingly.
    • Protect your liquidity. Assess how long you can operate during a period of temporary closure and identify expense reductions that can extend this period. Make financial plans for variable outcomes ranging from 1-12 months of potential interruptions.

Advocate for Arts Funding and Support

Online Platforms and Solutions

Prevent the Spread of Misinformation and Racist Rhetoric

  • Do not ignore racist remarks, condemn racist rhetoric and actions when they occur.
  • Do not use images or terms that reinforce negative stereotypes like “Wuhan virus.”
  • Discuss and enforce anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies with volunteers and staff.
  • Monitor social media platforms for racist behaviors.
  • Craft your own public statement. Resources are available from the Association for Asian American Studies and Asian American Journalists Association.

Resources for Individuals 

COVID-19 Overview

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is spread through person-to-person transmission. 

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within approximately 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
  • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the primary source of transmission.
  • Current research shows that COVID-19 is spreading “very easily and sustainably between people”.



  • Continue to celebrate your mission. Arts and culture still matter, continue to make your unique mission central to your conversations with donors.
  • Tell your story. Explain what support will be used for and personalize your asks.
  • Every dollar counts. Encourage patrons to donate the value of their ticket instead of requesting a refund.
  • Pace yourself. Because of uncertainty about the duration of closures, roll out fundraising initiatives slowly.
  • Mobilize your Board. Encourage Board members who are able to pay dues in advance.
  • Renegotiate Grants. Request that funders re-designate restricted funds for general operating costs.

Member Benefits

  • MUBI, a curated streaming service for art house and independent films, is offering 3 months of free streaming access to your art house’s members complete with a bespoke landing page for your theater. Email knewmark(at) for details.
  • Music Box Direct, a streaming service featuring films including Transit and Frantz, is offering one month of free streaming access to your art house’s members. Email bschultz(at) for details.
  • Engage filmmakers, professors, and staff to host special virtual happy hours and film conversations as member benefits.

Revenue Opportunities

  • Magnolia Selects and Spotlight Cinema Networks are offering art house theaters 100% of the subscription fees when their patrons sign up for Magnolia Selects. After July 1, fees will be divided on a 50/50 split between the theater and Spotlight/ Magnolia. Read more here.
  • Facebook Boost Grants. Facebook is offering small grants to eligible businesses.
  • Gift Packages & Swag. FilmScene: Concessions Bundle, Texas Theatre: Home Cinema Survival Kits, Sidewalk Cinema: Curbside Concessions, Frida Cinema: QuaranZine, The Little Theatre: Popcorn Pass.
  • Sponsorship. Encourage sponsors to support your new initiatives and virtual programs. Offer email logo placement as a sponsor benefit.
  • Reach out to local community foundations and emergency grant programs.
  • Remain active and keep your supporters updated about progress.
  • Virtual Fundraisers. Seed&Spark:Art House Crowdfunding.


Bringing Education Online


Communications & Marketing 


Reopening Operations

  • Prior to reopening, states should carefully review federal, state, and local public health guidelines and restrictions.
  • Include a public announcement about steps your theater is taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Art House Convergence: Reopening Safely, Gina Cuomo (Denver Film), George Myers (Amherst Cinema).
  • Art House Convergence: Reopening Approaches and Questions, George Myers (Amherst Cinema), Beth Gilligan (Coolidge Corner Theatre).
  • Encourage social distancing. Lines, seating, and staffing should allow for 6 feet of between individuals.
  • Enhance cleaning efforts: prepare cleaning checklists, stagger screenings to allow more time for cleaning between shows, regularly clean surfaces and touch-points (knobs, railings, touchscreens, dispensers).
  • Work closely with staff. Develop plans around sick time and absenteeism, establish communication channels, provide training on PPE.
  • Provide personal protective equipment, including gloves, sanitizer, and masks for staff.
  • Schedule fewer screenings to avoid crowding in lobby and other common areas.
  • Discourage sick patrons from attending screenings. Offer full refunds to sick patrons.
  • Make hand sanitizer, napkins, tissues, and soap readily available to guests.
  • Make trash cans readily available for the disposal of tissues and napkins. Change trash regularly.
  • Post hand washing instructions at sinks.
  • Minimize touching customers phones, credit cards, and tickets. If possible, allow customers to swipe or insert cards themselves or make their purchases in advance.
  • Event Safety Alliance: Reopening Guide


Human Resources & Staffing 

  • Remain in regular communication with staff. Leadership should establish clear communications plans to help team members understand workflow and decision-making.
  • Counter stigma by disseminating accurate information about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Speak out against negative behaviors, and maintain employee confidentiality.
  • Establish compassionate and clearly communicated staffing protocols to account for workplace disruptions. Plan for work redistribution, flexible schedules, and increased absenteeism.
  • If staff need to perform work onsite, schedule them to avoid overlap and provide additional supplies to regularly clean workspaces (alcohol-based hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, tissues, hands-free waste receptacles).
  • During furloughs or layoffs, assist staff with applying for unemployment.
  • Create opportunities for staff engagement like weekly check-ins or Netflix viewing parties.
  • Ensure that your sick and leave policies are consistent with public health guidelines and that staff are informed about these policies. Offer paid sick leave.
  • All employee health information is confidential, even during a crisis. Employers should not reveal the identities of infected employees.
  • In most circumstances, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from asking employees about health conditions. However, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) does allow for some exceptions to mitigate the negative impact of pandemics in the workplace. The EEOC recommends that employers follow CDC guidelines and has provided additional guidance about employer actions during an influenza pandemic.


  • Carefully annotate your building closing checklist. Make sure multiple staffers have the tools and information they need for data backups, bank deposits, building security, and reopening.
  • Care for your building while closed. Download our checklist here.
  • Prepare your projectors and servers for an extended shutdown. Instructions from Boston Light & Sound are available here.
  • Arrange for at least one staff member to visit the building regularly.
  • Check concession stands for perishable items. Arrange to sell or donate items.
  • Communicate closure to distributors, Deluxe, and Cinevizion.

Reduce Expenses

  • Cancel all non-essential subscriptions, including software, advertising (print, social media, digital), concessions ordering, and shipping.
  • Adjust your thermostat.
  • Contact your landlord about rent relief. Research business eviction protections in your city or town.
  • Contact your bank or lender about mortgage or loan payment relief.


Reopening Programming

  •  Art House Convergence: Virtual BORs & Reopening Programming, Rebecca Fons (Film Scene & The Iowa Theater).
  • Reopening Programming Offers:
    • IFC Films: The Indie Theater Revival Project.
    • Paramount: Repertory titles can be developed into custom programs, or book preexisting programs through the Back to the Big Screen Program. Full list here.
    • Searchlight: Offering select titles beginning June 1 for a limited fee including Isle of Dogs and Jojo Rabbit.
    • Sony Pictures Classics: Offering select repertory titles including Only Lovers Left Alive and All About My Mother.
    • United Artists Releasing: $125 flat for select catalogue titles, $40 donated to Will Rogers Relief Fund.
    • Universal Repertory: Offering 25 themed combo drives of titles from Blumhouse, Dreamworks, Focus Features, and Illumination. Full list here.
    • Warner Bros: WB Classics Program : 5 TIERS

Virtual Cinema: FAQs

  • What are virtual cinema screenings? Virtual cinema screenings are ticketed screenings of films unavailable on any other VOD platform that viewers can enjoy from the privacy of their own home. Once a customer purchases a ticket they will receive access to a temporary film rental.
  • How can viewers enjoy a virtual screening? Audiences can buy tickets through their local art house cinema.
  • How does this support independent theaters? Virtual screenings allow theaters to keep programming films, even when their doors are closed. A portion of each ticket sale will go directly to the buyer’s local art house cinema.
  • What films are available to book? We recommend theaters contact their regular bookers and/ or distributors to stay on top of current titles available. Dear Producer list of available titles.
  • How many films should my theater book at once? We recommend theaters offer the same number of films they usually do. If you regularly book four films and have capacity to market, promote, and discuss four, then you should adhere to your established model.
  • How do we help our patrons navigate the tech? Offer a FAQ. a/perture cinema: FAQCoolidge Corner Theatre: FAQJacob Burns Film Center: Virtual FAQ.

Virtual Cinema: Platforms

Virtual Live Events (and Security)

  • Staff as you would any special program.
  • Keep your event secure. For Zoom, this means never post your link publicly, and adjust settings to make sure the host has control over the meeting.
    • Participant Video (Off)
    • Join Before Host (Off)
    • Mute Participants Upon Entry (On)
    • File Transfer (Off)
    • Screen Sharing (Off)
    • Allow removed participants to rejoin (Off).

Alternative Programming

More Resources

Last updated at 2:00 PM ET on August 17, 2020.