Russ Collins is a non-profit arts administrator with an entrepreneurial approach to management. Since 1982, he has grown the Michigan Theater Foundation (MTF) in Ann Arbor, into an internationally recognized community-based, mission-driven arts organization. Operating two restored historic theaters: Michigan Theater – 1920s era movie palace; State Theatre – 1940s cinema style theater. They each operate 365-days each year as elegant, non-profit arts facilities. The MTF is widely recognized as an outstanding independent cinema exhibitor and performing arts venue. In 2008, in participation with the Sundance Film Festival, Russ founded the Art House Convergence – a dynamic professional society for independent cinema operators. In 2012, he started the Cinetopia Festival, the international film festival for the Detroit metropolitan area.
Makenzie Peecook, Events and Operation Manager
Makenzie Peecook joined the team at Art House Convergence in 2016 as Program Coordinator and became the Events and Operations Manager in 2017. She has worked with the Michigan Theater Foundation (MTF) in Ann Arbor, MI, since 2013, including as a programmer and Operations Coordinator for the Cinetopia Film Festival. She got her start in art house exhibition working as a MTF House Manager while studying film and communications at the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a B.A. in 2015.
Dan Hudson, Co-Chair, Art House Theater Day
A graduate of Seattle University’s MFA in Arts Leadership program, Dan Hudson has over eight years of professional experience working with arts nonprofits in Seattle. His thesis used Art House Theater Day 2016 as the foundation for research on art houses’ sustainability. His programming for the Grand Illusion Cinema in Seattle’s University District was profiled by The Stranger in March 2018. He is also Managing Director of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY).
Rocío Mesa, Co-Chair, Art House Theater Day
Rocío Mesa is the director of LA OLA – Independent Films From Spain, a showcase of the best contemporary Spanish cinema in Los Angeles (American Cinematheque), New York (Anthology Film Archives) and Mexico City (Cineteca Nacional), celebrating its 5th edition in 2019. Mesa as worked as Associate Programmer for the LA Film Festival and has collaborated with art house theaters including the Echo Park Film Center and Now Instant Image Hall.
Dylan Skolnick, Community Forum Moderator
Dylan Skolnick is Co-Director at the Cinema Arts Centre, Long Island’s leading venue for alternative film. There he programs and supervises the Cinema’s monthly film programs and acclaimed series, including “Cinema Showcase,” “Anything But Silent,” and “Real-to-Reel Documentaries.” These groundbreaking series have given the Centre its reputation for quality, artistic integrity, and ingenuity in presenting independent film to the public. He maintains the Centre’s forty-plus year focus on using film to expand the awareness and understanding of Long Islanders to the vital local and global issues facing our society.
The Cinema Arts Centre Co-Directors have received honors for community impact from many organizations, including the Long Island Progressive Coalition, PAX Christi, Planned Parenthood, NYCLU, and the NOW Alliance PAC of Long Island.
Chris Collier, Renew Theaters
Chapin Cutler, Boston Light & Sound
Ira Deutchman, Columbia University & Emerging Pictures
Eugene Hernandez, Film at Lincoln Center
Jan Klingelhofer, Pacific Film Resources
Gary Meyer, EatDrinkFilms
Stephanie Silverman, Belcourt Theatre
Dylan Skolnick, Cinema Arts Centre
Kathy Tallman, Coolidge Corner Theatre
Ronnie Ycong, CineMarketing Consulting Group