What is Art House Convergence?

Art House Convergence (AHC) is an association dedicated to advancing excellence and sustainability in community-based, mission-driven media exhibition. Each year our annual conference, regional seminars, and other programs provide networking opportunities, educational resources, and define best practices for hundreds of theaters and festivals located throughout North America.

Who runs Art House Convergence?

Art House Convergence is currently a program of the Michigan Theater Foundation, a 501(c)3 located in Ann Arbor, MI. The program currently operates with two dedicated staff members and input from an advisory board and network of volunteers.

How did Art House Convergence get started?

Art House Convergence was founded in partnership with Sundance Film Festival in 2006 when a group of fourteen independent cinemas theaters including the Michigan Theater, Belcourt Theatre, and Ragtag Cinema were brought together by Sundance Institute’s Art House Project. The first official conference was held in 2008 in Salt Lake City with the objective of increasing the quantity and quality of art house cinemas in North America. Read the full history here.

Why is the annual conference in Midway, Utah?

The first conference was hosted in Utah to coordinate with the Sundance Film Festival, and moved to Midway in 2010 to accommodate its growing capacity.  The conference has remained in Midway in order to facilitate networking and dining among attendees. However, we are currently researching venues in Salt Lake City and beyond.

When will Art House Convergence become an independent 501(c)3?

Art House Convergence is currently pursuing becoming an independent non-profit that serves hundreds of cinema exhibitors in the United States and abroad. We currently hope to have this process completed within the next 1-4 years. Do you have ideas about how you would like to see Art House Convergence evolve? Managing Director Alison Kozberg and Operations and Events Manager Makenzie Peecook are hosting meetings where they listen to your ideas about the future of Art House Convergence. Sign up to meet with Alison Kozberg here and with Makenzie Peecook here.

Why will the process of becoming an independent 501(c)3 take 1-4 years?

A primary goal of the transition is to make sure that Art House Convergence is able to better serve all of its constituents as a stable and resilient independent organization. In addition to building an independent board, this process will include insuring that the organization is able to withstand periods of instability like current COVID-19 epidemic.

How do I become part of Art House Convergence? Do I have to be a member to participate?

Art House Convergence was founded to support an informal network of theaters and cinema enthusiasts without an official membership program. For the last ten years we have provided resources openly on our website and made our events open to anyone who would like to attend. However, we are currently in the process of establishing a membership program to better serve our constituents. Two great ways to engage in the AHC community are participating in the GoogleGroup and receiving the weekly email newsletter.

What if I am not an exhibitor, can I still participate?

We strongly encourage cinema enthusiasts and supporters to engage with AHC programs. We have previously hosted academics, film critics, attorneys, filmmakers, and marketing professionals.

Can I volunteer at the annual conference?

Yes, each year we invite art house enthusiasts to support the conference as either operations or A/V volunteers. In exchange for their contributions, volunteers are offered complimentary delegate badges to the conference. More information on the program is available here.

I am a vendor or film distributor who would like to interact with art houses and vendors. Are there sponsorship opportunities for the conferences and programs?

Yes, all AHC events and programs offer sponsorship opportunities that help vendors connect with art house cinemas and their patrons. Learn more about the sponsorship program here.

Are there scholarships offered to help cover the cost of attending AHC events?

Yes, each year Art House Convergence offers initiatives and scholarships to improve access to the conference’s educational, networking, and professionalization opportunities.  More information on our scholarship program can be found here.

What is Art House Theater Day? How can I sign-up?

Art House Theater Day was founded in 2016 as an international day of celebration for art house cinemas and the vital role they play in their community. Held every September, this day brings together over 100 cinemas across North America and beyond for specialty programs, giveaways, and more. Are house cinemas are encouraged to sign-up and get involved. More information can be found here.

What does Art House Convergence offer outside of the conferences and seminars?

Art House Convergence works year-round to share resources and programs that encourage artistic creativity, integrity, and diversity. Resources currently available through our website include sample employee manuals, sample restroom policies, and a guide to greening your cinema. We are also currently working with Sundance Indigenous Program to distribute Indigenous-made films to art house cinemas annually.

Past programming collaborations including a partnership with Film at Lincoln Center to present Black Panther, and a partnership with Kino Lorber to encourage programming in conjunction with the U.N. Climate Action Summit.

How can I join a working group?

Thank you for your interest in getting more involved! A list of current working groups, including Queering the Cinema and Alliance for Action, and how to join them can be found here.