Education Blog

Reflections on Art House Convergence 2017

By Sarah O'Hare, Manager of School Programs 01.27.17

Last week JBFC Executive Director Edie Demas, Senior Programmer Andrew Jupin, and I had the opportunity to attend the Art House Convergence Conference in Midway, Utah. The Art House Convergence is a growing network of cinemas that gathers each year before the Sundance Film Festival to talk exhibition, distribution, and all things independent movies. This was the 10th anniversary of the Convergence, and over 650 people attended the conference from around the country. It was an incredible experience getting to learn about the remarkable work people are doing in their communities and the industry, as well as explore our challenges and brainstorm together, united in a common cause.

Edie and I presented a workshop, From Concept to Execution: Fundraising and Partnership Development for Media Literacy Programs, where we shared details on how we implement and support our education programs. This workshop created a space for all attendees to brainstorm new ways of building new partnerships for their programming. Edie also presented in two additional panels: First, The Annual Gala Fundraiser: Making It Worthwhile for the Art House Theater, where she shared how the JBFC uses fundraising to promote our mission and bring our art house community together; and second, as part of Art House Tales, an hour of mini-presentations where each presenter got 20 power point slides and only 6 minutes to tell the entire story of their art house theater! I continue to drift back to one of the quotes from the Convergence that stuck with me: “The people in your community matter the most, and films are the second most important because they bring the people together.”

We are excited to be back, and are in the process of sharing our motivation and ideas with the team. This renewed energy helps propel forward our efforts to make a difference, both for the people of this community and beyond.