National Conference of Media Arts Centers

National Conference of Media Arts Centers hosted by the Foundation for Independent Video and Film at Lake Minnewaska, NY April 25-27, 1979. Known as the Minnewaska Conference. Funding provided by the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Steering Committee: Virgil Grillo (Rocky Mountain Film Center), Alan Jacobs (Foundation for Independent Video and Film), Robert Sitton (Northwest Film Study Center), Gail Waldron (Bay Area Video Coalition), Susan Woll (Boston Film/Video Foundation), Stan Woodward (South Carolina Arts Commission), Robert Haller (Pittsburgh Filmmakers). Representatives of 47 organizations and 12 governmental agencies attended; at the preceeding Pittsburgh Conference it was felt that attendance was limited to larger institutions. This meeting included smaller organizations previously not represented. About 20% of attendees at Minnewaska were from artist-based organizations. The Steering Committee devised a selection process for attendees to keep total attendance to 63 and represent national activity. The issues addressed at the conference included: theatrical and commerical distribution of independent works; new technologies including satellite and video disc and what theres offer independent media makers; cooperative bookings and tours emphasizing information sharing models such as the Carnegie Institute Film and Videomakers Travel Sheet; the continued development of media arts centers and their role in the field; access to television broadcast; relationships with the AFI to promote national advocacy efforts on behalf of the independent community; legislative needs to expand independently produced works on PBS; creation of corporate funding center for media; increase the visibility of the media arts. The Conference resulted in a clearly stated need to national action; a Steering Committee was charged with forming the coalition. This Committee proposed a national coalition composed of organizations from 11 geographic zones in the US. Regional meetings were held during March, April and May of 1980. Membership was limited to organizations. By October 1980 this was modified with a mechanism for individual representation.