Institutional Presentation Statement
Keywords: Millennium Film Workshop, Non-profit, Artist Run, Experimental Cinema, Independent Cinema, Media Arts, Experimental Programming, Educational Instruction, Historical Archive, Community Outreach
The Millennium Film Workshop is based in New York City, NY and is one of the longest running artist-run workshops for experimental cinema and media. The non-profit organization was invented, named, and founded in 1966 by filmmaker Ken Jacobs. Millennium was conceived as a community-based organization dedicated to providing open screenings, low-cost equipment rental, and training programs. These aspects flourished under the leadership of long-time Executive Director, Howard Guttenplan. This level of creative engagement made the Workshop a valuable resource for film and media artists across multiple generations.
In 2014, the Millennium archive was acquired by MoMA. However, by 2015, the Workshop had experienced multiple set-backs. It no longer contained a physical location. In addition, membership and community interest had dwindled. All of the remaining resources were maintained in a dusty storage facility in Brooklyn, NY. In a year when the organization would have been celebrating 50 years of ongoing operations, Millennium was on the brink of extinction.
With the arrival of a new board of directors, Millennium explored multiple steps for reinventing itself. This process included a recommitment to creative programing and educational instruction. In addition, Millennium participated in outreach efforts with film festivals, community organizations, and artists. These symbiotic actions allowed Millennium to move forward as an organization. The following presentation will highlight the creation of Millennium’s digital archive. It will also provide an overview about current programming efforts and the organizational vision for the next 50 years of operation.
- Paul Echeverria (NY, USA) Assistant Professor of Digital and Emerging Media Production at Wayne State University, USA