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329 West 18th Street Suite #610
Chicago, Illinois 60616
(312) 243-1808

December 28, 2012


…to so many people. CFA has kept its doors open, the back room chilled, the bench occupied and the telecine humming because of your decisions to support us. We are creating a massive 20th century Midwest/Chicago moving image time capsule that is built by each CFA customer, each CFA donor, and each foundation and agency that supports our work.

Thank You Pudding “Laboratory” (1968), Chuck Olin Collection


In 2012 you pushed us over the finish line in getting our online database (with over 400 streaming videos) deployed and displayed on our website! Thanks especially to Andrea Gambino and all who matched her offer to ensure the completion of this two and a half year project! And to filmmaker and new board member Leslie Buchbinder who simply said, “I’m in.”

You got us started in the huge and worthy task of processing the magnificent Ruth Page Dance Collection – with thanks to the National Endowment of the Arts who was later joined by the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation to make this happen! Already, two 1928 35mm Ruth Page films – BOLERO and CARMEN – are being restored and preserved at Colorlab in Washington, DC. And 80 of the earliest Ruth Page videotapes are making their way to Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) for transfer to digital preservation files.

You made it possible to begin unwrapping the work of the late and unheralded avant-garde filmmaker JoAnn Elam. It’s a complicated collection that reflects the life of its complicated creator. Thanks especially to Susan Elam, Joe Hendricks, Chuck Kleinhaus and Julia Lesage for providing a large offering of support, light and clarification to this collection.

I am also grateful to those who have begun and to those who have continued to invest in CFA’s mission and future this past year. Our board members old and new have underscored and advanced our 2012 activities in an economy that has strained most all of us. Chicago artists and studios (that would be you, Jessica Bardsley, Tim Kinsella, Andy Resek, Ellen Castleberry, Josh Abrams, Kent Lambert, CAVE, Monica Jost and the Experimental Sound Studio!) have contributed their talents and skills to create new works of moving image art, utilizing CFA’s films. Our very small team of metadata pros, researchers and programmers completed a very large and well-populated online database…and even well after the last check was written, they shored us up when CFA glitches arose (Thank you, Seth!). Foundations both national and local (hugely grateful to the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Art Works Fund and Illinois Arts Council) have allowed us to establish rich and massive goals. Our interns have always made these goals attainable. CFA customers continually seem to “get it” that they contribute to the salvaging and preservation of the Midwest moving image legacy each time they use our services. Thank you to the Morrison-Shearer Foundation and the Chicago Academy of Sciences that invest in the legacies their own collections contain. And CFA’s Collections Manager Anne Wells conducts this all from the front office with grace and composure hard to match.

Thank you.