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NY Times On Coop Eviction

By Mike Everleth ⋅ February 12, 2009

Film-Makers' Cooperative

On Tuesday, the New York Times put up a really good article about the potential eviction of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative (FMC) from their office and storage facility in the Clocktower Gallery in TriBeCa in NYC. The article clearly lays out the story behind the eviction and gives an excellent history of the FMC and its importance in the arts community.

The bad news is that it sounds like Alanna Heiss is hellbent on kicking the FMC out.

Ms. Heiss is the former executive director of the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, the organization from which the FMC has been subletting their space from in the Clocktower since 2000. Now P.S. 1 plans to turn the FMC’s offices over to Ms. Heiss who wants to use the space to run poetry readings for an Internet radio show.

According to the article, lots of arts organizations are fighting on the FMC’s behalf:

Several significant cultural institutions have written letters supporting the cooperative, arguing that the cost of such a move would be financially onerous to a nonprofit entity with a small budget and could also endanger films in the collection. The New York Public Library, the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Fine Arts Library at Harvard are among those who have issued statements of support.

In my own previous post on this situation, I passed along the suggestion from the FMC’s Executive Director M.M. Serra that personal appeals in support of the FMC could be made to the NYCs Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. I even sent in a note myself. However, now the city doesn’t want to get involved and wants Ms. Heiss and the FMC to come to a resolution on their own. Let’s hope they do.

Also, the FMC is still urging folks to write Kate Levin, which you should: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/maildcla.html.

(P.S.: Just to give credit where it’s due, I first found out about the NY Times article from filmmaker and FMC member Jennifer MacMillan on her excellent blog Invisible Cinema.)