Alison Kozberg has been hired as the new Managing Director of the Art House Convergence, effective September 5, 2018. As Managing Director, Kozberg will oversee all aspects of the Art House Convergence, including its annual conferences, online information exchanges, special programs, partnerships, and initiatives. Founded in participation with the Sundance Institute in 2008, the Art House Convergence conference, held annually in Utah just prior to the Sundance Film Festival, has grown quickly. At the first Art House Convergence conference, 27 delegates attended. In 2018, over 650 delegates participated in a sold-out gathering. Kozberg replaces the team of former Managing Director Barbara Twist and Founding Director Russ Collins. Twist is currently pursuing a filmmaking career. Collins, who is also Executive Director of the Michigan Theater Foundation, will remain as Board Chair of the Art House Convergence Provisional Board.
Kozberg, who most recently was the Director of the Nickelodeon Theatre in Columbia, South Carolina, has worked in independent film exhibition for over a decade. “I am honored to join the team at Art House Convergence and look forward to building upon the incredible foundation developed by a passionate staff, the outstanding Provisional Board, and an amazing alliance of theater operators, film programmers, and cinema advocates,” said Kozberg. “Working in film exhibition around the country, I have been inspired by how absolutely vital independent cinemas are to their communities — they bring people together, offer access to a global selection of artworks, showcase works by a tremendous array of filmmakers, and host important and difficult conversations. It is essential that we safeguard these organizations and their commitment to the thoughtful presentation of cinema.”
Collins observed, “Alison’s work and knowledge of Art House programming and operations, her study of the historical context of specialty cinema exhibition, and her expertise in organizational equity, diversity, and inclusion makes her ideal for this position. We know she will use her great skill, vision, and experience to advance the Art House Convergence’s core mission of increasing the quantity and quality of Art House Cinemas in North America.”
Kozberg has managed and contributed to film programs, symposia, and special events for museums including the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and has long been devoted to supporting independent cinemas, such as the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, where she began her career as the Operations Manager. In her time as Director of the Nickelodeon, Kozberg enhanced the regularity and affordability of programs for youth, implemented new training to prevent harassment and discrimination, and organized regular post-screening conversations with community leaders addressing topics such as civil rights, mass incarceration, and clean water advocacy. She also curated many programs for the Nick, including “Black Stories: Two Cities,” a series celebrating Black filmmakers as activists in fights for liberation and equity in American cities, “For the Record,” a recurring documentary series that examines how and when images are accepted as facts, and “Silver Screen Studies,” an informal film school showcasing cinema classics. Kozberg has been a board member of Los Angeles Filmforum, Southern California’s oldest continuously operating exhibitor of experimental film, since 2012. She worked as a Project Director for Los Angeles Filmforum’s “Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America,” a film series, exhibition, and catalog surveying Latin American experimental cinema from the 1930s to the present, and was Head Researcher for the multidisciplinary initiative “Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980.” Kozberg holds a Master’s from the University of Southern California, where her research focused on histories of film exhibition and independent cinema.
Kozberg assumes the leadership of the Art House Convergence as preparations ramp up for the 2019 Annual Conference, which will be held in Midway, UT January 21-24, 2019, before the Sundance Film Festival. In 2019, the home office of the AHC will move from Ann Arbor, MI to Los Angeles, CA.