Click here to link to a PDF of the Community Curator FAQ sheet.
What is the Community Curator program?
The Community Curator program invites representatives from community groups in the Rochester region to curate film screenings using VSW’s collection of over 9,000 film and video titles. Participants in the program will work the Curator of Moving Image Collections to research and select a full program of films that speak to the interests of the group, while opening a broader dialog with the Rochester community. The goals of the Community Curator program are to empower cultural organizations to create their own media programming, expand global and cultural awareness within the Rochester community, and strengthen ties between students, artists, and communities that will cultivate multi-cultural relationships. Films will be shown in their original format whenever possible.
Who are the Community Curators?
VSW invites groups in the Rochester region with an established history of activity involving social justice, civil rights, racial equality, media literacy, international education, nonviolent political protest, religious tolerance and LGBTQ rights to participate in the Community Curator program. Also encouraged to participate are public educators, grassroots media groups, and youth from Rochester Public High Schools. Groups may elect one person or a group of representatives to choose the films for the program.
Who is the audience?
Everyone is welcome to the Community Curator screenings. Generally the audience includes: VSW students and members; representatives, members, friends and guests of the Community Curator; film enthusiasts; anyone interested in learning more about the subject matter covered in the screening.
Where do the screenings take place?
All screenings take place in the VSW auditorium, located at 31 Prince Street, in the heart of Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts. There is limited free parking behind the building as well as on the street. Our facility is wheelchair accessible.
When do the screenings take place?
Generally Saturday afternoons, between 2-4 pm. Some exceptions may apply. There are no screenings June-August.
Who runs the projectors and sound?
VSW staff project films and videos and control the PA system for the entire screening.
What kind of films are available?
Our film collection includes almost every genre, subject and film style. Most of our 16mm film collection originated in libraries, universities and museums, and therefore includes a large number of educational films, animated shorts, experimental and avant garde films as well as travel films. Also included are television programs, popular feature-length films and locally produced works. Most films in our collection were made between 1930-1990.
Our video collection includes many videos made in Western New York by artists, filmmakers, community groups and activists between the years 1970-2000. Access to these tapes is currently very limited.
How long are the programs?
Between 60 and 90 minutes is preferred. Programs can consist of several short films or a couple of longer films.
How are the screenings publicized?
VSW will publicize all Community Curator screenings via our eNewsletter, social media and press release to local news outlets. For each screening, VSW will print a limited number of posters and postcards to be distributed locally 2-3 weeks ahead of the event. The Community Curator is encouraged to promote the screening among their membership as well.
What is the time commitment?
The Community Curator should expect to spend between 15-20 hours over the course of 3 months identifying films, selecting titles for a program and publicizing the screening. While the VSW Curator is available to facilitate the process, the Community Curator is responsible for choosing the films, and promoting the screening to their constituents.
Stipends and fees
All screenings are free and open to the public. Community Curators receive a stipend of $350 after the screening takes place. There are no fees for participants in the Community Curator program.
If you/your group meet the qualifications and would like to be considered for an upcoming Community Curator screening, please send a Letter of Interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your letter must address the following:
- Name, mission and brief history of your group
- Current membership: general demographics and size
- Topics you would like to address in your screening
- Ideal month for your screening (please indicate if you are flexible, or if you are looking for a specific day/week)
- Any other information you would like us to consider
- Contact information, including website for your group
For more information
Tara Merenda Nelson
Curator of Moving Image Collections
Visual Studies Workshop
31 Prince Street
Rochester NY 14607
585-442-8676 ex. 25
The Community Curator Program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by the National Endowment for the Arts ARTWORKS program.