Re: how to start a screening series/microcinema

From: programming (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Apr 19 2006 - 12:34:28 PDT


It depends on exactly what you want to do, what kind of scale you want to
have, what kind of future growth/stability, etc.

Unless I'm mistaken, you can register as a non-profit organization, which
will allow you access to certain things. The next step up would be becoming
a 501 (C) 3 not-for-profit organization (an IRS designation). If you plan
on seeking government grants (local, state, federal) you will most likely
need to be 501. For private foundation grants, being a non-profit may

There are both state and federal designations you would need to pursue.

If you pursue a 501 status, I believe you have to be around for at least a
year before you can apply. Additionally, if you receive funding (gov't
grants or private foundations) there are strict reporting requirements
(including audited accounting statements) and you would need a board of

So, not-for-profit status can open up access to more money, but the work
involved can be burdonsome.

Try the grassroots approach for a while, or look into a non-profit status.
Hold off on 501/not-for-profit.

If you find that distributors are wary of renting to you, try partnering
with an established arts group with office space for shipping to and ask the
dist. about pre-paying for the rentals. They just want to make sure the
shipping is secure (not left on someone's front porch) and that they'll get

Here in Chicago we have Lawyers for the Creative Arts. See if there's a
similar group there. They could advise on things. If not, check with a
friendly small not-for-profit arts group. They may be willing to discuss
procedures with you.

Patrick Friel
Chicago Filmmakers

On 4/19/06 1:03 PM, "J. Mabe" <email suppressed> wrote:

> --- ADAM ABRAMS <email suppressed> wrote:
>> Hey,
>> I'm not sure you need to be a non-profit to do what
>> you want. We've been doing monthly screenings,
>> renting from the co-op, canyon, sixpack, and others,
>> and managed to snag a decent sized grant without any
>> "formal" organization for over 6 years. Orgone, who
>> did it in Pittsburgh before us for five years wasn't
>> a non-profit either. Seems like a lot of hassle.
>> Just get a projector, a screen, and go. fuck the
>> paper work.
>> adam
>> jefferson presents...
>> pittsburgh, pa
> I've got a lot of offlist responses on this subject,
> so now I'm on the fence with the non-profit status -
> it might be easier to forget about that - Anyways,
> thanks for all the responses folks!
> -Josh Mabwe

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.