From 2015-2019 I was Project Manager and Lead Archivist conducting the Smithsonian Institution's Pan Institutional Collection Survey and Audiovisual Readiness Assessment-- the most comprehensive survey of audiovisual collections conducted across the largest museum in the world. The survey was relentlessly advocated for by the AVAIL group and funded by the Smithsonian Institution. It covered collections from 11 units.
I worked alongside my brilliant colleagues Moriah Ulinskas and Marie Lascu to develop systems for preservation prioritization, deep analysis of workflows, and cost analysis of preservation.
The resulting report led to the establishment of the Audiovisual Media Preservation Initiative (AVMPI), the first pan institutional audiovisual preservation project at SI.
photo: Walter Forsberg and Jasmyn Castro, National Museum of African American History and Culture
photo: Pam Wintle, Human Studies Film Archive
The Audiovisual Heritage Center
I am the founding Archivist and Project Manager for the Audiovisual Heritage Center in Nashville, Tennessee. This project, founded in 2015, is part of Nashville Metro Archives and is funded by the Nashville Public Library Foundation. The Center is a regional archive fostering community engagement and creative re-use of archival records documenting life and culture in the South.
We started this program from scratch. Our collection was stored in a former school classroom with no environmental controls and was in need of immediate attention. In three years, we inventoried 70% of the collection, preserved 30 hours of unique and endangered footage, received over $20,000 in grants (thank you National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee State Library Association, the National Film Preservation Foundation, and the Al Larvick Conservation Fund), and became the Southeastern United States Regional Hub for community archiving workshops. We provide footage for documentary filmmakers including Ken Burns and collaborate with local artists including the Chatterbird music ensemble. Our Artist in Residence program pays a local artist to use footage from our collection to create and exhibit a new work.
See samples of our digitized collections HERE
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
In 2006 I moved to Nashville, Tennessee to work as the founding Moving Image Archivist at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Four years later I accepted the position of Curator of Moving Images.
My work included raising over $250,000 in grant funding to support preservation, leading a project to re-house and identify 4,000 films and 10,000 videos, and establishing an internship program that brought graduate students from NYU, Indiana University Bloomington, and the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation.
I curated and edited video pieces for exhibits including The Bakersfield Sound; Always: Patsy Cline, Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player, and Tammy Wynette: First Lady of Country Music.
Among the people I cannot thank enough for their mentorship, time, and general rad-ness: Alan Stoker, Mick Buck, Warren Denny, Walter Forsberg, Dave Walker, Jenn Jameson.
photo: Alan Stoker and Dave Walker
George Eastman Museum +
L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation
I was a Film Archivist and projectionist at George Eastman Museum from 2002-2006. I cut my teeth in film preservation here, working hands-on with nitrate film and rare film gauges, works of early silent cinema, one film by Kenneth Anger, Leni Reifenstahl negatives, and rare home movies. Every day was an adventure.
I also taught film preservation and handling of rare film gauges at the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation.
While there, I helped to create the National Film Preservation's Mellon-funded Film Preservation Guide. Read the film guide HERE.
I contributed a small part to the beautiful book, The Art of Film Projection: A Beginner's Guide. See the book HERE.
I am so grateful for the staff of this institution and for every student who came through our doors.
photo: The staff of the George Eastman Museum, 2003
The National Geographic Society
In 2018 I performed a collection assessment and recommendations report for The National Geographic Society's film collection.
The collection is one of the most comprehensive records of life on our planet. It was an honor to work with this material and this staff.
photo: color glass audio disc from the collection
In 2020 I completed an assessment and consultation report for the film collection at Appalshop Archive. Appalshop supports the history and culture of Appalachian people told by Appalachians. This report has been used to apply for federal funding to perform focused conservation of the film collection.
This place and its work has been an inspiration to me since I first became interested in media and culture. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside some of my personal heroes here, including filmmaker and archivist Elizabeth Barrett, and archivist Caroline Rubens.
Watch Appalshop films HERE
photo: Kelli Hix, Elizabeth Barrett, Appalshop
Mississippi Arts Commission
In 2014 I created a consultant's report for the audiovisual collection at the Mississippi Arts Commission. I worked closely with folklorist Jennifer Jameson, who endlessly pours her efforts into supporting voices in American culture that may otherwise fall through the cracks.
Our evening research involved seeing music along the Blues Trail and visiting the grave of Flannery O'Connor. It was an honor to work with collections from a state that has contributed so deeply to American culture.
Southern Girls Rock Camp (YEAH!)
In 2015 I was grant writer for Youth Empowerment Through Arts and Humanities (YEAH!) which runs the Southern Girls Rock Camp, among many other programs. We increased the amount of grant funds received that year, allowing more kids from underserved communities to have life-changing experiences in the arts.
It was so wonderful to work with director and multimedia artist Sarah Bandy on this project. Her dual strength in leadership and in creating space for others to shine is without compare.
The Scarritt Bennett Center
In 2017 I created a collection assessment and consultation report for the audiovisual collection held at Scarrett Bennett Center, a Nashville-based organization with the mission to support the eradication of injustice, the empowerment of women, and end to racism. The project established preservation priorities and trained volunteers in the creation of inventories used to gain intellectual control over the collection. The project resulted in the creation of a complete inventory of audiovisual materials and the preservation of sample collection items.
It was a treat to work with archivist and documentary photographer, Joon Powell.
The Jimmie Rogers Museum
In 2014 I created a comprehensive consultation report assessing conservation for the collection at the Jimmie Rodgers Museum. This organization cares for the legacy of The Blue Yodler, one of the most important figures in American Music. We created a protocol to inventory the collection, improve conservation, and establish preservation procedures and priorities.
In 1998 I interned for Kartemquin Films in Chicago, one of the formative US documentary collectives and early adopters of video. I was then hired to release some of Kartemquin's early films on video with Facets, in Chicago.
I was production assistant on the film, Stevie and eventually became de facto archivist for the collection of footage shot for the film.
Kartemquin was an integral part of my decision work in film for the next 20 years. Jim Fetterly taught me the name of every type of cable and connector, Fennell Doremus showed me that I could do what I want for a living, Jerry Blumenthal and Gordon Quinn passed down their experience and support from years of work in the exciting world of social justice filmmaking in middle 20th century Chicago, and Steve James trusted me to learn on the job when I had no resume.
KTQ continues to grow and develop. Learn about their work HERE.