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Walker Art Center Receives Grant, Plans to Upgrade Cinema

Indiewire By Indiewire Staff | Indiewire August 30, 2011 at 6:12AM

The Walker Art Center of Minneapolis, MN has received a $1 million grant from the Bentson Foundation, which will be put toward the digitization of selected films and to upgrade the Walker Cinema.
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The Walker Art Center of Minneapolis, MN has received a $1 million grant from the Bentson Foundation, which will be put toward the digitization of selected films and to upgrade the Walker Cinema.

"The Cinema upgrades will include high-definition digital projection with 3D capabilities; a new Kinoton dual projector for 16- and 35-millimeter film; a redesign of the Cinema’s acoustics; new seats; and other equipment improvements," said the Center.

The Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection was established in 1973 and includes over 850 titles.

Full release:

Minneapolis, MN, August 29, 2011— The Walker Art Center received a grant of $1 million this month from the Bentson Foundation to enhance the presentation and preservation of the Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection. The funds will be used to digitize selected films and upgrade the Walker Cinema.

The Cinema upgrades will include high-definition digital projection with 3D capabilities; a new Kinoton dual projector for 16- and 35-millimeter film; a redesign of the Cinema’s acoustics; new seats; and other equipment improvements. The Walker will also use the grant funds to hire a Ruben/Bentson Collection Fellow to make a thorough assessment of the Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection and assist the curatorial staff to prioritize works for digitization.

With more than 850 titles, the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection, which was established in 1973, brings together classic and contemporary cinema as well as documentaries, avant-garde films, and video works by artists. The Collection was established in 1973 by a gift from Edmond R. Ruben, a leading figure in film exhibition in the Upper Midwest, and his wife, Evelyn, who both served as trustees of the Walker Art Center and bequeathed an important collection of art works to the institution.

The Rubens’ daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Larry Bentson, were also longtime supporters of the Walker whose major gift in 1998 allowed the Walker to acquire, conserve, and present film/video materials. Larry Bentson was chairman of Midcontinent Media, a diversified company with interests in nearly 200 communities throughout North and South Dakota and Minnesota. The Bentson Foundation was established in 1956 to support a range of philanthropic causes throughout the state.