Reports are that Arts Engine’s officers, including executive director Steve Mendelsohn and co-founder-senior director Katy Chevigny, have emailed members and donors the news, and they have posted an explanation for the move on the website’s homepage.
Dedicated to the production of social-issue documentaries, Arts Engine established its presence in the independent film scene soon after it launched in 1997. In its early days, the company was involved in launching the documentary film site MediaRights.org, and it later organized the first Media That Matters Film Festival, in 2001. Notable documentaries that the company has produced include the PBS films "Election Day" and "Deadline."
The decline of the indie-film non-profit has been a worry for years, since before the global recession hit in 2008. These days, with donors less able and/or willing to give money to charitable causes and the rise of crowdfunding sites that siphon off dollars that may once have been spent elsewhere, the indie-film support structure is increasingly in danger of losing funding, if not relevance.
What are you seeing out there? On balance, are filmmakers and producers getting the help they need? Are there other forces at work? Let us know in the comments.
Read the full Arts Engine goodbye letter after the jump.