Our Mission, Our Board
Film, television video, and increasingly other digital media are a part of our artistic and cultural fabric, and they are being lost as streaming services limit options based on popularity or business interest of the streaming service. Additional access is provided by use of the organization's screening facility, discussed below.
The activities which benefit the public include the following five categories:
- Providing Access
- Supporting film literacy and expand cultural opportunities
- Ensuring teachers, learning communities, nonprofits and civic groups have the resources to support arts in education
- Supporting the film, video and digital video making arts
- Preserving and curating VisArt's immense and significant collection
Ongoing activities: What distinguishes the organization's collection from other important media libraries is accessibility. Every title in our collection is available to the general public for rent. The collection is curated into over 50 different sections, and we have staff who will help every person who comes in to navigate the store.
Support Film Literacy and Expand Cultural Opportunities
- Screening Room: The organization has created a community Screening Room in which hosted events, free screenings, lectures, receptions and other community activities take place. The organization offers regular screenings of films, free and open to the public, ranging from entertainment classics to documentaries to great screen performances, to vintage films that are notable for awful acting. For example, the organization presents Saturday morning vintage cartoons, which any family attends at no charge.
- The Screening Room is also now a venue for emerging filmmakers to show or release their works and for other film-related events when they might not otherwise have access to showcasing their work.
- The organization is starting movie clubs (similar to book clubs), for people with interests in a genre, director or. topic, in which the group will watch a film and discuss it, sometimes with an expert on the film or the subject matter provided in connection with the organization.
- The organization is organizing a program, where older members of the community can gather, watch a film and talk.
- The organization plans to host presentation of other arts, including spoken word, poetry and other mixed media.
Education and Educational Resources
- VisArt Video has already provided numerous films on an ad hoc basis to teachers in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and the organization will continue this valued education benefit. Teachers use films to educate students about history and culture to convey an understanding that cannot be fully realized from written texts. Films about a subject matter (e.g., "Schindler's List or Selma") convey nuances of what the event was like, often through the eyes of participants. Vintage films ("A Star is Born (1937) or "The Front Page") can convey an understanding of an era, apart from the story. Films can also be used to teach about film making (e.g., using Buster Keaton's "The General" to understand what can be done with camera angles, stop-action and dare devil stunts in an era before computer graphics). The organization plans to systematize and publicize the availability on a broader level to teachers. In this regard, becoming a non-profit also allows partnerships and access within the school system that are difficult for a for-profit entity to justify.
- The organization has planned a fund-raising campaign to underwrite free memberships for teachers high-poverty schools that will include access to the entire collection at no cost and no late fees.
- The organization plans to apply for and obtain grants to carry film education outside of the premises to schools and to retirement homes in which films are presented and discussed by an expert on the subject matter or on the film's significance- similar to the film clubs currently being organized.
- The organization plans to provide a venue and logistics to engage local independent film-makers to work with students on film-making, by teaching skills and techniques. Supporting the film, video and digital video making arts.
- The organization plans to partner with the Carolina Film Community by offering a screening facility and a venue for events to display their works, somewhat in the manner that non-profit art galleries provide showings of other visual arts.
- As discussed above, the organization plans to sponsor filmmaking education, classes and events so that members of the community who want to get involved in the art of making film, video (or other visual digital media) have the resources to learn or obtain membership.
John Mitchell (Mickey) Aberman
Watched a lot of movies from VisArt over years with his kids, from Fantasia and Spirited Away, through Modern Times and Vertigo to Monty Python and Kung Fu Hustle. Favorite directors are maybe Spielberg and Coen Brothers. Favorite movies vary, depending on mood – maybe Casablanca, The Godfather or My Cousin Vinny. Meanwhile, Micky thinks VisArt is not just a place to pick up movies; it is a bit like the coolest secret society, and when you are talking to someone and happened to find out they are a VisArt member, you immediately feel a
connection and think, “alright, this is a good person.”
Mayur Khandelwal is Vice President of Crown Cab Company, a family-owned taxicab and
transportation company (around the corner from VisArt) and managing member of an investment
fund. He enjoys Brit Grit, French New Wave and any half-well-made romantic comedy.
David Knoble is the managing member of Knoble Ingle CPAs in Rock Hill, South Carolina where he concentrates in not-for-profit audit and tax work. David is a Board member and on the Governmental Affairs Committee of the South Carolina Association of CPAs and an avid landscape photographer.
Executive Director & Secretary
Gina is an actress, sound engineer, composer and entrepreneur. She loves people, especially
artists, hence biographical films, music movies and musicals, and indie and local films are her big
loves. Her favorite TV shows are the ones she’s been in! Like…Homeland, Rectify, Banshee,
Jay Morong is an educator, director, actor, film programmer, and theatrical video designer. He is Senior Lecturer, LBST & Film Studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
He is an affiliated faculty member in the Film Studies Program and the Digital Arts Center. Jay also works as Program Director for the Charlotte Film Society, as Programming Director of the Charlotte Film Festival and as a Special Events Film Programmer at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA.
Full disclosure, he is a huge Red Sox fan!
Margot has been working in the Charlotte theatre community since 1986. She currently books
the Resident Touring Company for Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. Besides attending live
theatre productions, Margot is also an avid film lover. She counts Woody Allen and Sam Mendes
as two of her favorite directors.