Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the University Film & Video Association!

UFVA is a vibrant community of makers and artists, teachers and students, scholars, researchers, archivists, distributors, libraries, manufacturers, college departments, universities, and more.

We have a rich history that dates back to August 1947 when the inaugural Motion Pictures Producers Conference for Colleges and Universities was held at the University of Iowa. That event was catalyzed by a conversation between L.C. Larson (Director, AudioVisual Center, Indiana University) and Lee Cochran (Director, AudioVisual Center, University of Iowa) as they were walking down the streets of Chicago on a windy day. Larson said, “Lee, there’s a group of people at our universities that in a few years are going to become important people…  important to American education and life.” (See “UFVA at 40” by William O. Huie) Together, Larson and Cochran began to envision a formal way of mobilizing this group, which soon thrived. Today, with a membership of over 800 that spans a wide range of media production and professions, UFVA has become more than its founders ever could have imagined.

As a UFVA member, you are able to take advantage of a variety of resources and activities. We hold regular virtual Works in Progress (WIP) Workshops as well as webinars, demos, and panels. You have access to the Job Listings page. You can access a bevy of teaching materials and sample syllabi on our website while also submitting your materials for the peer review process. We offer funding and award opportunities, including the Carole Fielding Grant, Faculty Production and Research Award, Annual Teaching Awards, and Graduate Student Fellowships. The Mentorship Program offers avenues for support and information. Our UFVA list-serv is a crucial channel for communication.

The Annual Conference meets in a different location each year, providing space to screen work, present papers, and participate in panels and workshops. The Journal of Film and Video, our official publication, is an internationally respected scholarly forum.

The advantages of UFVA membership are in fact too numerous to list in one place. (I encourage you to peruse the website!) I posit that the greatest benefit is what members offer to each other. The professional relationships and networks that you will forge as a UFVA member are sure to be incredibly rewarding, long-lasting, and in many cases, life-changing.

The fact is that we need these relationships and resources during these challenging times. We are experiencing historic change and incredible disruption, in education, in media, and in our daily lives. We bear witness to significant losses and deep social and political crises related to the global pandemic, and an assault on civil rights and human rights. This brings to the fore longstanding economic, health, gender, and racial inequalities.

Educational institutions are in a state of crisis and flux. Many educators have been making rapid transitions to virtual or hybrid teaching, even as they face the prospect of hiring freezes, layoffs, or precariousness in employment.

UFVA offers vital resources as well as a dynamic space for collaboration and creativity. We are the creators: we make, analyze, conceptualize, sustain, critique, and transform visual, audio, and media arts.

We at UFVA are working together to ensure that this is a welcoming, inclusive, diverse organization that values belonging, equity, and collaboration. If there are ways that the other board members or I can better serve you, or if you have ideas, time, or service to contribute, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours truly,