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February 29, 2012

CFA True/False Film Fest Instillation

For those of you headed to the True-False Film Fest in Columbia, Missouri this week, be sure to check out the CFA video instillation at the Blue Note!  It features vintage ads and consumer-oriented films from our vault. Here’s a taste of what it’ll look like…except the actual instillation consists of stacked coral-covered television sets, all playing different sequences of CFA...
February 23, 2012

Sybil Shearer (1912-2005)

Today marks what would have been Sybil Shearer’s 100th birthday. Sybil Shearer (1912-2005) was a leading pioneer of modern dance and arguably one of the finest dancers of the 20th century. Shortly after a critically acclaimed solo debut at Carnegie Hall in 1941, Sybil moved to Chicago and developed a studio in Northbrook, where she worked independently, close to nature,...
February 17, 2012

LORD THING materials found!

Well it happened more quickly than we thought it could.  Last year South Side Projections and the South Side Community Arts Center presented a program that included CFA’s THE CORNER (1963, Robert Ford) and a VHS copy of LORD THING, a documentary on the Conservative Vice Lords shot from 1954 to 1969 made by Dewitt Beall.  Over the years, the film...
January 31, 2012

Alison Cuddy Interview with Ruth Page Dancers

Thanks to Andy Resek (, we have this wonderful documentation of Alison Cuddy’s (WBEZ) interview with Ruth Page dancers, Delores Lipinski Long (Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Civic Ballet of Chicago) and Patricia Klekovic Irwin (Ruth Page Center for the Arts). Together, they discuss the behind-the-scenes dance culture that supported and defined the world of twentieth century dance generated by Chicago’s own prima ballerina...
January 9, 2012

Generous Donations – thanks!!

We here at CFA are so thankful of our supporters, as donations are hugely important to our work in processing and giving access to our varied and unique collections. Here's a list of our more recent supporters: JoAnn Elam Collection: CFA has begun processing the films of Chicago filmmaker JoAnn Elam (1949-2009), a central figure in the in the history...
December 14, 2011

CFA Joins the Internet Archive

To give greater exposure to our unique films collections, we are joining other collections at the Internet Archive. We will be adding more videos in the upcoming days, weeks and months, so be sure to keep an eye out as we build our presence on the site! Our recent activity on the Internet Archive has even generated a bit of...
November 15, 2011

CFA is Headed South for AMIA

Anne and Nancy are headed down to Austin, Texas this week for the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) annual conference, and can do this only because of the support from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. THANK YOU! The annual AMIA  conference provides an opportunity for colleagues and those interested in the field of audiovisual preservation to meet, share information, attend...
September 21, 2011


Welcome to CFA's new website. We hope to expose you to more moving images within our collections while bringing stories and context to the historical Midwest documentation that CFA preserves. Currently we are in the process of building an online, open source collections management system that will allow us to publish our collections' intellectual and media content online. Be on...
August 25, 2011


CFA is seeking preservation sponsors for two new collections, showcasing the work of two Chicago artists: Dancer/choreographer Ruth Page and experimental/feminist filmmaker JoAnn Elam. Still from DANSE MACABRE (1923) starring Ruth Page and Adolph Bolm Ruth Page (1899-1999) was a primary figure in Chicago’s dance history.  Almost 1,000 moving image items make up this major artistic collection of dance performances...
August 5, 2011


“Ruth Page (1899-1999) embraced a life of artistic restlessness, in which a quest for the new, with a refusal to conform to any one style of dance, became her legacy.  Emanating from Chicago, the visionary work of Ruth Page influenced the growth of theater design, opera ballet, and dance.  She achieved worldwide recognition as a true pioneer of dance in...


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