It was almost three months ago that I first stepped into the Sundance Institute offices. At that time, I knew and respected the Institute’s work and had attended the Sundance Film Festival for many years as part of my work for HBO and Miramax. I was keenly aware that the Institute had supported some of the most ground-breaking work and artists in film and theatre of the last 30 years. And, of course, I have long held great respect and admiration for Institute founder Robert Redford.
Since that first day, I’ve become acquainted with our trustees and staff, experienced the Labs taking place from New York’s Governors Island to Utah’s Wasatch mountains, talked with a wide variety of the artists we support, shared a drink or two in the Owl Bar at Sundance Resort with creative advisors, and met many of the people whose active commitment to our mission allows us to do all that we do.
And as I’ve experienced these facets of the Institute, I’ve also realized one of the elements that I believe makes the Institute both successful and a great place to work, and that is our community. Ours is a vibrant and far-flung community of artists, patrons, film and theatre lovers, staff, and volunteers. It’s a community defined by the active pursuit of Redford’s ideals of experimentation, originality, and hard work, and by a commitment to fostering curiosity in ourselves and each other.
Certainly new opportunities and challenges lie ahead. And I believe that my responsibility as executive director is to both seek out and create new avenues through which we can apply the Institute’s mission to the dramatically changed media landscape of today. I am truly excited by these opportunities and truly inspired by this community. I want to thank each of you for your interest in the Institute and for your support of independent film and theatre. As an active member of our community, you are one of the most vital resources we have as we look towards building an exciting future. Thanks for welcoming me into the fold.