Walker Art Center receives $1 million to digitize films, upgrade cinema

  • Walker Art Center receives $1 million to digitize films, upgrade cinema

State of the Arts
MPR News Where creativity makes news

Marianne Combs August 18, 2011, 9:57 AM

The Bentson Foundation has granted the Walker Art Center $1 million to “enhance the presentation and preservation” of the Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection.

According to a release from the Walker, the funds will be used to digitize selected films and upgrade the Walker Cinema. Improvements include the addition of high-definition digital projectors, a redesign of the cinema’s acoustics, and new seats.

The Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection was established in 1973 by a gift from Edmond R. Ruben, a leading figure in film exhibition in the Upper Midwest. The Rubens’ daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Larry Bentson, were also longtime supporters of the Walker whose major gift in 1998 allowed the Walker to acquire, conserve, and present film/video materials. The Bentson Foundation was established in 1956 to support a range of philanthropic causes throughout the state.

The Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection now includes more than 850 titles, from classic to contemporary cinema as well as documentaries, avant-garde films, and video works by artists.