Four awards will be presented by the Association of Moving Image Archivists at its annual meeting organization to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional work in the areas of preservation. The awards will be presented during AMIA’s online meeting December 18.
The 2023 accolades and recipients are:
The Silver Light Award to Jacqueline Stewart of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
The Alan Stark Award to Eric J. Schwartz of Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLC
The William S. O’Farrell Volunteer Award to CK Ming of the National Museum of African American History and Culture
The Ray Edmondson Advocacy Award to the PBCore Translation Project
AMIA’s Silver Light Award recognizes outstanding professional achievement in the field of moving image preservation and archives. Jacqueline Stewart is a film scholar, archivist, television host, author, programmer, and historian, and now serves as director and president of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. In each of these roles she has been a strong advocate of preservation and archives, aiming spotlights on the underrepresented contributions and voices in moving images, ensuring that histories that might otherwise have remained in the shadows are part of our shared cultural heritage.
As director and president of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Stewart leads the world’s premier institution devoted to celebrating and exploring the arts, sciences and artists of moviemaking. She is professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, where she founded the South Side Home Movie Project, and previously served on the faculty of Northwestern University. Stewart is the author of Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity, and co-editor of L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema and William Greaves: Filmmaking as Mission. Stewart hosts “Silent Sunday Nights” on Turner Classic Movies and is a 2021 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.
In 2021 Stewart was appointed chair of the National Film Preservation Board, which works to ensure the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America's film heritage, counseling the Librarian of Congress on ongoing implementation of the National Film Preservation Plan, and making recommendations to the Librarian of Congress for annual selections to the National Film Registry, to be announced on December 13. Stewart is also a long-time member and past Board member of AMIA.
“The AMIA community has been tremendously supportive and inspirational to me, and I am humbled to be honored with the Silver Light Award,” Stewart said. “I remember being so moved at my very first conference by the comradery and generous sharing of knowledge, that I knew I had to become more involved and build archival practice consistently into my scholarly work. This recognition is deeply meaningful to me because of the respect I have for the work of AMIA members and for the organization as a whole.”
The Alan Stark Award honors individuals who have made a significant contribution through their efforts on a special project that contributes to, and supports, the work of moving image archives and/or the operations of AMIA. In 1988, Eric J. Schwartz helped in the formation of the National Film Preservation Board at the Library of Congress, served as senior staff for the Board from 1988 until 1994 while working at the Library and has served as pro bono counsel from then to the present. He helped draft the 1992 re-authorization act which re-focused the Board’s work from “colorization” issues to film preservation issues and proposed and assisted in guiding the Film Preservation Study of 1993 that included public hearings and submissions by experts from around the country demonstrating the critical need for film preservation work and funding, for theatrical films, but also for “orphan” films. In 1997, he helped to found the National Film Preservation Foundation – dedicated to raising and distributing monies to help preserve America’s film heritage, with an emphasis on orphan film preservation. He served as the Founding Director of the NFPF and continues to serve on the Board (currently as Vice Chair). He has taught copyright law at the Selznick School for over 20 years. A long time AMIA member, Schwartz shares his expertise with the field as a full-time copyright lawyer at MSK, assisting myriad archives and rightsholders with copyright matters, including issues pertaining to archiving and back catalog access.
The William S. O’Farrell Volunteer Award is named for long-time member Bill O’Farrell honoring his volunteer efforts and the mentoring role he played within the field. This year’s recipient, CK Ming, has channeled their passion for the preservation and access to audiovisual histories and stories of marginalized communities through their ongoing leadership and impactful work in AMIA. Their commitment to inclusivity in the field is demonstrated by their thoughtfulness and efforts as chair of the AMIA Pathways Fellowship Advisory Board. Their leadership was (and continues to be) instrumental in developing and growing this important Fellowship program. A media conservation and digitization specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, they are a director of the board for the Center for Home Movies, have served on the AMIA board and currently serve as the AMIA alternate on the National Film Preservation Board.
In 2018, AMIA presented its first award for advocacy, and this year’s Ray Edmondson Advocacy Award will honor the PBCore Translation Project. PBCore is a cataloging standard for the description of audiovisual content and data sharing tool. In 2022 GBH was awarded funding from NEH to translate PBCore into Spanish in order to broaden use of the metadata schema to include not only Spanish-speaking heritage institutions in the United States but those Spanish language countries around the world. Working with a team of translators and instructors, Rebecca Fraimow oversaw a Spanish-language translation of the PBCore website and educational materials; and a series of Spanish-language webinars introducing the use of PBCore for archivists working with Spanish-language collections. The team included Lorena Ramírez-López, Gloria Ana Diez, Valeria Dávila, Tzutzumatzin Soto, Pamela Gionco, and Elina Adduci Spina.
We are really excited by this year’s award recipients!” said AMIA president Rachael Stoeltje. “Jacqueline Stewart is an international ambassador for the work of archives and archivists. She and each of our honorees have been a strong advocate for the importance of preserving our shared heritage, especially for those who have been traditionally underrepresented in our national tapestry or whose contributions have been marginalized. From making preservation standards more accessible to impacting our national media preservation strategies the contributions each of these honorees have made and continue to impact the field for years to come.”
The largest association representing media archivists in the world, AMIA members represent all areas of the community-corporate and national archives, media companies, libraries, historical societies, service providers, universities, and more.
The Association of Moving Image Archivists www.amianet.org