Local state reps. Josh Elliott, Robyn Porter, & Mike D’Agostino to hold community forum Sat., June 22, at 10 AM

State Reps. Josh Elliott, Robyn Porter and Mike D’Agostino will hold a community forum at Best Video Film & Cultural Center to discuss the recent legislative session and take questions on Saturday, June 22, from 10-11:30 AM.

The event is free and open to the public.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Film screening: Hamden Land Conservation Trust presents “Journey of the Universe” Tues., Apr. 2, at 6:30 PM

Join the Hamden Land Conservation Trust on Tuesday, Apr. 2, at 6:30 pm at Best Video located at 1842 Whitney Avenue for a viewing of the film “Journey of the Universe,” a remarkable film that draws together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, and biology with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe.

Yale professors and producers of the film Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim will offer their insights afterward. Viewers are sure to walk away moved and inspired.

“Journey of the Universe” narrates the 14-billion year story of the universe’s development, from the great flaring forth at the universe’s inception to the emergence of simple molecules and atoms to the evolution of galaxies, stars, solar systems, and planetary life of greater complexity and consciousness. This is a story that inspires wonder as we begin to understand such complexity through science and appreciate such beauty through poetry, art, history, religion, and philosophy. It also awakens us to the dynamic processes of evolution that are chaotic and destructive, as well as creative and life-generating.

The film is narrated by evolutionary philosopher Brian Swimme, and was produced by Yale historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker and her husband, John Grim. Tucker and Grim teach in a joint master’s program in religion and ecology at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (FES) and Yale Divinity School, where they also direct the Forum on Religion and Ecology.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: The Bucket Fillers, neighborhood super-group with covers that run the gamut Sat., Mar. 30

The Bucket Fillers play Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, Mar. 30. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

The Bucket Fillers are a band of Spring Glen Elementary School parents, formed for the school’s Winter’s Night PTA fundraiser. They are coming together again to entertain the masses with their favorite covers, from Gnarls Barkley to Elvis Costello! Catch them for one last fandango!

The Bucket Fillers are: Bruce and Loralee Crowder (Mercy Choir), Steve Curtis and Erika Simonian (Little Silver), Sarah Dunn, Gerry Giaimo (The Mold Monkies), Evan Green, Dustin Kreidler (Tuxedo Junction), Val McKee (Junebug Saddle), and Brian Slattery (The Moon Shells and Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps)—Along with some very special guests!

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Local state reps. Josh Elliott, Robyn Porter, Mike D’Agostino to hold community forum at Best Video Sat., Feb. 23, 10:30-11:30 AM

State Reps. Josh Elliott, Robyn Porter and Mike D’Agostino will hold a community forum at Best Video Film & Cultural Center to share legislative priorities and solicit feedback on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 10:30 -11:30 AM.

The event is free and open to the public.

 

Best Video hosts annual pre-Oscars Brunch & celebration Sun., Feb. 24, with trivia & Oscar contests (UPDATED 2/12/19)

UPDATE:

Because of a perceived conflict with the evening Neighborhood Soup Pot Luck Dinner at Spring Glen Church, Best Video Film & Cultural Center has moved its pre-Oscars celebration event to the morning of Sunday, Feb. 24, from 10:30 AM-1 PM. We have shelved the Chili Cook-Off for now. The Oscars Brunch features complimentary mimosas and bagels as well as the previously planned Oscars Trivia Contest presided over by Masters of Trivia Lena Olive and Scott White and Oscars ballot contest. Everybody is welcome to come and celebrate movie culture and community.

Support for Best Video Film & Cultural Center programming  is welcomed with suggested donations of $5-$25 (contribute what you’d like in that range, or more!).

The red carpet rolls out for bowls of red—chili, to those not in the know when Best Video Film & Cultural Center hosts an afternoon pre-Oscars celebration and fundraiser on Sunday, Feb. 24, from 12:30-3 PM 10:30 AM-1 PM. In the spirit of last fall’s Best Cookie Contest, we debut our “Chili Oscars Cook-Off,” a chili-making contest. Admission is $15 in advance ($20 at the door) for individuals and $25 for two adults (kids included for free).

The event will also feature a movie trivia contest with Best Video’s Master of Trivia Lena Olive and Scott White. And, as in previous years, attendees will get Oscar ballots and can compete to see who can correctly guess the most winners. There will be prizes for all the contests.

BVFCC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people, film, and music together. For more information, check bestvideo.com or call (203) 287-9286.

Music: Monthly Irish music jam resumes Sun., Aug. 19, 2-4 PM

Best Video Performance hosts a new monthly acoustic Irish music jam, which resumes Sunday, Aug. 19 after a two-month hiatus. The jam, organized by musician Jim Sirch, lasts from 2-4 PM and will take place on the third Sunday of each month (unless it needs to be rescheduled due to other Best Video Film & Cultural Center programming). As with our bluegrass jams, feel free to come and join in or just sit and listen.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Thursday, Aug. 9. FOLK: STAN SULLIVAN

• Friday, Aug. 10. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT featuring ISABELLA MENDES

• Saturday, Aug. 11, 6:30 PM. COUCH YETI BOOKING PRESENTS NO BETTER, SELLER, EVERY BRANCH

• Wednesday, Aug. 15. ROOTS/ROCK: GARY MEZZI, THE TOMMYS

• Thursday, Aug. 16. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN—”LETTERS FROM THE AFFAIR” WORLD PREMIERE

• Friday, Aug. 17. FOLK: PHIL ROSENTHAL & DAVE KIPHUTH

• Sunday, Aug. 19, 2-4 PM. IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Aug. 20, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wed., Aug. 22. CONTRA DANCE MUSIC: WRY BRED

• Thursday, Aug. 23. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: JON SCHLESINGER, BOP TWEEDIE, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET, QUINN HARLEY

• Friday, Aug. 24. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS; ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Wed., Aug. 29. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursday, Aug. 30. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: MARK MIRANDO, RICHARD NEAL, BOB CSUGIE, FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, Sept. 2, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE AFTERNOON MONTHLY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Sept. 5. POP PUNK: DAGWOOD

• Thursday, Sept. 6. INDIE ROCK/POWER POP: LUCY’S NEIGHBOR

• Friday, Sept. 7. JAZZ: GEORGE LESIW BAND

• Monday, Sept. 10, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Wednesday, Sept. 12, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE, STEPHEN NYSTRUP

• Sunday, Sept. 16, 2-4 PM. IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Sept. 17, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Sept. 20. GARAGE ROCK: THE 509ERS

• Friday, Sept. 21. JAZZ: JAZZPHORIA (HAMDEN HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ COMBO)

• Saturday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Monday, Sept. 24, 7:30 PM. REMEMBERED IN THEIR OWN WORDS: A MEMORIAL READING FOR DONALD HALL & JANE KENYON​

• Wednesdat, Sept. 26, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: COURTNEY HARTMAN & TAYLOR ASHTON (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Thursday, Sept. 27, 7 PM. INDIE ROCK: PLANET WHAT (TULSA, OK), VIET RAHM (CHICAGO), DR. MARTINO, COMMERCIAL INTERRUPTION

• Friday, Sept. 28. AFRO-FUNK FUSION: THE LOST TRIBE

• Saturday, Sept. 29. JUG BAND MUSIC: WASHBOARD SLIM & THE BLUE LIGHTS

• Monday, Oct. 1, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Tuesday, Oct. 2, 7 PM. LITERARY READING: ALICE MATTISON, SANDI KAHN SHELTON

• Wednesday, Oct. 3. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE RIGHT OFFS

• Tuesday, Oct. 9. BLUEGRASS: THE ELM CITY RAMBLERS

• Wednesday, Oct. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Oct. 12. DEEP HAMDEN FESTIVAL: GOODNIGHT BLUE MOON, VAL McKEE

• Saturday, Oct. 13. DEEP HAMDEN FESTIVAL: ALLEN LOWE—A LOVE SUPINE (with ADAM MATLOCK, BENJAMIN SMITH, ESDRAS LUBIN, JEFF CEDRONE, BOB GORRY)

• Sunday, Oct. 14. DEEP HAMDEN FESTIVAL: BRIAN JARAWA GRAY, LITTLE SILVER

• Wednesday. Oct. 17. ELM CITY NOISE FEST: performers TBA

• Thursday, Oct. 18. JAZZ: NICK DI MARIA QUARTET presents MR. MILLENNIAL’S REVENGE

• Friday, Oct. 19, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Oct. 26, 7 PM. ANNUAL HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT ENSEMBLE scores HORROR FILM

• Friday, Nov. 2. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN & HER BAND, ELISA FLYNN

• Monday, Nov. 5, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Nov. 10. BLUEGRASS: GEORGIA RAE, THE ANGRY O’HARAS

• Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Nov. 16. BLUES/ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Monday, Dec. 3, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

 

Appeal: Community support needed for Best Video Film & Cultural Center

Dear Friends:

Without a groundswell of support, Best Video faces the very real threat of having to shut our doors.

What happens in the very near future will determine whether Best Video Film and Cultural Center will close, will limp along, or will soar.

• If you are not already a member, become a member today by signing up online or coming into our space. Programming director Hank Hoffman suggests a target of 200 additional members over the next few months in order to have enough recurring revenue to cover our current operating expenses.

Make a donation online (or in person). General manager Richard Brown says raising $20,000 would catch us up with bills currently owed to vendors. Even better, BVFCC Board of Directors President David Margolis points out that raising $50,000 would enable us to also pay off the remaining debt to Best Video founder Hank Paper and establish a financial cushion that would facilitate expanded community programming and improvements to the physical space.

After more than a year-and-a-half of operation, BVFCC is proud of the community support that has carried us this far. We have already raised over $35,000 in donations in the fiscal year beginning October 2016. Of particular note as a marker of the value the community places on Best Video, is this year’s performance in The Great Give, the May online charity marathon organized by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. Out of some 500 worthy nonprofits, BVFCC finished in the Top 10 in number of individual donors and in the Top 25 in total contributions.

Unfortunately, despite our successes, when it comes to bringing in enough income to cover our expenses and pay off our debts, we are falling short. We have a 2nd Anniversary Gala celebration planned for November. We had hoped to get to that event without calling on the public but a slower than expected summer necessitates this appeal.

The average monthly operational income shortfall that donations need to make up is approximately $4,700; in the past ten months, we have been averaging about $3,500 in donations. Good but not quite enough. ($2,000 of that $4,700 per month is remaining debt for the purchase of the assets; that obligation is fulfilled by June of next year.)

Presenting programming to delight and educate the community. Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps playing music from “The Simpsons” TV show to a sold-out crowd this past July.

When we opened as a nonprofit in November 2015, we knew that the traditional video rental model was not viable. For several years leading up to Hank Paper’s sale of Best Video’s assets to BVFCC, rental income was decreasing by 20% a year. Anticipating that the trend would continue, we started offering annual membership plans. With membership plans starting at $10 per month, we projected that if we can reach 700-1,000 members by the end of the third year, we would be able to replace the rental income with membership revenue.

The good news is that almost 370 households have signed up for one of the three membership plans. The bad news is that—for BVFCC not to run into recurrent cash flow crises and, ultimately, face the awful decision to close—we need 200-500 more member households.

We know that we can make that happen. Approximately 5,000 households support Best Video each year by renting videos, purchasing items at our cafe, or attending our events. If just one in five sign up for a membership plan, then we will reach our goal. If just one in ten make a donation of $100 or more, then we will exceed our goal of raising an additional $50,000 this year. Many hands…

If BVFCC were just a “video store,” we would have closed years ago. And perhaps deservedly so. But BVFCC is much more than that. It is a community gathering place, a performance venue, a film screening room, a national-level archive of the history of cinema, and a safe place for neighborhood children to come and hang out after school. It is a place where people, film, and music come together.

BVFCC exists bring people, film, and music together.Pre-Oscars Brunch this past February.

When you are a member of Best Video Film & Cultural Center—whether you pay on a recurring monthly basis or get a 10% discount by paying annually—BVFCC becomes your library of film. Depending on your level of membership, you get free admission to from 1-4 shows per month. Most importantly, you are part of a community dedicated to keeping BVFCC as an essential part of the cultural wealth of the greater New Haven area.

Very Truly Yours,
The BVFCC Board:

David Margolis, President
Scott White, Treasurer
Jean Blue, Secretary
Elin Schoen Brockman
Linda Satin Pancoast
Avi Kamrat
Richard Brown, General Manager
Hank Hoffman, Programming Director