Monday, December 14, 2009

Rich in Love

While Aurora's recent burglaries at our Library location have left us poor in equipment, it has reminded us just how rich we are in LOVE. Love from Aurora patrons, fans, tweeters and facebookers. We wanted to thank all of those people who have stepped forward in one form or another to support Aurora since the burglaries.

Thank you to the following Aurora supporters:

David Brown & Christa Forster, Dan O'Shea, Lillian & Bob Warren, Chris Wilcha, Andrew Lampert, Marisa Avelar & Scott Howard, Emily Todd, Fumiko Chino, Marcy & Douglas Newman, Sorcha Landau, Molly Gochman, Gabriela Trzebinski & Carlisle Vandervoort, Gina & Major Miller, Martha & Richard Finger, Steve Seid, Nicole Laurent & Joey Romano, Joe Cooper, Laura Harrison, Joanna Spitzner, Caroline Gallay, Kelly Sears, Julie Shapiro, Casey Williams, Jenny Stark, Josephine Grover, Joanna Grover-Watson, Patrick Brooks, Emily Sloan, Michelle Engelman Berns, Monica Kressman, Lucy Anderson,, Jenni Stephenson, Cathy Power, Sara Cotner, Jordan Biren, Roxanne Claire, Hazuki Chino, Chris Wilcha, Paul and Elizabeth Nelson, Steve Seid, Michael Zilkha and Helen Fosdick, Frances Miller, AE Broyles Breier, Leigh Smith, Dmitry Bazykin, Kathryn Blackney, Donna Blackney, Richard Blackney, Leigh Molano, Judy Golden, Heather Harvey, Clemencia Reyes

And thank you to Aurora members:

Elizabeth Abraham, Sam Ackerman, Alex & Mark Adshead, Surain Adyanthaya, Lisa Albracht, Ana Maria Alvarez, Anne Amis, M. Lucille Anderson, Cameron Armstrong, Bill Arning, Marisa Avelar, Marilynn Barber, Regine Basha, Enid Baxter Blader, Dmitry Bazykin, Jayne Bellyk, Michelle Berns, Barbara Best, Jordan Biren, Lulu Black, Donna Blackney, Kathryn Blackney, Richard Blackney, Jaques Bluett, Duane Bradley, Camille Breaux, Patrick Brooks, Catherine Brown, Melissa Brown, David Buck, Genevieve Buentello, Amy Camarillo, Bob Camp, Claire Cardwell, Alfred Cervantes, Jereann Chaney, Fumiko Chino, Hazuki Chino, Craig & Holly Cieslikowski, Lisa Cohen, Catherine Colangelo, Meade Collard, Barbara Cowart, Ella Craig, Molly Cumming, Kevin Curry, Stewart N. Davis, Kate & Jonathan Day, Margarita De la Vega-Hurtado, Alison de Lima Greene, Jason Dibley, Sicily Dickenson, Mary Dickson, Jim and Sandy D'Imperio, Cindy Bishop, East Sunset Heights Ass., Alice Epley, Ethan Epley, Susan Epley, Mark Everleth, Marion Fairbanks, Mark Fehrs-Haukohl, Sara & Carlos Fernandez, Kristin and William Flanagan, Kevin Flores, Christopher French, Arianna Garcia, Jennifer Garza, Molly Gochman, Adam Goldberg, Michael Gonzales, Mario Gonzalez, Liz Gorman, Holly Gracey, Donna Graham, Rob Greenstein, Nonya & Jonathan Grenader, Josephine Grover, Andrea Grover & Carlos Lama, Joanna Grover-Watson, Donald Harrison, Guy Harrison, Heather Harvey, Rachel Hecker, Mary & Jim Henderson, Patricia Hernandez, Douglas Hoffman, Vinod Hopson, Scott Howard, Robert Hughes, Fredericka Hunter, Alice Suzanne Ivey, Dawn Jackie Madison, Jan Johnson, Blackburn Jones, Toby Kamps, Patrick Keegan, Tracey Keegan, Brian Kelly, Mr. and Mrs. I. H. Kempner, Carol Jean Kern, Kalyn Kimmel, Mike & Maria Kirby, Jeanne & Michael Klein, Katy Kleinhans, Kay Knippa, Julia Kovacs, Judy Kwon, Robin La Belle, David Lake, Lisa & James Lamb, Sorcha Landau, Leticia Loya, Mary Magsamen, Terry Mahaffey, Merrick Mainster, Nick Mann, Lorena Martinez, Benjamin Mason, Marie Masterson, Eileen Maxson, Connie McAllister, Robert McClain, Carol/Herman McDavid/Kluge, Jodi McLaughlin, Deborah McNulty, Adan Medrano, David Miller, Amelia Molina, Michelle Mower, Eric Mun, David Nelson, Lauri Nelson, Paul Nelson, Susan Nichols, Jessica Ninci, Alicia Nuzzie, Susan Osterberg, Nieros Oyegun, Sharad Patel, Steve Patlan, Nic Philips, Douglas Pickett, Archie Pizzini, Troy Powell, Heather Pray, Ian Price, David Purdie, Kelly Quarles, Lee Raymond, Leslie Raymond, Joey Jr. Romano, Nancy Sarnoff, Alice Savage, Leslie Scates, Lane and Robert Schultz, Kelly Sears, Beth Secor, Julie Shapiro, Jeff Shell, Maria Sicardi, Anton Sinkewich, Emily Sloan, Jane Smith, Margaret Smith, Scott Sparvero, Sharman Speed, Joanna Spitzner, Jenny Stark, Rand Steven, Shannon Stiles, Mary Lou Swift, Deborah Thomas, Emily Todd, Ttweak, Aaron Valdez, Audie Valls, Robert & Lillian Warren, Christine West, Michelle White, Whitten and Proctor Fine Art Conservatory, Allison Wiese, Gail & Jim Wiese, Casey Williams, Cary Wolfe, Amy Wright, Kyle Wright, Katherine & Mark Yzaguirre,

And thanks for the following mentions and sponsors:

Media Mentions:
CultureMap, The Houston Chronicle, SwampLot, Bad Lit, ESPN 97.5

SXSW, Hotel Sorella, Cyclone Anaya's, Shade Restaurant, Canopy Restaurant, Kiehls at Highland Village, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Crave Cupcakes, Block 7 Wine Company, 13 Celsius, Whole Foods Market, DiverseWorks, Cinema Bomar, Saint Arnold Brewery, Stockholm Vodka, treebeards Restaurant, Tacos A-Go-go, Worldfest Film Festival, Carnegie Mellon, Picture Me Perfect, Sinapps, CopyDotCom, Copy Craft Printers, Sharp Egg Design, Marisa Avelar Design, Judith Uzcategui design

Thank you all for your continued support.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Top Ten Ways to Support Aurora

By now, you have probably heard that Aurora Picture Show is in the midst of a rough patch due to decreased grant funding, underwriting and our unfortunate break-ins. Despite an amazing year with stellar programming, innovative partnerships, and our best attendance, we have been hit.

You may be thinking that you would like to help, and are not sure how you can do it with your limited resources, but there are so many ways to support Aurora right now. We wanted to take a moment and give you the top ten ways you can help Aurora bounce back in 2010.

1. Make a general donation

2. Attend our shows and bring a friend

3. If you know a company or foundation or patron that might be interested in supporting Aurora, let us know. We are always looking for in-kind donations or new friends to help us grow.

4. Purchase a raffle ticket

5. Vote for us with the Chase Community Giving program

6. Buy gift memberships for your friends for the holidays

7. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and spread the word to your friends. Invite them to be fans and RT our posts. We also love to hear your reactions online!

8. Check if your employer gives matching gifts

9. Forward this blog article to friends

10. Shop for Aurora Purchase holiday gifts using Aurora's Amazon link

Monday, November 16, 2009

I am thankful for @AuroraPicture because...

This holiday season Aurora Picture Show has partnered with several amazing companies for a holiday raffle and un-office party extravaganza that will get your holiday sweaters out of the closet and onto the dance floor. We hope that you will consider supporting Aurora by purchasing a raffle ticket or becoming an Aurora member today. For that, we would be very appreciative!

As a friend to the Muses, we want to know what arts inspired you in 2009 and what you are thankful for this holiday season. We know it has been a tough year, but even in gloomy times there is still inspiration and beauty. Show your gratitude and let us know what you are thankful for to be entered for a chance to win one free raffle ticket!

Help us spread the word about the Aurora Holiday Raffle by letting us know "@AuroraPicture, I am thankful for..."

Submit your entry to @AuroraPicture via Twitter, on the Aurora Facebook page, or here in the comments section of the Aurora blog anytime between 11/16 and 11/26. We will giveaway five (5) raffle tickets to the best responses. Just let us know what you are thankful for!

Aurora is thankful for our Holiday Party and Raffle Sponsors, including SXSW, Hotel Sorella, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Shade Restaurant, Canopy Restaurant, Kiehl's in Highland Village, Cyclone Anaya's, DiverseWorks, Block 7 Wine Company, Crave Cupcakes, 13 Celsius, Whole Foods Market, Tacos A G0-Go, Treebeards Restaurant, Cinema Bomar, Saint Arnold Brewery, WorldFest Film Festival and Stockholm Vodka.

To learn more about the raffle and purchase tickets, CLICK HERE

To join Aurora Picture Show, CLICK HERE

To visit the Aurora Picture Show Twitter Page, CLICK HERE

To visit the Aurora Picture Show Facebook Page, CLICK HERE


  • Contest is from Monday, November 16, 2009 and will end on or around 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 26, 2009.
  • Aurora is not responsible for technological difficulties that may prevent an individual from completing an entry.
  • To participate in the Contest, you may enter via the following method: Submit what you are thankful for via Aurora Picture Show Twitter account @AuroraPicture. All entries submitted become the sole property of Aurora Picture Show and will not be acknowledged. Use of any device to automate entry is prohibited. Proof of submission of an entry shall not be deemed proof of receipt by Aurora Picture Show.
  • One entry per person.
  • The contest is open to all persons who are 21 years of age or older.
  • Only one winner per household is permitted.
  • Aurora may reject and delete any entry that it determines to be false or fraudulent or who do not meet the eligibility requirements, and will also delete any entry received from persons under the age of 13.
  • Decisions of Contest Entities management with respect to the Contest are final.
  • Winner need not be present to win but must provide contact information.
  • By participating in the contest, the winner or winners agree to have their name and information used in promotions about the contest.
  • Failure to comply with the Contest rules may result in a contestant’s disqualification solely at the discretion of the Contest Entities.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Aurora Artists and Co-presentations at Cinema Arts Festival Houston

Aurora Picture Show is delighted to have been among the arts organizations that helped shape and define Houston’s newest film festival, Cinema Arts Festival Houston. Running November 11-15, 2009, Cinema Arts Festival highlights contemporary art and artists through feature films, panels, workshops, and special events. Listed below are screenings co-presented with Aurora, and events that feature past Aurora Artists who will be in attendance.

Be sure to check out the Cinema Arts Festival website for a full schedule and ticketing info. Aurora will also be hosting ticket give-aways to some festival events, so stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages for chances to win!

What if, Why Not? Underground Adventures with Ant Farm
Thursday, November 12 at 7PM, UH College of Architecture Auditorium
Presented with Aurora Picture Show
What If, Why Not is the first film to delve into the work of the renegade 1970s architecture collective Ant Farm, best known for its iconic land-art piece Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. Radical architects, video pioneers, and mordantly funny cultural commentators, the Ant Farmers created a body of deeply subversive work that questioned everything by posing a set of creative and comedic alternatives. Combining futuristic notions gleaned from Buckminster Fuller and NASA with lo-fi production methods; utopian visions with a love of trashy backyard Americana; and a respect for "high" intellectual ideas with an irreverent, often crass sense of humor, Ant Farm's work was quintessential American in its ethos and methodology and emblematic of a period in American history that continues to captivate and shape modern culture.

Aurora Connections:
Laura Harrison: Co-director, Aurora Advisory Board member, and past Aurora artist
Beth Federici: Co-director, former Aurora Advisory Board member, and past Aurora artist
Chip Lord: Art Farm member, recipient of Aurora Award 2004, past Aurora artist
Curtis Schreier: Art Farm member, recipient of Aurora Award 2004, past Aurora artist

Experimental Film and Visual Arts: Holly Fisher and Jennifer Reeves
Moderated by Andrea Grover
Friday, November 13 at 1PM, Alabama Theater

The moving image, as manipulated in striking, painterly ways by experimental filmmakers Jennifer Reeves and Holly Fisher, will be explored in relation to painting, sculpture and photography.

Aurora Connections:
Andrea Grover: Founder, Aurora Picture Show
Jennifer Reeves: Featured artist on Aurora Video Label, Cinemad DVD.

Pictures from a Revolution
Friday, November 13 at 4PM, Museum of Fine Arts Houston
No one captured more powerfully the suffering, sacrifice, and finally celebration that accompanied the Sandinista victory than Susan Meiselas, the award-winning photojournalist who covered the Nicaraguan revolution for the New York Times and London Times. In Pictures from a Revolution, Meiselas returns to Nicaragua a decade later with codirectors Richard P. Rogers and Alfred Guzzetti to track down the people—soldiers, revolutionaries, and ordinary people—pictured in her original photographs and their previous film, Living at Risk (screening Saturday at the Cinema Arts Festival Houston). Pictures from a Revolution is not a sequel to the previous work, which explored the life of a Nicaraguan family; rather, it is a deeper and wider analysis of a country and its people.

Aurora Connection:
Alfred Guzzetti: Past Aurora artist

When it was Blue
Friday, November 13 at 7PM, Rice Media Center
Cine artist, Jennifer Reeves is again showcased in a screening night that includes a double-projector performance with live musical accompaniment by SkĂșli Sverrisson. When It Was Blue is an ode to nature and 16mm film as they rapidly vanish. This double-projection 16mm film rejoices in the splendor of seasons, landscapes, and wildlife as we traverse land and ocean.

Aurora Connection:
Jennifer Reeves: Featured artist on Aurora Video Label, Cinemad DVD

Living at Risk: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family
Saturday, November 14 at 4PM, Rice Media Center
Filmed before Pictures From A Revolution, Alfred Guzzetti's Living at Risk is a snapshot of the life of a family during a period of civil war, uncertainty, and despair, five years after the Sandinistas gained power in Nicaragua, overthrowing the brutal and long reign of the Somoza family. The documentary centers on five brothers and sisters who commit themselves to work with the Sandinista revolutionary government and to contribute to the social changes in their professional and personal lives.

Aurora Connections:
Alfred Guzzetti: Past Aurora artist

What if, Why Not? Underground Adventures with Ant Farm
Friday, November 13 at 9:45PM, Angelika Film Center
See description above.

The Time We Killed
Saturday, November 14 at 1PM, Rice Media Center
The Time We Killed is the first feature by avant-garde filmmaker Jennifer Reeves, who had been generally known for her formal experimentation with optical printing and painting directly on film (as in the extraordinary When It Was Blue, screening Friday) and her exploration of a range of topics including women’s sexuality, mental health and recovery, poetry, and dogs. The Time We Killed is a surprising departure, a remarkably assured narrative feature.

Aurora Connection:
Jennifer Reeves: Featured artist on Aurora Video Label, Cinemad DVD

The Yes Men Fix The World
Saturday, November 14, 7PM, Rice Media Center

Winner of the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, The Yes Men Fix the World is a screwball true story about the satirical activist team the Yes Men. Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno’s theatrical performances take place on unusual stages. Dressed in thrift-store suits, posing as top executives of corporations they consider criminal, the Yes Men lie their way into business conferences and parody their corporate targets in outrageous, yet strangely plausible ways.

Aurora Connection:
The Yes Men: Past Aurora artists

H Box: A conversation with Banjamin Weil
Sunday, November 15 at 1pm, Alabama Theater

In Conversation with Toby Kamps and Mary Magsamen

The artistic director of H BOX, an innovative, mobile screening room presenting work by ten international artists, talks about commissioning original works of art and exhibiting them in this exciting new venue, on display in the Alabama Theatre through November 15.

Aurora Connection:
Mary Magsamen: Current Aurora Artistic Director, past Aurora artist

The Yes Men Fix The World
Sunday, November 15, 1PM, Angelika
See description above

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

You Can Take Our Equipment But You Can't Take Our Passion

Stealing from a non-profit seems lower than low, right? Unfortunately, everyone's favorite microcinema was broken into last night (the thieves came through the back room window) and stole several pieces of Aurora equipment that we use for our salons and screenings -- including our LCD Monitor, Blue Ray Player, two DVD Players, our sound mixer, our PC Laptop, a DVD burner, and some other small items (Pint glasses - We always knew those were popular!). Here is the complete list.

We have filed a police report and will be following up with our insurance but wanted to make everyone aware of what has happened.

If anyone has any connections to equipment vendors or are getting rid of anything in the near future, let us know. Aurora fans can also help by purchasing tickets to our annual raffle fundraiser which will take place in December with two sought-after badges to SXSW as one of the many prizes.

Thanks for the support and be on the lookout for any pint-glass-carrying bad guys selling film and video equipment.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sending Aurora Love to our Gala Sponsors

Originally uploaded by Aurora Picture Show
Just wanted to make sure that we send our love and appreciation to the Aurora Award sponsors, including:

Hotel Sorella
Saint Arnold Brewery
Stockholm Krystal Vodka
City Kitchen Catering

Along with all the supporters who came out in support of Aurora Picture Show and to see Doug Aitken.


A New Framework

Aurora friend Anne Pasternack of Creative Time is circulating a petition that calls on Congress and the Obama Administration to support art’s public purpose to mend our social fabric, promote freedom of expression and a vibrant, inclusive national dialogue, and revitalize both education and commerce with the creativity that has always been the wellspring of our energy and success. If you care about creativity, culture, public art and their role in our future, read the petition here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Southern Exposure Gets Passive/Aggressive

If you are an artist in Northern California, don't miss an opportunity to enter your work in Southern Exposure's 2009 Series of Juried Projects (and get your work seen by Aurora's founder and nonstop curator/media arts wonder woman Andrea Grover) Here are the details:

PASSIVE/AGGRESSIVE: SoEx's 2009 Series of Juried Projects

Juried Film/Video Screening
Juried Public Art/Urban Interventions Day
Of Works by Northern California Artists

SoEx is commited to creating a space for innovative, experimental, and risk-taking art and with this in mind, invites artists to submit public and film/video works in response to a theme that encourages as broad a range of artistic interpretation as possible. This year's theme, Passive/Aggressive, was chosen in response to our current cultural, economic and political climate and reflects on how decisions are made when faced with extreme challenges. We invite artists to submit work that responds to this idea in some way, shape or form.

SoEx must receive your submission by Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 6 pm.

Public Art/Urban Interventions Day: Saturday, December 5, 11 am - 5 pm
Film/Video Screening: Sunday, December 6, 5 pm
Details to be announced in November!

2009 JURORS:
Film/Video Juror: Andrea Grover is a Houston-based independent curator, artist, writer and founder of Aurora Picture Show, a now recognized center for filmic art that began in Grover's living room as “the world's most public home theater.
Public Art/Urban Interventions Day Juror: Jeannene Przyblyski is an artist, historian, urban strategist and founder the San Francisco Bureau of Urban Secrets, a visual arts and urbanism think tank that incubates and promotes art and other public interventions in city life.

To obtain information about eligibility, rules, submission drop-off, jurors, jurying and to get a submission form, please download the Call for Entry form from the SoEx website.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fletcher in Might Be Good

One of Aurora's favorite artists and earliest supporters, Harrell Fletcher , is featured in Fluent Collaborative's art e-journal Might Be Good this week. Read early and often.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Look Out Pittsburgh

Aurora's fearless founder, Andrea Grover, heads to Pittsburgh this week for the opening of 29 Chains to the Moon, an exhibit she curated for Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University. You can read more about it, and Andrea's organization of the Houston Lyceum Lecture series at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, on Andrea's blog.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Good Time Was Had By All

The past weekend brought laughs and cheers for all of the Aurora staff. While some of the Aurora team (Associate Director Rachel Blackney and founder Andrea Grover) headed to Boston to munch on Oysters Rockefeller and absorb panels at the NAMAC conference (returning with renewed energy and some great ideas!); the rest of the Aurora gang showed Houstonians a good time once again with the help of visiting curator Skip Elsheimer of AV Geeks. His Naughty Girls screening highlighted the best of instructional and educational films from the 70s and 80s that taught girls not to steal, lie, nor hide in fur coat storage closets. See more photos from both screenings here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Emerging Artists at Aurora Boot Camp

Look out John Baldessari! Aurora has some young filmmakers that are hot on your heels. Last week, Aurora concluded their first ever Aurora Boot Camp, featuring fifteen very talented aspiring filmmakers. From "Art" to alien attacks, no subject was too much to tackle for these innovative campers. Check out the photos at Aurora's Flicker Site.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Found was a Hit!!!

Our friends from Found Magazine did it again. Their stories and music made us laugh and cry. Their Denim and Diamonds Tour 2009! is still not over though. Check out when they are coming near you.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Emily Hubley takes the Texas Tour

Emily Hubley, daughter of famed animators John and Faith Hubley, landed in Houston this past weekend to grace Aurora with several screenings, co -presented with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  After an evening of short films Friday, Hubley shared her feature The Toe Tactic with audiences Saturday, who were filled with questions about the process of making a live-action and animated film.  Hubley heads to Austin today, so be sure to stop by the original Alamo Draft House Cinema if you happen to be in Austin.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rachel Blogs!

OK, OK... I have been here for how long? And I have never done a blog. I admit to not being very good at them. Though I do OK at Facebook, so look me up if you really want in on my personal details. It is thrilling stuff.

Sundance 2009 was great. This was my 8th year, I think. I have been quite a few times... I actually won a trip in 1997 while I was in college. To be honest, I kinda cheated by stealing all the entry forms and having parties for people to help me fill them out. But it worked, so no guilt. Then I volunteered several years. I was lucky to go with Austin Film Society and Austin Studios for marketing as well. But I think I enjoyed going with Aurora the most because it was not only about spreading the love of Aurora, but also about seeking out ideas for programs. I think that the short films and the documentaries are what make film festivals special, especially when you are in a big festival where narratives will likely be picked up and distributed.

For me, the documentary shorts were the most memorable. But it was also our first screening, with all the Aurora ladies together (Mary Magsamen, our new Curator, and Sorcha, our esteemed board member) AND it was at the Egyptian... which is really the iconic venue located on the Main Street.

My next favorite was THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD, which will likely get exhibition nationally as it was so entertaining. Go see it. Join the Yes Men website too.

There were other films, though I walked away not seeing as many as I would like. I look forward to either bringing them in through Aurora or other organizations in Houston.

Outside of films, I loved the Austin Film Society party where I got to see familiar faces and celebrate some Texas films. We hope to bring some of them to Aurora.

I did notice that I am older and can not see as many films as I did in 1997 where I would totally wear myself out, but I enjoyed myself.

A special thank you to Winsie Tow and the Sundance Filmmaker Lodge for allowing us to come and spread the Aurora word. We even met people from Houston there! Wild.

Anyhow, I still have lots of laundry to do and all kinds of catching up, but I definitely think film lovers should experience Sundance or any other major film festival in their lifetime. Inspiring and fun!

All the best from a tired Aurora Fan,


Aurora at Sundance Film Festival

Originally uploaded by Aurora Picture Show

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fundance with Aurora at the Filmmaker's Lodge

Here we are at the Filmmaker's Lodge telling everyone how great Aurora is and giving away stuff.

Fundance with Aurora day 2

Rachel and Sorcha at the New Frontier area playing with an interactive piece about feelings.

Mary and Rachel in front of the Egyptian theater.

Fundance with Aurora

We arrived at Sundance!  Here is Rachel and Sorcha on the bus going to a theater!