To secure a lasting space for the creation and dissemination of independent media that promotes democracy, community participation, access, and lifelong learning to a diverse community of artists and audiences.
The 9th Street Media Consortium began as a partnership between the Film Arts Foundation and the National Asian American Telecommunications Association in 1983, when the two organizations moved into a small portion of a building in San Francisco's South-of-Market (SOMA) district. Other organizations — Frameline, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, Canyon Cinema, and San Francisco Cinematheque — moved to the location over the years to fill the entire building. The partnership's programs use media as a tool for education and community building and present independent film and video to audiences who have few alternatives to commercial media. Nationally, it helped create the Independent Television Service, a nonprofit organization mandated by Congress specifically to produce independent programming for public television.
The consortium is a national model for collaboration among film and video organizations. Together the organizations offer a range of services and programs, including grantmaking and low-cost equipment rental for filmmakers and annual film festivals. The 9th Street partners generate cost savings by sharing rent and equipment purchases and working together to produce film festivals.
In late 2001, the consortium purchased a building in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood at 145 Ninth Street after two years of planning and searching. Film Arts Foundation, Frameline, the National Asian American Telecommunications Association, and San Francisco Jewish Film Festival are the four equity partners in the purchase, while Canyon Cinema, National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, and San Francisco Cinematheque are non-equity partners.
The home page of the consortium's Web site welcomes users with the group's collective mission statement. Visitors to the site can read about the 9th Street Media Consortium's history, view pictures and floor plans of the consortium's new building, and access information on its capital campaign. The site also provides descriptions of and links to the members of the group.
The consortium is currently conducting a capital campaign through December 2006 to raise a total of $6 million to cover the costs for its new building at 145 9th Street. Contributors toward the purchase include the Columbia Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Wells Fargo Bank.