2010 President's Report

Ile Ife Films
The Arthur Hall Collection
2010 President's Report
(Updated: January 6, 2011)

To the family, friends and fans of Arthur Hall:

In 2009 the Arthur Hall Afro American Dance Ensemble Alumni expanded upon our
Renaissance on Sacred Ground DVD to provide deeper insights into the history of
the Ile Ife Center. Produced under the leadership of our board member Kwasi Agire
(Daryl Burgee), the Scribe Video Renaissance on Sacred Ground was shown at the
2nd Annual Cultural Arts Community Renaissance Affair at Philadelphia Community College,
a live performance in December 2009 that featured our artistic director Nana Korantema
and other Alumni recreating and documenting four of Arthur's dances:

  • Fanga
  • Hypnotic Healing
  • Revelation and
  • Agbaja (the EWE Dance).

    Please see the program and credits.

    In March, 2010, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission approved the Alumni
    application for an historical marker honoring Arthur to be placed at the old Ile Ife
    Center on Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia.
    Please see the proposed text.

    In the last two years here in Maine, I have digitized hundreds, if not thousands, of
    slides, negatives, prints, and documents to create CD-R copies which are kept here and
    in the Arthur Hall Alumni archives in Philadelphia. These materials are listed among the
    recent additions to the Arthur Hall Collection.

    In June 2010 the State of Maine granted us permanent exemption as an incorporated
    nonprofit historical society for our work in preserving Arthur's legacy.

    With the generous support of the Arthur Hall Alumni and of Lawrence Bender
    (the producer of Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Bastards, and Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth,
    among many other fine works), we have been able to purchse the equipment
    we need to begin the digitalization of the Arthur Hall Collection.

    Please see the Digital Archive Project index for a log of materials digitized to date,
    a description of the project equipment and digitalization process,
    a summary financial statement, including a complete list of donors,
    and a project budget for 2011-2012.

    If you were to compare the 250 hours of Videotapes in the Arthur Hall Collection
    with the Log of Materials in the Digital Archive,
    you would see how far we have yet to go. The videotapes in the collection are in
    several obsolete formats, mostly S-VHS camera originals, but also 1" broadcast masters,
    3/4" Umatic, Hi-8, and 1/2" open reel helical scan, some of which are over thirty years
    old. These tapes are fragile. The equipment needed to play them is obsolete and
    increasingly rare. If nothing is done, they are apt to disappear.

    As of December 2010, I have transferred nearly 14 hours of S-VHS camera tapes from
    Arthur's 1993 return to Philadelphia for the city's Arthur Hall Day celebrations,
    including a children's class, a master class, Arthur's return to the old Ile Ife Center,
    receptions at Philadelphia's City Hall and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, a modest
    parade down Broad, and performances at MarcFest 93 at William Penn High School and at
    Movement Theatre International, including the reunion performance of Arthur's magnificent
    dance of Obatala.

    At Northeast Historic Film we digitized two reels of Super-8 film (about one hour of
    screen time) documenting Arthur's choreography of Orpheus, and I have digitized
    the late Jorge Preloran's film of Arthur's The Unvictorious One (1956-1957) made
    in Heidelburg, Germany, while both men were in the U.S. Army Special Services.

    Since we began this Renaissance on Sacred Ground in August 2008, we have
    received over $8,700 in cash donations and many thousands in donated services.
    We now have a proposed budget of $70,000 to carry this work forward in 2011 and 2012.

    We need your support to continue this important work in a timely and efficient way.

    Please note that the work described here has been completed, and the Arthur Hall
    Collection is now in the Special Collections Research Center of the Temple University
    Libraries in Philadelphia, thanks to all who supported this project.

    Thank you for your interest and support,

    Bruce B. Williams, President
    Ile Ife Films and the Arthur Hall Collection

    Photographs by B.B. Williams (1980)

    2010 cash contributions received total $5,780
    Total cash contributions received to date: $8,765

    Available online
    Renaissance on Sacred Ground
    You need Quick Time Movie Player to see this movie

    Contact Information

    Recent additions to the Arthur Hall Collection

    Index of subdirectories @ ileife.org