Each month, we are featuring interviews with the volunteer staff that make ATA possible, recognizing their work at ATA and their contribution to our vibrant artistic community.
Here is an interview with Linda Scobie who has been a volunteer since 2007.
What can you tell us about your first volunteering experience/s at ATA?
I first started volunteering at ATA shortly after moving to San Francisco. I was still pretty unsure of my place in the city and in life. Didn’t know what I was looking for, but when I went to my first screening there — I had found it. A diverse community of artists who were dedicating their time to further others peoples creative endeavors while still finding the time to make their own work and still exist in the mundane grind to financially support themselves. I started ‘shadowing’ more experienced volunteers, got to know the ropes and within 6 months of volunteering I got a key, felt trusted, and never left.
You are an experimental filmmaker. Has being involved with ATA inspired you in any way? and if so, how?
I’ve been exposed to many amazing filmmakers through ATA — Paul Clipson, Sylvia Schedelbauer, Kerry Laitala, Craig Baldwin, to name a few. I’m not only inspired by their work, but I’ve developed meaningful relationships with these folks who I might not have gotten to know so well if it weren’t through spending so much time at ATA. I’m constantly in awe by them..and with LOTS of things I see at ATA.
What do you do as for your day job?
I work for Canyon Cinema — we’re a film cooperative/distribution organization that started in 1961 by Bruce Baillie and Chick Strand. My duties include doing business talk on the phone, listening to Bob Dylan while inspecting and wrangling 8/16/35mm prints and occasionally petting dogs in the building.
Why is ATA important to you? and to the community?
Aside from the reasons listed above, ATA is so, so important to the Mission District, to San Francisco and to me. It’s no secret the neighborhood is undergoing some infectious urban gentrification. Without our wonderful non-profit, artist run venue–Valencia would be just another homogeneous city street. It’s like a second home to me and all the folks involved feel like a second family. I even met my best friend ShaloP there. I’ve laughed, cried, danced, sang, drank too much, and watched movies that completely changed my life. What other compliments could I give it? They got comfy seats.
What is something you have done at/for ATA that you feel very proud of?
I’ve been with ATA for the last 5+ years and I feel proud with every show that I volunteer at. I also helped program the 2011 ATA film & video festival watching movie after movie until my eyeballs fell out and then I popped them back in and watched some more. I’ve become the designated piñata bringer to our volunteer appreciation picnics and..what else..I’ve also been known to sweep and wash dishes from time to time.
What makes ATA a great place to volunteer?
Um.. too many reasons to count on two hands and all your toes. It’s run by artists & supports artists. Everyone works there for the pure un-paid love of it. You get to drink beer and eat pizza (or burritos) while watching awesome movies and nobody judges you. We sing karaoke sometimes and embarrass ourselves in front of each other (still no judging). You get to be a part of something really unique and genuine. The neighborhood may change, but ATA’s support for creativity and originality fails to falter.
What is the craziest or coolest thing you have seen at ATA so far?
Most things there are crazy AND cool. Filmmaker Sam Green passing out shots before his ‘live doc time capsule’ presentation at Other Cinema was pretty fucking great.. working a Periwinkle Cinema show and seeing this insane film called Dandy Dust that I couldn’t stop talking about for a week.. dancing my ass of to Shannon & the Clams in an tacky sequined dress for our “Winter Beach Formal” fundraiser event. I love/adore/cherish ATA so hard and it only gets better, and better, and better.
Volunteer with ATA!
ATA is looking for volunteers to help with our Gallery and our Screenings. Volunteers run screenings, organize events, curate shows, and get stuff done. Volunteers can come to any ATA show for free. We need people who are creative and reliable.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and become a part of something good.