Saturday, August 01, 2009

Is MIX NYC too controversial?

Friends of MIX NYC,

Is MIX too controversial? The Bank of New York Mellon seems to think so.

Recently, an old friend of the MIX Festival decided to use the BNYM’s employee matching program to donate to MIX. After looking at our 2008 website (now retired as we prepare for the 2009 Festival), the Bank decided not to honor the match because they considered MIX too controversial. Because of this, MIX lost $1800 in funding!

Read the full text of MIX's letter about
the Bank of New York Mellon's
decision not to fund MIX NYC.

This kind of rejection really hurts, both on a financial and emotional level. Financially, the loss is obvious. But, it is also disheartening to face the fact that the Bank of New York is probably not alone, and such bias has affected MIX’s bottom line for years. We were lucky to be given an honest explanation from them about their decision to turn us down. Who knows what countless other funders have shied away from MIX just because we’re “controversial.”

We want to assure you, though, MIX NYC will not compromise our commitment to artistic integrity, and we will not edit our website content just to be able to make a few more bucks from such timid supporters. This is our stand on content, not just on our website, but also in the films we show.

Freedom of expression in whatever forms it takes—nudity, political critique, sexual explicitness, parody, outrage, or outrageousness—we embrace it. In fact, the artistic freedom to contradict norms and create outside the box is part of what makes MIX’s programs so unique. This is what has brought together MIX’s diverse and loyal community of queer experimental artists (and lovers) throughout our 23-year history.

Rather than pander to so-called “standards” of the mainstream, we remain committed to supporting completely original, completely queer, and completely uncompromised experimental art. We are here for the very purpose of challenging mainstream notions of form and content. We are here for the underground artist who stands outside the limelight in order to provide a truly one of a kind perspective or voice.

Of course, to take such a principled stand, we need support from alternative sources. Yes, this means you. Especially in the face of this financial loss, as well as the current economic downturn, MIX needs you to stand with us, and keep us standing. The best way to do this is with a financial contribution.

First, we need to immediately recoup the $1800 loss. Luckily, the math is simple. Just 18 donations of $100 will do this. If you have $100 for queer experimental film, we need it now. And of course, our programs need year-round support. So, if you can give MORE than $100, please consider doing so.

Smaller donations can go a long way too. Really—any amount helps! Even if it’s just $10, $25, $50… can you please chip in too? We promise, the more support we get, the better we will be able to bring you the amazing, challenging (and yes, sometimes controversial) events you expect from MIX.


Stephen Kent Jusick
MIX NYC Executive Director

Frank Susa
MIX NYC Board Chair

P.S. The annual MIX festival is made possible by the generosity of individuals like you. Please donate today.

Office: 79 Pine Street #132
New York, NY 10005
212 742 8880

MIX NYC promotes, produces and preserves experimental media that is rooted in the lives, politics, and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and otherwise queer-identified people. MIX's work challenges mainstream notions of gender and sexuality while also upending traditional categories of form and content.


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