To view the current Merchant and Ivory Foundation event schedule please visit the foundation web site at

The Merchant and Ivory Foundation is pleased to celebrate its first decade of support for filmmaking, film preservation and the fine arts. I'm happy to report that the work of our first ten years has been lively and productive. We have sponsored many artists of all disciplines, carried out an extensive film restoration project and made considerable advances toward the creation of a film center at our historical headquarters in upstate New York. These achievements, combined with the many special events and performances presented at the Red Mills during our first decade, have made the Merchant and Ivory Foundation a puissant force in the support of art in America. The Board would like to thank all of our friends, as we have accomplished these goals and continue to flourish because of their generous support. We are putting great effort toward building a resourceful institution for both subsidizing young emerging filmmakers, writers and visual artists, and for promoting the preservation of the world's first century of film.

The Merchant and Ivory Foundation, established in 1991, has been active since its inception in support of promising artists in the visual and performing arts and furthering the preservation and awareness of art and cinema. From grants of Kodak film stock for emerging young filmmakers awarded as prizes annually at the Sundance Film festival, to grants for exhibitions by painters, photographers, and sculptors, and support for writers, the Merchant and Ivory Foundation is committed to keeping funding for the arts alive in America. A few of the artists we have given grants to are: painters Cham Hendon and Brunio Pasquier-Desvignes; sculptor Joseph Dosio; photographers Chad Kleitsch and Seth Rubin; poet Shahram Shiva for his second book, Rending the Veil; and author Zia Jaffrey for her book, The Invisibles, which The New York Times describes as "a sensitive, intelligent, affecting portrait" and The New Yorker describes as "a triumph."

In addition to artist's grants, the Merchant and Ivory Foundation has presented many music, dance and theatre performances at the Red Mills. These special events have included local Columbia County music and dance groups, staged script readings ad renowned international performers. Local groups that have performed at the Red Mills ranged from the Columbia County Chamber Orchestra to the young Kumba dancers.

Special performances by Vanessa Redgrave and her mother Rachel Kempson, Eartha Kitt, famed Indian musicians Pandit Jasraj, Zakir Hussain and L. Shankar have all graced the Red Mills during our fist decade. After successful script readings at the Foundation of Alexandra Viets' original screenplay Cotton Mary and an adaptation of the classic Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin, both have developed into feature film projects. Cotton Mary was released in February of 2000, and Giovanni's Room is well into development. We are constantly looking for more plays and screenplays to present at the Red Mills, and are in close contact with several prestigious New York theatre organizations including the American Place Theatre in an effort to establish innovative programs aimed at developing new talent in American Theatre.

Our Foundation's first major project was to restore and preserve the films of the great Indian director, Satyajit Ray. Along with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, we treated the negatives, made protective interpositives, re-mastered soundtracks, re-subtitled with accurate translation from Bengali, and created state-of-the-art motion picture prints of the nine following films: The Apu Trilogy (Pather Panchili, Aparjito, The World of Apu), The Music Room, Devi, Two Daughters, Mahanager, Charulata and The Middleman. There are several more master works by Mr. Ray that are in need of the same treatments.

Other artists and organizations that we have supported over the years include the American Place Theatre; World Music; Indrani Dance; poet John Ashbery; Hole in the Wall Gang Camp; The Actor's Studio; The Blue Light Theatre Group; filmmakers Jannu Goldschmit and Chris Munch; Archivo Veneziano; Clarion Music Society; The Living Archive; and The Making History Foundation.

The Foundation has also supported many local Columbia County Charities including the Columbia County Chamber Orchestra, Clarion Music Society, Operation Unite, the Kumba Dancers and the Claverak Free Library.

Following a highly successful summer 2000 program, the Foundation will continue its support for artists in the fields of music and the visual arts during the 2001 season. The Red Mills gallery will exhibit the work of sculptor/painter Peter Hoffman. The Cooper Shop will host a special event "Dream Prints" featuring poetry by Northwest writer Loretta Anawalt and landscapes by award winning artist Robert Helm. 2001 will also see the visit of the great jazz musician Nell Carter to the stage of the Red Mills.

If you have any questions or require further information about The Merchant and Ivory Foundation, please send an email to


Our Roots | MIP News | Filmography | MIP Store
MIP Links | MIP Mailing List | Contact MIP | MIP Search | Home