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June 03, 2009

Comments

Denveater

Thank you so much, AJ, for revealing a point that has gone largely overlooked—the role of Nina Henderson-Moore in all of this.

When, as you write, the DFS departees "put the blame squarely at the feet of Smith and the board," it is she in particular who has been vehemently anti-staff (kicking them out of board meetings upon becoming chair) and so inexplicably pro-Bo Smith. Why that is is anybody's guess—but her position of power in this town has given her word versus the staff's far more weight than it should have had from a sheerly logical organizational standpoint.

Tony

From an outside perspective, I keep thinking if these 21 staff members were aligned, they could just discard the guidance of Bo and the Board and continue running the organization as they saw fit. They'd either see great results, or they'd get fired, but at least then they could collect unemployment.

As a nonprofit ED, it does make me question the structure, where half of the board together with the ED can make a decision that contradicts what 90% of the staff on the ground believe. On my board, any one member can block a decision, and it takes a 2/3 vote to overcome that. I guess you also have to make sure all the constituencies are represented, from staff to audiences to members, etc.

deproduction

AJ, thanks also for the hint at some of the philosophical/business approaches that may be at the core of the disagreement. These things tend to be more personality-based, and I'd be interested to hear if Brit and Britta were opposed to re-directing energies towards "reaching out to neglected communities in the Denver area." I'd love to hear if there was any tension between the focus on the festival, which provides the caché, and the more community-focused mission of developing "opportunities for diverse audiences to discover film through creative, thought-provoking experiences."
In any case, you always root for the home-grown talent, and I personally appreciated seeing DFS raise people through their ranks instead of hiring outsiders to lead.

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