Film lovers can sit with An Artist at the Table |

Film lovers can sit with An Artist at the Table

Golden Globe winning actress Awkwafina stops to take a photo with a Sundance Institute supporter during last year's An Artist at the Table fundraiser. This year's event will be held Thursday, Jan. 23, at Jupiter at Newpark.
Courtesy of Panic Button Media

What: An Artist at the Table

When: 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23

Where: Eccles Theatre and Jupiter at Newpark


Eleven years ago Sundance Institute initiated its An Artist at the Table fundraiser that gives the nonprofit’s supporters and film lovers a chance to talk with industry professionals over dinner.

The tradition will continue on Thursday, Jan. 23, and registration is open at, said Josie McGuinn, Sundance Institute director of events.

The evening will begin at the Sundance Film Festival’s opening-night and world premiere screening of Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht’s documentary, “CripCamp,” at 5:30 p.m. at the Eccles Theatre, McGuinn said.

“An Artist at the Table attendees will get special access to the screening and reserved seating,” she said.

“CripCamp,” which is being released under Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, is about a “landmark movement” at a summer camp for children with disabilities in the 1970s that paved the way for the Americans with Disabilities Act, McGuinn said.

The film has been supported by numerous Sundance Institute programs including the 2018 Documentary Edit and Story Lab; participated in the Institute’s Creative Producing Summit, Catalyst Forum, and Impact Intensive; and received a grant from the Institute’s 2017 Sundance Documentary Film Fund, according to McGuinn.

“We’re thrilled to show ‘CripCamp’ as our opening night screening and sharing it during An Artist at the Table event,” she said.

Following the film, guests can either drive themselves or ride shuttles to Jupiter at Newpark, for a sit-down dinner, catered by Lux, a Salt Lake City-based partner of the Sundance Institute, McGuinn said.

“We will host a short cocktail hour that will allow all of our guests to get a quick drink and enjoy some hors d’oeuvres before they sit down for a short, but impactful program and delicious dinner,” she said. “We have a beautifully designed space that will include 60 tables.”

Smaller tables will seat 10 people, including one artist, and the larger tables will seat 20 people and feature two artists, according to event publicist Katie Eldridge, of Panic Button Media.

In addition to LeBrecht and Newnham, some of the artists featured this year will include Ritesh Batra (“Photograph”), Joe Berlinger (“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile”), Catherine Gund (“Aggie”), Lisa Kron (“Fun Home”), Dee Rees (“The Last Thing He Wanted”) , Junaid Sarieddeen (“36 Abbas Street, Haifa”), Nanfu Wang (“One Child Nation”), Benh Zeitlin (“Wendy”), and Marina Zenovich (“Lance”), McGuinn said.

“They are all incredible artists in their storytelling, and the program allows time for guests to engage with these artists during dinner,” she said.

The program will include the inaugural Vanguard Award for Philanthropy, McGuinn said.

“The award honors innovation, originality, and independent spirit as demonstrated over an exemplary career in philanthropy and social impact,” she said.

This year’s recipient is Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.

Walker has helmed transformational initiatives like the Art for Justice Fund, demonstrated a commitment to diversifying leadership in museums and cultural institutions, and redesigned the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, according to McGuinn.

“His tenure at the Ford Foundation has inspired many, provided long-lasting career stability for hundreds of artists, and created space for a more just and equitable arts landscape in the United States and around the world,” she said. “The Ford Foundation is such a great partner with the Sundance Institute, so we’re thrilled to honor him with the inaugural award.”

In addition, guests will hear from Col Needham, founder of IMDb, the event’s presenting sponsor, McGuinn said.

An Artist at the Table fundraiser has grown over the years, from its inception that welcomed 175 guests and featured 17 artists, McGuinn said.

“We are proud to see the community of supporters grow, because all proceeds go back into our programs and advance our mission to support and amplify the artists’ work,” she said. “This evening is about supporting artist and building community, and we’ve seen some great connections that have formed between our artists and supporters over the years. Some of these connections have turned into investments for film.”

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