Founded at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 1976 at the inception of the media arts movement, the Video Data Bank (VDB) is a leading resource in the United States for video by and about contemporary artists. The VDB Collections include the work of more than 550 artists and 5,500 video art titles, 2,500+ in active distribution.
The VDB makes its Collections available to museums, galleries, educational institutions, libraries, cultural institutions and exhibitors through a national and international distribution service, and works to foster a deeper understanding of video art, and to broaden access and exposure to media art histories, through its programs and activities. These include: preservation of historically important works of video art; the perpetuation of analog and digital archives; publishing of curated programs and artists' monographs; the commissioning of essays and texts that contextualize artists' work; and an extensive range of public programs.
Operating under SAIC's not-for-profit status, the VDB is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art, and the Illinois Arts Council, an agency of the state.
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