WXXI and the Little Theatre

WXXI and the Little Theatre

Mon, 12/19/2011 - 10:00am

WXXI and the Little Theatre announce a formal long-term affiliation

WXXI Public Broadcasting Council and the Little Theatre today announced a formal, long-term affiliation, which will begin January 2012. This new combined organization promises to enhance the cultural life of the community, and will help to strengthen two of Rochester’s most vital cultural institutions. To download a PDF of the FAQ sheet, click here.

“This agreement is a win-win-win for WXXI, The Little Theatre and the City of Rochester,” said WXXI President Norm Silverstein.  “It strengthens WXXI’s roots in the cultural life of the community, while helping to assure the future of Rochester’s independent film house.  We look forward to an even more vibrant Little Theatre playing a more significant role in the life of the East End,” Silverstein said. To hear Silverstein's interview with WXXI's LaShea Agnew Monday morning before the press conference, and to listen to excerpts from the press conference, click here.

The affiliation will enable the two organizations to work more efficiently by pooling resources and strengths in a number of areas including back-office operation and improved fundraising capabilities. For WXXI the affiliation will help to expand WXXI’s roots in the arts and cultural community, and give it a presence in the East End’s cultural district. For the Little, the affiliation will help guarantee its viability, and offer increased support in its fundraising efforts and building membership.

 “The Little has been working hard to assure our stability and growth,” said Matthew MacKinnon, President of the Board of the Little Theatre Film Society. “And so we began to look into community partnerships that would preserve our mission and strengthen the organization. After extensive research, it became clear that both WXXI and the Little would benefit greatly from a formal, long-term affiliation. “

 After consultation from the New York Council of Nonprofits and much review, negotiation and deliberation, a Task Force – representing Board members of each organization – approved a business agreement between both organizations. The Little Theatre will become a subsidiary corporation of the parent corporation, WXXI, and it will continue to exist as a separate legal entity in New York State. 

This new affiliation will strengthen both institutions by pooling its resources and strengths in key mission areas. Together WXXI and the Little Theatre will be able to:

  • Extend and enhance its educational efforts;
  • Add complementary programming like documentaries, news, cultural events, and children’s events;
  • Provide a diverse staff skill set to strengthen both organizations in key areas;
  • Benefit from cross-promotion opportunities;
  • Extend both organizations’ missions with enhanced distribution options - on   air, online, on screen


The Little Theatre began in Rochester in 1928 as a link in a proposed chain of small theatres designed to provide an "intimate" alternative to the large commercial movie houses of the day. As a not-for-profit organization, it continues to deliver the finest in film, art and music, while expanding its education and outreach programs, and ensuring its financial integrity through individual and corporate memberships and donations. 

The Little Theatre Film Society provides a unique environment for the presentation of American independent and foreign films, visual arts and music for the greater Rochester community. The Little serves as a multi-cultural gathering place for affordable and accessible entertainment, screening more than 100 films per year, as well as hosting several annual community film festivals. The Little provides local artists a place to share their visions with a diverse audience and to discuss their work through educational talkbacks.

Since 1958, WXXI has provided the Greater Rochester area with the finest radio and television programming available. WXXI operates three digital television channels, as well as cable City 12 in partnership with the City of Rochester. Its radio services include: WXXI-AM 1370, WXXI-FM 91.5, plus two HD radio channels and Reachout Radio, a closed circuit 24-hour radio reading service for those who are visually impaired. WXXI manages and operates WRUR-FM 88.5 in broadcast partnership with the University of Rochester, along with two radio stations in partnership with Hobart & William Smith Colleges – WEOS-FM 89.7 in Geneva and WITH-FM 90.1 in Ithaca. WXXI web site at WXXI.org offers news, educational resources, program schedules, play lists, podcasts, and streaming of its radio stations. WXXI’s Education Services deliver instructional programming, Ready To Learn, GED Connections, VITAL Educational Video Online, and professional development offerings for teachers including online courses from PBS TeacherLine, and professional and technical assistance to adult literacy programs through the WXXI Finger Lakes Regional Adult Education Network (through 2019).



Brilliant move for both organizations. As one involved deeply in both and invested heavily in both, I welcome this new arrangement and expect great things.

Thank you all for making this happen.