Founded in 1910, International House Philadelphia (IHP) is the region's international center for arts, culture, educational, and residential activities. As a hub of international culture and exchange, IHP presents hundreds of public programs throughout the year, including concerts, cultural celebrations, symposiums, and its renowned cinema program, Lightbox Film Center. It is also home to nearly 400 visiting students, scholars, and interns, from over 65 countries. IHP has received Center support for several of its curated programs, including Pop Cinema: Art and Film in the UK and US, 1950s–1970s, Free to Love: Cinema of the Sexual Revolution, and Sonic Arts Union, an exploration of the forward-thinking artist collective founded in 1966 by composer-performers Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier, David Behrman, and Gordon Mumma. In 2018, Lightbox Film Center at IHP received a Center Project grant to present Dream Dance: The Art of Ed Emshwiller, the first major monographic exhibition of the artist’s groundbreaking work in film, video, and visual art.
The first film series on this scale dedicated to the sexual revolution, Free to Love will present more than 40 commercial and underground films—along with lectures and discussions—over a period of a month in early 2014. Curated by Jesse Pires, the series will revisit pioneering films by Valie Export, Barbara Hammer, Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, and many others who brought sex and sexuality to the foreground of public consciousness in the West, during an era associated with the expansion of gender equality and the assertion of personal power through sexual expression and liberation. Programs to accompany the film exhibition include an intergenerational panel discussion featuring pioneering filmmakers Hammer and MM Serra, with younger artists A.L. Steiner and A.K. Burns, as well as a talk by noted film critic J. Hoberman. A scholarly catalog will accompany the curated program, with essays by film historians, a DVD of short films shown during the series, and a transcript of the panel discussion.