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George Eastman Museum to offer new scholarship to empower future Black students

The Diedrea D. Tisdale Memorial Scholarship will provide financial support to a Black student at the museum’s L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation


Rochester, N.Y., November 1, 2023—The George Eastman Museum announces the creation of the Diedrea D. Tisdale Memorial Scholarship, a fund which will support the tuition for a future Black student at the museum’s L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation in its certificate program for the 2024-25 academic year.

“We are grateful to an anonymous donor for the Diedrea D. Tisdale Memorial Scholarship, which aims to address the manifest need for increased diversity and representation in the profession of film preservation and audiovisual archiving,” said Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director of the George Eastman Museum. “The scholarship advances our institution’s key strategic goal of fostering more inclusive museums and archives and empowering talented individuals from underrepresented communities.“

"Although film archives have made significant progress in diversifying the materials they preserve and make available, the same could hardly be said about the profession of archivists, where people of color are woefully underrepresented." said Peter Bagrov, Director of the Selznick School and the President of the International Federation of Film Archives. "This scholarship is a step towards improving the situation. We hope the word of this scholarship spreads widely and that this initiative sets a good example for others in our field."

The scholarship is named after the late Diedrea D. Tisdale, a longtime Rochester resident who led a beautiful and accomplished life that touched family, friends, and strangers. She loved music and films, cooking and gardening, and remained positive even when faced with serious health issues. The donor who has supported the Tisdale Scholarship wishes to honor her quietly remarkable life by creating this educational opportunity for students at the Selznick School.

Established in 1996 by film and television producer L. Jeffrey Selznick and Paolo Cherchi Usai, the former Senior Curator of the Moving Image Department of the George Eastman Museum, the
L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation is dedicated to educating professionals who will advance the conservation of moving images of the past and present. In 2005, the University of Rochester joined with the Selznick School to create a two-year Masters of Arts degree program. The Selznick School has 275 alumni representing 29 countries.


About the George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program, and its L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation’s graduate program (a collaboration with the University of Rochester) makes critical contributions to film preservation. For more information, visit eastman.org and follow the George Eastman Museum account on Facebook, as well as the @eastmanmuseum accounts on Instagram, TikTok, and Threads.

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Media Contact: Nate Smith
(585) 327-4813
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