Survey: The Mattress Factory

Posted August 05, 2010 by Anonymous
Part 1.
Year Founded: 
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
We are an artist in residence program. Artist come here and receive housing, a per diem, and monies to create their work as well as curatorial support in creating their work. Artist create room sized installations that engage the visitor on all levels and senses.
1c. Organization's annual budget.: 
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Exhibition Space
Multipurpose Space [Amalgam of Multiple Artistic Disciplines]
Performance Space
Part 2.
2a. Mission Statement: 
The Mattress Factory is a research and development lab for artists. As a museum of contemporary art, it commissions new site-specific works, presents them to the widest possible audience, and maintains selected individual installations in a growing - and distinctive - permanent collection. The Mattress Factory’s physical and organizational environments have grown out of and in response to a central focus on the process of creativity. Professional artists, at varying stages in their careers, experiment with ideas and materials within an integrated residency and exhibition program. In spaces that function equally well as private working studios and as public exhibition spaces, each artist receives an uncommon level of curatorial support. The Mattress Factory aggressively educates and encourages viewers - regardless of prior experience - to examine the relevance of art and creativity in their own lives. Its confirmed belief is that contact with experimental work allows viewers to explore and to more directly access their own experience than is generally possible in a traditional museum setting. By collecting permanent installations, it has also established a frame of reference for seeing and understanding contemporary works. In the process, the Mattress Factory’s expansion is energizing its neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s North Side. It identifies properties, dispersed through out the community, that do not contribute to the economic, social or cultural benefit of the area. It then acquires and rehabilitates selected buildings as exhibition sites, artist housing and rental properties both to improve the neighborhood and to support its artistic program.
Website Link to Mission Statement:
2b. Organization History / Organizational Overview. Index of important events in organization's history.: 
The Mattress Factory started in the late 1970’s with Barbara Luderowski, the current director, when she drove through Pittsburgh. She found the space, an old factory/industrial space, in the Mexican War Streets on the Northside of Pittsburgh. She bought the property and it began as an artist collective, theatre space, co-op, and fabric/textile workspace. In 1977 the focus of The Mattress Factory narrowed to the installation/ artist residence that continues today. Throughout the years the Mattress Factory has acquired buildings and property in the neighborhood and has renovated them, improving hte neighborhood and supporting its artistic program. There is an annex building that houses permanent collection pieces as well as revolving shows, there is a building close to the museum that was renovated as a artist residence space.
2c. Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History.: 
Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History can be found at the link below.
Website Link to Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History:
Part 3.
3a. Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals:: 
Barbara Luderowski
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Michael Olijnyk
3b. Could any of these individuals assist in providing an oral history of your organization?: 
Part 4.
4a. Is organization currently active?: 
4b. Year activity suspended if no longer active.: 
Organization Still Active
Part 5.
5a. Type of organization at its founding.: 
Collective / Unincorporated Association
5b. Type of organization currently, or at the termination of activities.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
Part 6.
6a. Does the organization have an archive?: 
6c. Other threats to the organization:: 
Are there other threats to your organization? Please describe below.
Part 7.
As the project archivist, my time at the Mattress Factory was determined by a grant. I will be concluding my work in December of 2006. At that point, to the best of my knowledge, there are no plans to hire me or another archivist to the staff. This is due to fiscal restraints. As a result I am concerned with a drain on existing staff time when i am no longer here. Also, I am concerned that there is no one on the staff who has the proper training to handle archive materials. I also have some concern regarding space. The current archive is located in a small room on the third floor and eventually we will outgrow that space. There is no where else to really go.
7a. How important is to the organization to preserve the organization’s historical material. From 1 – Very Important to 5 – Not Important.: 
7b. Has planning for the preservation and documentation of archive begun?: 
7c. Does the organization know how and where to seek expertise and assistance?: 
7d. Does the organization have specific concerns regarding starting an archive working with its historic materials?: 
Other Concerns - Please describe below.
Part 8.
8a. Is the organization's archives in the collection of another institution or promised to one?: 
8a. Location: 
IF YES to 8: University (Name)
8b. Archival materials are also located at:: 
Where are these locations?: 
We have an off-site storage location in Ambridge, PA. It is a warehouse.
Part 9.
9. Does the organization maintain archives for any other organization.: 
IF YES to 9: 10a. Please describe:
Part 10a.
10a. Is the archive accessible to scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10b.
10b. Are there conditions of access for scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 11.
The following questions address the historical materials (type, quantity and storage) of the organization. 11a. Paper Files and Documents: 
Artist Files
Board Minutes
Exhibition or Production Files
Financial Records
11b. Artwork and Documentation: 
Audiotapes [Any Format]
Oral History, Recordings and / or Transcripts
CDs / DVDs [Pre-Recorded or CD-R / CD-RW / DVD-R / etc.]
Other Digital Materials
Prints / Lithographs / Etchings / Screenprints / etc.
Unique Art Objects
Other Artwork
11c. Press and Promotional Materials: 
Announcements, Mailing Cards, etc.
Newspaper / Magazine / Media Clippings
Posters / Flyers
Other Press or Promotional Materials:
11d. Printed Publications: 
Artists' Publications
Broadsides / Small Press
Checklists / Performance Programs / Price Lists
Programs of Events
Publication or Merchandise Catalogues
Other Printed Publications
11e. Other: 
Architectural Drawings / Floor Plan
Layouts / Sketches / Instructions for Installations
Layouts / Sketches / Instructions for Performances
Mock-Ups / Models / Prototypes
Props for Performances
Part 12.
12. What years does the materials cover?: 
Part 13.
13a. How is the material stored?: 
Other - Please describe below.
Please describe: 
Items are currently being stored in boxes and flat files and in the room. I am working on rehousing the material to acid free folders and boxes, acid free folders within the map drawers and covering the objects that are stored in the open.
13b. Are some or all of these storage units “archival”?: 
Part 14.
14a. Estimated Number of Boxes or Milk-Crate Sized Storage Units: 
51 - 60
14b. Estimated Number of Archive Drawers: 
31 - 40
14c. Estimated Number of Archive Notebooks: 
11 - 20
14d. Estimated the total Linear Feet. ["Linear Feet" is standard measure of the quantity of archival materials on the basis of shelf space occupied or the length of drawers in vertical files or the thickness of horizontally filed materials. For example, a: 
I don’t know
Part 15.
15. Is the historical materials - or archives - inventoried or catalogued in any way, either formally or otherwise?: 
Part 16.
16a. Is there a key, index or finding aid to the materials inventoried?: 
16b. Paper-based:: 
Not Applicable
16c. Electronic Based:: 
Word Processing Document [i.e. Word]
Part 16 / Electronic Files & Archival Management
16f. Does the organization have a back-up program, or back-up schedule, for its electronic records and perform monitoring of its removable media (i.e. floppies, ZIP disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, portable hard drives, etc.)?: 
16g. Who is responsible for working with the archival material?: 
Part-Time Archivist
Other - Please describe below.
Please describe: 
I am a part-time, project archivist. I am here in a part-time capacity until December 2006.
Part 16 / Database
16d. What type of database software is in use?: 
16e. If FileMakerPro, what version? Please describe below.: 
Part 17.
17. How are new materials processed?: 
We are not currently processing new material
Other - Please describe below.
As new material gets added to the archive I put it in temporary boxes and add it to the inventory list. I will deal with new stuff as I rehouse and catalog the existing material.
Part 18.
18. What, if any, conservation methods are in place for both physical materials and electronic data?: 
Controlled Access
Acid-Free Housing
Part 19.
19. What type of climate-controls are present in the area[s] in which the archives are stored?: 
No or minimal climate controls [i.e. in an attic, basement, unheated / uncooled storage area, etc.]
Part 20.
20a. What are the goals for the historical materials for the next year?: 
finish rehousing materials to acid-free environments
20b. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these short-term goals?: 
20c. What goals are in place for the historical materials for the next three to five years?: 
my goals are to put in place an easy system that can be maintained when i’m gone
20d. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these long term goals?: 
drain on existing staff time
20e. Are there any additional goals for the organizations historic materials?: 
Part 21.
21. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next year.: 
Part 22.
22. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next five years.: 
$150,001 - $200,000
Part 24.
24. What archival issues could / should visual arts organizations address collectively in the next three to five years? Ranked from 1 (highest priority) to 5 (lowest priority).24a. Shared standards / protocols for digitization: 
Promote professional standards / protocols for digitization
Part 25.
25a. Is the organization a member of, or in contact with, any organizations concerned with archival issues?: 
25b. Who?: 
I am a member of an archives list-serv, a museum list-serv and amia’s list-serv
The Mattress Factory, LTD
Who executed this survey.: 
Leah Durand
Is this survey complete and all appropriate questions answered?: