Cinema Ann Arbor is on the 2023 Alice Award Short List!

By: Danielle Coty-Fattal | Date: July 27, 2023
Cinema Ann Arbor is on the 2023 Alice Award Short List!

The University of Michigan Press and the Ann Arbor District Library’s Fifth Avenue Press are excited to announce that our recent book Cinema Ann Arbor: How Campus Rebels Forged a Singular Film Culture by Frank Uhle is one of five books that have been included in the Alice Award Short List from Furthermore grants in publishing, a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.

Ann Arbor, long known for its political and cultural activism, has an equally compelling history of engagement with film and media. Delving into almost 100 years of rarely glimpsed history, Cinema Ann Arbor melds interviews, deep archival research, and over four hundred images into a vivid history of film in one extraordinary town. These stories, told with urgency and exquisite detail, are firsthand accounts of the unforgettable people who created Ann Arbor’s magnificent twentieth-century film scene. This beautiful, full-color book was designed by Fifth Avenue Press and published and distributed by the University of Michigan Press.

Featuring interviews with filmmaker Ken Burns, Oscar-nominated editor Jay Cassidy, producer John Sloss, and more, this masterpiece provides insights into how a Midwestern college town developed a robust underground art film community that inspired those across the country. Variety’s Owen Glieberman says, “Frank Uhle has captured the moment when cinema became, for a new generation, a kind of religion, with its own rituals and sacred texts and a spirit of exploratory mystery that has all but vanished from the culture.”


The Ann Arbor District Library founded Fifth Avenue Press in 2017 as a locally-focused and publicly-owned publishing imprint to support the writing community in Washtenaw County and promote the creation of original content. The Library invests in the production of the finished work in exchange for permanent digital distribution of the completed work to AADL cardholders via the Library's website. For more information on Fifth Avenue Press visit


The $25,000 Alice Award, $5,000 for short listed books, will be announced on Tuesday, September 5 on the Furthermore website ( The Alice Award is being presented in a program at the Strand Book Store, Tuesday, October 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The presentation of the awards will be streamed through the Strand Bookstore.

Joan Davidson in announcing the 2023 short list, commented: “In 1995 I established Furthermore, the grants in publishing program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund to support books and other publication projects. Last year we celebrated the first decade of the Alice the award I established to celebrate well-made illustrated books and the commitment of writers, editors, designers, illustrators and publishers to create these books. Our cultural history is passed down through written text and visual illustrations. This year’s shortlisted books reflect a range of topics, institutions, and design that reflect the diversity of our culture.”


Ian Wardropper, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director, The Frick Collection​ and Chair of the Alice Jury, commented: “The shortlisted Alice books are selected by a jury of individuals who are involved in all aspects of creating, designing, and publishing these books. The Alice stands out as a unique award, one of just a few that support the well-illustrated and well-made book. The Alice is a tribute to Joan Davidson’s passion and love of books and a tribute to her mother, Alice Kaplan.”


Chair: Ian Wardropper, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director, The Frick Collection

R. O. Blechman, Illustrator

Teresa A. Carbone, Program Director for American Art, Henry Luce Foundation

Pauline Forlenza, Director and CEO, American Federation of Arts

Sharon Helgason Gallagher, President & Publisher, Artbook/D. A. P.

David R. Godine, Publisher

William P. Kelly, Andrew W. Mellon Director Emeritus, Research Libraries, New York Public Library

Jock Reynolds, Former Director, Yale University Art Gallery, Chair Emeritus

Max Rudin, President & Publisher, The Library of America


More information about Furthermore and the Alice Award can be found the Furthermore website: