Behind The Screen: Community Outreach

In the latest Behind The Screen — a peek behind the Crandell’s velvet curtain — Joanne Dunne Murphy discusses some of the ways we’re working to stay engaged with you and the rest of the Crandell community during these curious times.

The Crandell Community

The Community Outreach committee of the Crandell Theatre was formed this year to connect our community through the medium of film. We aim to offer a variety of programs to attract both new and loyal Crandell audiences, and to spark discussion among members of our community on issues important to the Chatham area and our region.

Our inaugural program on March 1, “Uprooting Addiction,” addressed the addiction crisis and featured the eponymous film. It was a collaborative event with the Crandell Theatre hosting the film’s team, addiction counselors, and Chatham’s Chief of Police Peter Volkmann. We were encouraged by the large number of attendees and positive feedback, so started to plan additional events. Then COVID-19 struck, and our theatre went dark on March 15.

Rather than give up on our programming, the Crandell team rallied to learn new technology and created a virtual program, “Harvesting Change: Our Food Supply in Pandemic Times,” in June. Produced by Elaine Khosrova, moderated by Kathleen Finlay and featuring panelists Ruth Reichl, Kate Arding and Henry Corsun, the discussion centered on re-thinking the food economy. The number of virtual participants was so great we had to purchase additional Zoom capacity, and more importantly showed that our community is committed to finding solutions to food inequity. Local sponsorship came from Hawthorne Valley Association.

Next up is Farm Film Fest 12 on September 13 at 3pm. Originally scheduled for live presentation in March, this virtual festival joins forces with the Chatham Agricultural Partnership and Columbia Land Conservancy. The theme is “Farming for the Future: Sustainability in a Time of Change.” Several films will be shown and immediately followed by a live virtual Q and A. Support for this free event comes from our neighbor MetzWood Insurance.

We hope you will continue to join us in “Chatham’s living room,” virtually now and in person when it is safe to do so again. Be kind, be safe!

—Joanne Dunne Murphy, Crandell Board of Trustees and chair of Community Outreach