Movie Night Attracts New Faces to the Maine Chapter
By Bob Wuerthner, executive committee member of the Maine Chapter
For the past five years I've been hosting a movie night at the UU church in Kennebunk. We show three films in the fall and spring. The format is to show the film and then have an expert comment on the film and conduct a question and answer session. Sponsored by the Maine Chapter and the church’s social justice committee, we include coffee and dessert. Average attendance hovers around 30, but we had 100 show up for PBS's "Butterflies" program. We recently had 85 show for a speaker who talked about spending 12 weeks in Alaska canoeing wilderness rigers.
This is good PR for the Sierra Club because it gets articles in local papers about the event and we ask attendees to contact their state and federal legislators. We draw new people and the events have probably attracted new members. It's a good way to distribute our newsletter to new people.
Recruiting experts for post-film presentations can be a challenge, but that's why we have a team that works on putting our movie nights together. After a while I've been able to put together a good network, but it takes a lot of work to put this together. I couldn't sustain this program without help from our administrators in the Chapter office and Kennebunk folks and volunteers who are there to assist me.