The year 2017 will be one of transition between the MLT and you, our members and supporters. By the end of 2017, we plan to have phased out MLT memberships and to introduce a once-a-year support drive. We believe that the new system will be simpler to administer while continuing to provide you the opportunity to financially back our film project.
Over the years since we began in 2001, the MLT has offered an annual membership – levels ranging from $25 to $100. In the past this served you and us well. Your subscriptions played a key part in our ability to offer the northern Shenandoah Valley community the best in quality and off-beat cinema in both indoor and open-air locales. We have built a loyal cadre of you, our MLT supporters, that we value highly and wish to maintain.
However stagnating membership revenues in recent years have led us to question whether this model is still the best, given the time, labor and postage it requires. Accordingly, we have decided to switch to a simpler sponsorship arrangement, similar to that used by many other non-profit organizations, particularly in the arts.
Here’s how the transition will work. As of January 2017, we will no longer solicit or accept new or renewal memberships in Magic Lantern. Memberships valid into and through the year of 2017 will be fully honored on the same terms as previously; however at expiration, they will not renew.
Instead, at the end of 2017, we will introduce a new MLT Film Buff Sponsorship Program. Every December from 2017 on, we will ask our followers to consider making an annual contribution to our non-profit effort to bring new and different cinematic events to Winchester and the northern Shenandoah Valley as well as providing small grants to help support local filmmaking. Suggested contribution levels will be familiar: “Cameraman” at $25; “Director” at $45 and “Producer” at $100.
We will recognize your tax-deductible gift through an appropriate acknowledgement and by listing you as a sponsor on our web page (magiclanterntheater.org). Sponsors will not receive a discount at paid screenings as have members in the past; however we believe that this should make little practical difference. Most of our summer events are free and, for indoor screenings that they host, the same discounts will continue to be available from the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley and the Barns of Rose Hill by virtue of membership in those organizations.
Please feel free to let me know via firstname.lastname@example.org of any questions or concerns you may have with this future arrangement. Let me stress that you remain as important to us as, I hope, our film programs are to you.
See you at the movies
Magic Lantern Theater