Large crowds turned out for the 2016-17 On Screen/In Person film series hosted by Millersville University (MU) at the Ware Center. That overwhelmingly positive response from the Lancaster community prompted the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation to ask assistant director of MU’s Campus & Community Engagement, Barry Kornhauser, to present a plenary session at the Foundation’s annual meeting in Baltimore.
Kornhauser presented along with one of the six filmmakers, Sylvie Rokab, who toured MU and seven other sites with their award winning films this year. As a host site MU created campus and community interactions to accompany the screening of each film. During her visit to MU, Rokab visited two biology classes and four community events were held; Dr. Aaron Haines led a bird walk, Dr. Christopher Hardy gave a tour of the herbarium, retired MU professor Carol Welsh led a nature journaling activity, and 75 trees and shrubs were planted in partnership with the Lancaster County Conservancy.
Rokab’s documentary film “Love Thy Nature,” narrated by Liam Neeson, was attended by 333 people at the Ware Center. The screening was preceded by a community forum in which Haines was joined by Dr. Nadine Garner, director of the MU Center for Sustainability, Lydia Martin, director of Education for the Lancaster County Conservancy and Douglas Smith, sustainability planner for the City of Lancaster.
“MU’s work in this regard was both exemplary and drew the largest audiences out of all of the eight selected host sites,” says Kornhauser.
In a blog, Rokab wrote, “While several screenings of “Love Thy Nature” over the last few months have been ‘watch and do’ events, this is the first time we had so many diverse activities connected to a single screening. Much gratitude goes to Barry and all these amazing sustainability professionals for this nature-loving feast! And thanks to this outstanding level of engagement, the Ware Center was packed with over 300 attendees for the screening and Q&A. Wow. For an artist/activist like myself who has deep hunger for the highest possible impact at any given event, connecting with this large a crowd (especially for a small town) was pure bliss! I admit that this On Screen/In Person end-of-journey is bittersweet. On one hand, I really didn’t want it to end. But its ending with Millersville University couldn’t have been any sweeter, having connected with an engaged community of educators, scientists, change makers, students and audience members. To Barry (a so very effective, dedicated, and kind host) and Millersville University faculty members, bravo and thank you!”
MU has been invited to host the program again next academic year, featuring six new award-winning independent films and visits by their directors.
The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation was established in 1979 to promote and support multi-state arts programming in a region that includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the US Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia. Over the last 35 years, the Foundation has expanded its reach to include national and international initiatives. The Foundation’s work is focused on performing arts touring, jazz, independent film, providing support for individual artists and international cultural exchange.
For more information on Millersville University Arts, visit http://www.artsmu.com/.
For more information on the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, visit www.midatlanticarts.org/.