One aspect of my job as the Executive director of the Kentlands Community Foundation is to explain to people what exactly the Foundation is. I find myself explaining it in different ways. Sometimes I tell people, if you want to be involved in the arts, ecological issues, or really are a big fan of New Urbanism, you have found the right place. More formally, I tell people that the Foundation is a non-profit corporation. Our mission is to build community by supporting local arts and cultural programs; to provide opportunities for volunteerism and community outreach; and to serve as an educational resource on the landmark new urbanist community that is Kentlands. What this all means is that the Foundation is the perfect place to stretch your unused cultural muscles or even your leg muscles with the Kentlands/Lakelands 5K, our largest annual fundraiser.
The Foundation currently supports 14 programs, and all are led by Kentlands and Lakelands residents. In the language of the Foundation, all the programs are organic in their origins, meaning that each program was brought to the Foundation by residents seeking its support. It was not the Board of the Foundation deciding what the Foundation’s programs will be and then implementing them. In 2018 two new programs, the Kentlands Wine Club and the Kentlands Community Players, joined the Foundation’s list of programs. Also, this past year Musica Viva, the Kentlands classical music concert made its debut.
As I have written numerous times this past year, the one thing that ties all the programs and activities together are volunteers. From the initial volunteer(s) who comes to the Board with the new program idea to the many volunteers who make the programs happen; they are the heart of the Foundation.
An example of volunteerism at its best is the 5K race. Without the many volunteers who step up each September, the 5K could not happen. This year the 5K needed 250 volunteers! That is an amazing number. It is one volunteer for every 4 runners! Without the widespread community support, the Foundation could never have such a successful 5K for 25 consecutive years. Thank you to all the volunteers.
January’s Film Society presentation was canceled because of the snowstorm on the 13th. We are hoping we can reschedule soon and we will advertise the new date to all subscribers and interested film lovers. The January feature was an Italian film, “Like Crazy”. The film follows two women who have little in common except for their presence in a swanky mental hospital. The next film, “Difret” will be shown on March 13 at 7 p.m. in the Arts Barn. This story from Ethiopia is based on real events. It takes place in 1996, when tradition in the countryside allowed a man to kidnap a young woman to be his bride, whether she agreed or not. Hirut is only 14 years old when a man takes her captive. She escapes, manages to take his gun, and in the chaos that follows, kills him in self-defense, and is charged with murder. The film follows the case as it proceeds through the legal system, challenging ancient traditions to give girls and women more control over their lives. A small number of walk-in tickets ($9) will be available for the film. If you would like to reserve one, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 17, the New Urbanist Lecture Series will have its first event of the year. Please check in closer to the date for an update on the speaker for this lecture. The lecture will be held in the Arts Barn. Please join us at 7 p.m. for wine and cheese prior to the start of the lecture which will begin at 7:30 p.m.
As always, I am in the Foundation’s office at the Carriage House every Monday from 9:30 to noon. Please stop by and say hello.