Fundraising drive was propelled by a $5,000 grant from the Outdoor Art Club and dozens of donations from film screening attendees. 
At the close of ​the fourth season of the free 2017 Movies in the Park series, which drew more than 1,000 residents and families to the gorgeous redwood grove of Old Mill Park for outdoor screenings of classics like The Princess Bride to newer hits like Moana, the feeling among series organizers was simple: let’s make this thing bigger and better than ever.

On the heels of a successful fundraising campaign to raise enough money to purchase all of the equipment required to produce the series on their own, Mill Valley Recreation, the Mill Valley Chamber and the California Film Institute are doing just that. The 2018 Movies in the Park series will now stretch across five screenings from June through October.

“Watching the Movies in the Park series blossom into such a popular, cherished community event has been fantastic,” says City of Mill Valley Arts and Recreation Director Jenny Rogers. “Our collaboration on this series with the Mill Valley Chamber and the California Film Institute has been incredible – the City simply could not do it without the generous support of our awesome partners. Looking forward to making it bigger and better than ever in the years ahead.”

​The fundraising campaign, which ranged from individual donors at each screening to donations made to via the Enjoy Mill Valley Fund created by the Chamber’s board of directors in 2016 to raise money for local civic projects, was propelled by a $5,000 grant from the Outdoor Art Club, the 116-year-old organization that has been one of Mill Valley’s backbones since its inception and remains so today.

“It is our pleasure to be able to contribute to the Mill Valley community through our Outreach Grants, and in particular Enjoy Mill Valley’s “Movies in the Park” free family films program,” says Susan Johnson, the OAC’s board president. “The members of the OAC view our local parks as highly valued community assets that bring people together to enjoy the beautiful outdoor environment of Mill Valley – the founding purpose of the Outdoor Art Club.”

“We’ve been thrilled at the response from the community for the free Movies in the Park series, and we’re excited to have raised enough funds to expand it and make it sustainable for years to come,” adds Mike Son, the Chamber’s board chair. “We’re grateful to the Outdoor Art Club for this significant grant and to the larger community who contributed to this campaign with their donations.”

Movies in the Park attendees can expect more screenings, a broader range of films and possibly some additional venues. The final screening of the series in October will continue to coincide with CFI’s 41st Mill Valley Film Festival.

“It’s been a joy for us to participate in making this outdoor movies series happen, and having one screening occur during our annual Mill Valley Film Festival has added yet another community benefit to our ever-growing celebration of cinema,” says Jeromy Zajonc, MVFF’s director of operations. “We’re grateful to the Chamber for spearheading this fundraising campaign and look forward to co-presenting great films outdoors this year and for years to come.”

The 411: Stay tuned for Movies in the Park series details in the coming weeks.

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