Recognition of Donors

Martha’s Vineyard Film Society announces major donation; new Film Center theatre space to be named in honor of philanthropist Marilyn Meyerhoff.

February 24, 2013 (Vineyard Haven, MA)—The Martha’s Vineyard Film Society is pleased to announce that philanthropist Marilyn Meyerhoff has made a major donation to the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, and that its newly constructed theatre space will be named in her honor.

“We are grateful beyond words for Marilyn Meyerhoff’s show of support and faith in our organization,” said MVFS founder and director Richard Paradise. Asked what motivated her generous gift, Ms. Meyerhoff responded, “I love to support the arts, especially where there is a passionate leader like Richard Paradise—so imaginative and energetic. The Martha’s Vineyard Film Center is not only a place for the arts but a warm and friendly gathering place for those living there year round. I am proud to be a part of it.”

Ms. Meyerhoff is a major patron of the arts. In addition to her support of the MV Film Center, she also is on the board of the American Visionary Art Museum and other charitable organizations.

The MV Film Society, founded in 2002, opened its film center in September 2012 after a whirlwind eight-month fundraising effort. It is open year-round, making it one of the few cultural arts venues available in the off-season to the Island’s permanent residents. Ms. Meyerhoff’s gift is the largest to-date and will be used, Mr. Paradise said, to ensure the consistent, ongoing operation of the film center and its programming. “Her gift provides sustenance for the coming decade and ensures that the MV Film Society will flourish.”

The new film center includes a 177-seat, state-of-the-art theatre space, which features a 26-foot screen, stadium seating, and DCI projection; it is this theatre space that will be named after Marilyn Meyerhoff. Other donors have made possible the construction and operation of other aspects of the theatre, including the concession stand (named by Peter Norris, in tribute to Al Hurwitz); the lavatories (named for Betsy and Dan Pfau); the art gallery/lobby space (named for Feldman Family Foundation); the stage (named for  Friedrike and Jeremy Biggs); and the retractable stage curtain (named for the The Fledgling Fund).

In all, over 500 people and organizations donated to the film center project. “What’s inspired me about this project,” said Mr. Paradise, “is that so many people, from every segment of the Vineyard—and even from off the Vineyard—took the time to support this project from funding to volunteering. People gave what they could. That combined effort is why the film center could move so quickly from dream to reality.”