Sharing the silver screen
MATI, MEDC?hold crowdfunding campaign to offer drive-in movies throughout area
MARQUETTE — The Marquette nonprofit Masonic Arts, Theatre & Innovation Co. will be “bringing the silver screen to life” at outdoor venues and community events around the north-central Upper Peninsula through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and MATI announced Thursday. The campaign is offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $17,500 by Aug. 9, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program, according to an MEDC news release.
“This form of mobile drive-ins creates a gathering opportunity that is timeless and accessible to all. This project is another example of how Marquette continues to enhance the sense of place in its community and improve the quality of life for its residents and visitors,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman in a news release. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”
MATI is a growing 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based out of the Masonic Building in downtown Marquette. MATI states its mission is to “provide the community with a creative, collaborative hub to share their vision with the public and promote innovation through all art mediums.”
“This Patronicity campaign will support taking the show on the road to surrounding communities, rain or shine. Without the match from MEDC’s Community Spaces Public Places program, our newer nonprofit would never be able to create this level of impact on our own,” Masonic Building Manager Ryan Engle said in the release. “If fully funded, we will be able to purchase the projector and upgrade screening equipment, procure a trailer and weather-resistant screen, and reduce admission costs in 2022 for attendees.”
The “MATI Presents: Movie Nights” series kicked off in downtown Marquette last year during the height of the pandemic. In years to come, MATI plans to share the opportunity with other communities and locations beyond its downtown rooftop parking lot, organizers said.
This campaign will fund the purchase of equipment to create a mobile drive-in kit. This allows for set-up and breakdown of the projector screen anywhere, rain or shine, in three hours. This effort will also lower the cost of admission for all attendees through 2021-22 and allow MATI to partner with other organizations in the region to “share resources and bring meaningful events to local communities,” officials said in the release.
Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.
“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that build on existing assets and enhance the human experience for everyone,” Dan Gilmartin, the league’s CEO and executive director, said in the release. “The effort to bring a portable drive-in theater to Marquette is community wealth building in action. With the support of the Marquette community, MATI’s work will continue to bring people together, and improve the human experience for all. That is what community wealth building is about.”
The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan.
As of May 31, the MEDC has provided more than $8.5 million in matching grants.
Since the launch of the program, 275 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $9.9 million raised from 48,007 individual donors.
For project details and to donate, visit: patronicity.com/matimqt.