Cinema Arts Gets New Chairs Thanks to Crowdfunding

20161223_205501890_iosCinema Arts Theatres in Fair City Mall (Fairfax, Va) has brand new chairs in its theatres. This is thanks to a creative crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The “Save Our Butts The Seat-quel” campaign raised $112,536 from 1,260 supporters. Quite an achievement considering the family owned theatre was only asking for $100,000 at the start of the campaign.

How do you raise $12,500 more than you ask for? By having great pledge awards! This campaign had eighteen different pledge levels. As little as $5 gets your name on the big screen as a thank you. Thirty people gave for this award. The highest level ($1,000) earned you a … “Get an 8 second video/PowerPoint advertisement or message on the Big Screen before our movies play for 2 months.” Three people paid for this award.

20161223_205719520_iosMy wife and I donated at the $25 level. We received 2 tickets and a voucher for a “combo light” (a popcorn & 2 small sodas). We stopped by the theater yesterday to see the new chairs and watch Rogue One (good movie!) The staff have one of the new chairs on display in the lobby by the front entrance for people stopping by to check out the results of the campaign.

This demonstrates the power of crowdfunding as a new source of capital for small businesses and nonprofits. Come up with a creative campaign message. Add a smart or funny video. Attract supporters with interesting award levels. Back it up with savvy social media marketing. Before you know it, an old theater has new chairs, a small museum as a new exhibit or a small town has new tourism revenue. It’s worth exploring.

Congratulations on a successful campaign Cinema Arts Theatres!!!

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

Building Better People Productions Has Its 1st Show!


We Got It! A Show About Empathy
Lynne Streeter Childress (Producing Artistic Director and Founder) with husband, A.C., and their son, Alex
Liza Skinner (Director)

Annapolis, Maryland has a new theatre production company. I watched a preview of “We Got It! A Show About Empathy” at the Annapolis Friends Meetinghouse on Saturday, April 30, 2016. It’s the first show from Building Better People Productions. The flier describes it as “an adventure in empathy, self-worth and all-around understanding told through music, laughter, & creative storytelling!” I describe it as a wonderful kids show. The show is best for families with kids 4 to 8 years old but it will put a smile on your face at any age.

Lynne Streeter Childress is the Producing Artistic Director and Founder of this kid-focused theater company. She’s been professional actor and teaching artist for over 20 years. According to the website, she started the nonprofit with the goal of producing shows and classes that encourage kids and families to be kind, generous and to treat people the way that they want to be treated. She narrates and plays characters in the show.

Liza Skinner is the show’s Director. She’s an actor and teaching artist in Annapolis, MD. She also a founding member of Free Range Improv and has a long list of directing credits to her name.

Tom Beheler and Hannah Geib round out the cast for the show. Tom has a Theatre degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and is also a founding member of Free Range Improv.. Hannah has been acting since she was eight years old.

The show is a series of short, funny skits. Each with a message to teach young kids. The characters in the play ask questions of the audience to get kids involved and keep them engaged. I found myself laughing often and smiling throughout the show.

This first show was performed at the Annapolis Friends Meetinghouse on DuBois Road. The next two shows are planned at Faith Auditorium at Bridgeway Community Church in Columbia, MD and Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge in Annapolis, MD. (Check the website for dates, time and ticket prices.)

Want to help Building Better People Productions grow? Become a supporter on their Indiegogo campaign. As little a $5.00 will get you a shout-out on their website. Support the campaign, then buy tickets to their next show! Your kids will thank you.

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!