AHCMC is celebrating Community Service Week (October 16-22) by hosting this Volunteer Blog Salon, featuring stories of volunteers at arts and humanities organizations in Montgomery County. For more information about Community Service Week, click here.
A couple of years ago I stumbled upon Docs in Progress for the first time when I came to a screening and discussion at their “Documentary House” in downtown Silver Spring. It really was a house and I walked through the door, not quite sure what to expect. Inside the “living room,” I found a wonderful film, fascinating conversation, and a welcoming, diverse range of people all interested in learning from stories drawn from the community. It felt like this place had been here for years. As someone who grew up in the area, I wondered how I had missed it all this time. Little did I know that Docs in Progress had moved into its home in downtown Silver Spring just one year prior. I was amazed at how quickly Docs in Progress had laid its roots into the Silver Spring community.
I’m proud to say that since that screening, I’ve gone on to volunteer with Docs In Progress and am now on their Board of Directors. As a professional documentary filmmaker myself and co-founder of a local production company, Meridian Hill Pictures, I’ve found my time as a Docs in Progress volunteer to be a rewarding and irreplaceable complement to ‘my day job.’ Volunteering with Docs in Progress has taught me more about my craft, helped me build countless new personal and professional relationships, and has helped me develop a better understanding of how to responsibly run and support a non-profit arts organization. It’s a place where I can share and try out new ideas and explore innovative ways to make a difference using the medium that I love. Volunteerism at Docs in Progress is a unique kind of service to the community, one that facilitates personal growth directly in parallel to ‘giving back.’ I can safely say that Docs in Progress is an integral part of my life as a documentary filmmaker in the DC-area and I could not be more thrilled to stay involved and see what we can accomplish in the years to come.
– Lance Kramer