Friends of Greenbelt Theatre
Friends of Greenbelt Theatre (FGT) is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization managed by a Board of Directors made up of Greenbelt residents and regional representatives who are all dedicated to diverse entertainment and educational cinematic experiences.
FGT was awarded a contract by the City of Greenbelt in Spring 2015 to manage the operations of the Greenbelt Theatre as a community based non-profit.
Our mission is to become a center for film culture in Prince George’s County by revitalizing the Greenbelt Theatre as a cultural and social hub and by maximizing the Theatre’s potential as an economic and cultural driver.
This mission relies on a vibrant programming schedule of independent, art house, repertory, and educational content. We believe that running the Theatre as a non-profit will make the theater more modern, nimble, and more able to respond quickly to industry and community needs and concerns. That this model represents a return to pioneer Greenbelt ideals is, in our view, a heartening endorsement of those ideals, which in many ways are more modern than ever.
FGT Board Members
Meagan Baco is an active advocate for preservation, currently the Director of Communications at Preservation Maryland, and previously Acting President of Preservation Action. She is the co-founder of Histpres, a job board for emerging preservationists, and has spoken about the young preservation movement at the National Preservation Conference. She is a founding member of Buffalo’s Young Preservationists, Painting for Preservation, and committee member of Women in Preservation.
Oliver Gaycken is currently President of the Friends of Greenbelt Theatre. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and a core faculty member of the Film Studies Program and the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Devices of Curiosity: Early Cinema and Popular Science (Oxford University Press 2015). His articles have appeared in Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television; Science in Context; Journal of Visual Culture; Early Popular Visual Culture, Screen, and the collection Learning with the Lights Off. He has resided in Greenbelt since 2011.
Frank Gervasi is married with 4 grown children and has resided in Greenbelt since 1977. He is in business as a local home improvement contractor and custom home builder, active since 1979. He is also a current board member and treasurer of the New Deal Cafe. Frank is a founding and current member of the board of directors of Greenbelt Community Solar, LLC. He is also a past board member of the GHI housing cooperative, and served as vice president and treasurer.
Dr. Caitlin McGrath is the Executive Director of Old Greenbelt Theatre and also sits on the FGT board. Caitlin received a PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago in 2010. She has been a resident of Greenbelt since 2011. In 2013, she revived the Friends of Greenbelt Theatre, which was then incorporated and achieved non-profit status in 2014. Her vision for the Theatre is to transform it into a center for film culture in Prince George’s County.
Crystal Sanchez is a trained film, video, and digital preservationist. She currently works in media preservation at the Smithsonian Institution, working with moving image collections held in trust at all of the Smithsonian museums and archives. In past lives she taught Humanities based Multicultural Film courses, worked in arts development, and organized local film festivals. She loves to cook strange foods and wander through media art galleries. As a resident of Washington, D.C., she likes to come to Greenbelt for the parades.
JoEllen Sarff is a retired librarian who loves to go to the movies. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from Rockford College and a Master’s degree in Library Science from University of Maryland-College Park. She lives in Old Greenbelt with her son and two cats.
Barbara Small has been a resident of Greenbelt since 2010 and works in membership services. Barbara is heavily involved in the Utopia Film Festival and is excited to bring her love of film watching to the Friends of the Greenbelt Theatre board.
Gwen Vaccaro has lived in Greenbelt since 1976 and has been a small business owner in town for 20 years with Pleasant Touch Spa. Gwen has been an active community member, serving at one time as head of the Roosevelt Center Merchant’s Association. She is also Vice-President of the Greenbelt Community Development Corporation.