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
David Pierce (Board President) is a film historian and archivist. David’s report on the survival of American silent feature films was published in 2013, and he has co-authored two books, including The Dawn of Technicolor: 1915-1935. He founded the Media History Digital Library, providing free online access to millions of pages of motion picture magazines and books.
Cathy Jones (Treasurer) coordinates the International Baccalaureate program and teaches Mathematics at Central High School in Capitol Heights (PGCPS). She has been a Greenbelt resident since 2005.
Tim Murray has been a Criminal Justice reform advocate for over 45 years. Tim was born and raised in Greenbelt & returned here after and extended absence 5yrs ago. Despite his best efforts to retire, he currently serves as Director Emeritus of the Pretrial Justice Institute, an organization he founded, and as Senior Advisor to the MacArthur Foundation, supporting their efforts to reduce the overuse of jails in America.
Tom Mellies has lived in Greenbelt since 2015 and is an aerospace engineer. He serves on the board as a way to volunteer within his community and support the arts in Prince George’s county.
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 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.
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.
Gwen Vaccaro has lived in Greenbelt since 1976 and continues from 1995 to the present to own and operate the small business, Pleasant Touch. Gwen has been an active community member serving in the past as Chairperson for the Roosevelt Merchant’s Association, Vice-President of the Greenbelt Community Development Corporation Board, a member of the Worker Co-op Incubator, a founding member of the Friends of the Greenbelt Theatre Board and currently is also member of the Center for Dynamic Community Governance Board, as well as participating in the De-Clutter Greenbelt Activity and various functions at the Greenbelt Community Church. Gwen got involved with the theatre motivated by the desire to see Roosevelt Center thrive. She says, “It has been a wonderful investment of time and effort with the added personal benefit of deeper cultural appreciation”. You will see her at many events where we have outreach into areas of Greenbelt and surrounding communities as she loves being an ambassador for the theatre encouraging people to visit this Greenbelt gem.