Our print schedule outlining all of this year’s films and events will be printed and available at least one month before the festival. At that time, we would then need to distribute copies of it to bars, clubs, movie theaters, coffee shops, and anywhere else in the city and suburbs that gay and lesbian film lovers may be. What we need is for teams of two volunteers (one a driver with an available car) to go in and out of locations to drop off the schedules and hang posters. It is best if a driver and friend come in pairs, but we can always match up drivers with riders. With or without a car, if you’re interested (and can do a bit of heavy lifting), please let us know!
Labeling and Mailing of Schedules
When we receive our tens of thousands of newsprint schedules, some will be distributed directly through the mail. We need volunteers to come to the Reeling office on a specific night (to be determined), and help label schedules for mailing to out-of-area businesses, colleges, and individuals. Refreshments will be served.
Gift Bag Stuffing
A few days before the festival, we need volunteers to come to the Reeling office and pack gift bags for our opening night festivities. This is also a one evening project (early November) and refreshments will be served.
Our Marketing and Public Relations director manages the marketing to all of Chicago in preparation for the festival. But it can’t be done alone! Under the Marketing/PR Director’s supervision, we need someone to complete a number of tasks, including (but not limited to): researching press contacts to add to the press list, finding new events and marketing opportunities, contacting niche gay and lesbian groups about particular films that may appeal to them, and an array of other tasks…and any other fresh ideas you may have to help us market to another demographic. All of those connections you have may come in handy!
It’s not just opening and closing night parties! We have a number of events going on throughout the year at Reeling, and an array of help is needed in varied capacities for all of them:
Planning: Don’t just show up to an event – help to plan it from the beginning! You can help create and plan events for the festival and throughout the year!
Setup: Prior to the beginning of an event, we need volunteers at the Reeling office and on-site to decorate, set up chairs and tables, and unload cars and trucks.
During the Event: Throughout the event, we need people to take tickets at the door, bartend, greet guests, make announcements, and complete an array of other tasks.
Break down: Following the event, we need people to help to clean up, break down, and load materials to go off-site.
These people assist the operation manager to manage volunteers at events and screenings.
Hospitality and Visiting Artists
Transportation: When a film comes to town, often the film’s director, writer, or lead actor does as well. We need volunteers to take these people to and from the airport, and also to and from the theaters for screenings.
Housing: Though some filmmakers/actors will be able to be put up in hotels, we cannot supply this for everyone. If you have a home, condo or apartment with one or more fantastic guest room, and are willing to have an artist stay with you, it would be greatly appreciated! (Private rooms only please)
Callers: Our silent auction doesn’t just raise money for a great cause, it’s also fun! In order to have a great selection of items for our auction, we need callers to solicit gifts from businesses. This can be done from the Reeling office or from your home. Better yet, if you work for a company or a business and can request a donation that would be very helpful as well. There are never too many items!
Once the items have been secured, there is plenty more to be done!
Pickup: Obtain items that have been donated.
Photos: Take photos for the silent auction website and/or brochure.
Writers: Write (beautiful!) descriptions about the items.
Setup: Here we need people to help to set up the auction on closing night. This includes creating signs, clipboard work, auction sheets, etc.
This 10-member committee will brainstorm (and hopefully help to implement) a plan for increasing Reeling membership though marketing, parties, and other ideas. Refreshments will be served.
Prior to the Festival: Sales start about a month before the festival, and the volume of phone and in-person sales is too high for our small staff. We are looking for anyone who can come to the office to handle phone and walk-in sales.
During the Festival: Throughout the festival, we need people to sell tickets and passes directly at the venues on the day of shows.
For every show, we need people to hand out programs and ballots, and tear tickets.
There seems to be no end to the amount of general tasks that can be worked on here at the Reeling office. If you love filing, typing, copying, putting together packets of information, mailing and answering the phone (and who doesn’t?), this is for you.
Tablers: If you love Reeling (and want to talk about it!), you can help to man tables at events. In past years, for example, we have set up booths at sponsor locations, such as Whole Foods and Borders, on Saturdays and Sundays in the month prior to the festival to talk up the festival, sell tickets and promote membership.
Community Criers: If you are looking to help spread the word about the festival, you can be just like the town criers of the 1700s, but in the new high-tech world of 2011. Tell everyone about our events, films, and parties however you want—MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, phone calls, email, etc. You can even carry a bell around town if you want!
Our graphic designer is very busy working on our program book, newsprint schedule, and advertisements. But we still need help with post cards, passes, vouchers, special posters, ads, badges, ticket vouchers, membership cards, brochures, signage, ballots, t-shirts, logos and other miscellaneous items.
We have a lovely website developer who we keep busy, but we are always looking for extra help in the form of talented, high-tech people that can create banner ads and forms and assist in daily web changes.
If you would like to volunteer your time, please call our Operations Director for more information, (773) 293-1447.