Voices of the Heartland home page
The Voices of the Heartland independent film group began presenting monthly movies at Rapid City's Elks Theatre in January of 2005. The group evolved from a circle of friends who'd been attending teach-ins connected with the Iraq invasion in 2003, and who had been involved with the presidential election of 2004.
It was suggested that the Black Hills could use some means of viewing and discussing films dealing with thought-provoking topics, especially those concerning important social issues of the day. We initially met at various members' houses, where we shared documentary DVD's and held informal discussions. The original group included Zack, Mary Beth, Kate, Deirdre, Denise, Kim, and Don, with other participants from time to time. Kate and Zack were instrumental in arranging our first use of the Elks Theatre. The group was later joined by Robin, who sparked much enthusiasm and broadened our scope of selections.
After Kate, Zack, and Robin moved to other regions, Kim and Don have kept the operation going, with great suggestions from the original circle of friends and from audience participants. Particularly helpful have been Barb Evenson of the Rapid City Arts Council at the Dahl Arts Center (providing much webpage and poster assistance), and Curt Small, Elks Theatre owner.
Our goal is to present horizon-broadening films which have not been widely (or ever) presented in commercial theaters, and which lend themselves to discussion by audience members who choose to stay after the film is shown. Our hope is to acquaint ourselves and our audience with insights, cultural views, and experiences from a wide spectrum of world sources, and to conduct neutral, agenda-less discussions where all respectfully expressed opinions are welcome.
Some of the movies we've shown have been chosen because of their stimulating artfulness (e.g., Andy Goldsworthy's "Rivers and Tides"), while others have dealt directly with controversial issues (such as "Control Room", and "The Corporation").
The $5.00 ticket price generally, but not always, covers the expense of theater rental, copyright permission, and our minimal publicity costs. We rely primarily on e-mail lists and word of mouth for advertising our presentations. We've chosen the last Monday evening of each month for our shows, since theater rental is much less expensive on weekday nights.