59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum
Medal Winners, 2013

2014 MV Medal Winners and Presenters(from left to right):
Jennifer Smith Turner, Richard Paradise, Renee Balter, Skip Finley, Dana Bangs (on behalf of Dorothy Bangs), and Denys Wortman.

Introduced by Jennifer Smith Turner

Well it's such a pleasure to be here this evening in this wonderful wonderful location, but it's particularly a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak about and honor Richard. My husband and I moved to the Island full time in 2012, and that was just about the time that one of Richard's really important visions was coming to fruition, and that is the Film Center that hopefully many of you have been to. It is the best film experience, not only on the Island Richard, anywhere. And it has to do with the culture that takes place there.

Richard is passionate about films. We were first introduced to Richard back in 1999 probably and we'd go to Katharine Cornell and we'd watch the films there, watch the classics, cause we're big film buffs ourselves and really enjoy that. And when we decided to live here full time, we realized that Richard was still doing this amazing thing that he does with film that gives all of us so much pleasure, and we were delighted to see that. He had left the Island for awhile, but he had come back, and we're glad to have you back here as well. And I asked him where does that come from, that passion for films, and he said when I was a kid, I just always watched movies.

Few of us in this room can remember the first tv's in our home, that was awhile ago, whether it was the drive-in theaters, we'd spend a lot of time watching movies. Film is one of those wonderful cultural experiences that when the lights go down, we all have the chance to have a similar experience yet in a different way. And what Richard brings to all of us through his passion and dedication is that experience. And it's a real treasure that we have him on the Island and we have the Film Center, and Richard I just want to say congratulations, and thank you for all that you do for us.

First I want to congratulate the other awardees, Renee Balter, who I see all the time at the Film Center with her husband Bruce, and also the family of Dorothy Bangs. Thank you. I also want to thank you David and Jim Richardson for this great honor and the other board members of the MV Museum. I've always found them a pleasure to work with, to collaborate with on community events, community screenings. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that we have one coming up at the end of this month. The Graduate with Mike Nichols the director actually being present for a Q&A after. And I have to owe it to David for going out and asking Mike to participate. Okay it was Katy, well Katy's not here, so I'll give you the credit.

Before I begin I want to quote a well-known American philosopher, the director Woody Allen who said 80% of success is showing up. And I would say that that is a big part of my success. Keep going, keep doing what I love, keep passionately presenting films to the community on the Island, and good things will happen. But I also need to add that a big part of anyone's success is the people that show up with you in those endeavors, and I've asked a number of people here today just to give them some recognition because they showed up for many years to help me as volunteers to keep the programming going in various locations. Believe it or not I actually showed a movie here once right behind here on this big wall. It was Jaws related. It wasn't Jaws, but it was Jaws outtakes. It was part of a book signing.

I'm just going to go quickly in chronological order of people I've known here over the years starting with my good friend Ann Evasick who's in the back of the room there, waive your hand. Ann was right there with me in 1999 when we started showing movies at the Grange Hall. We called the program the Movie Museum, and we showed classic films on 16 millimeter projectors upstairs at the Grange Hall. I think some of you may have been there to see those movies. And we did that for 8 summers, 8 summers for about 12 weeks every summer on Thursday nights, and I can say Ann was always there helping me, serving lemonade and popcorn helping and doing whatever needed to be done. And there were other people, Jonathan Revere, who's no longer with us, was there also very often, Joan Kocien, and other volunteers.

As I developed the film programming to be more year round, we moved to the Cornell Theater. We had other volunteers, people helping us, doing those events. I can't mention them all. But I also want to mention some key people who helped start the International Film Festival. As you may know this will be our ninth year with the Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival. It's our flagship event, and I want to point out Mary Spencer, Mary waive your hand, Nevette Previd, Nevette didn't make it, but she was invited. These and other volunteers helped me over the years, over the last eight years to pull off the International Film Festival. And again, as I mentioned, this has been mostly a volunteer organization all these years.

Sue Kantrowitz is here, waive your hand. Sue has been on my Board the longest and has contributed greatly, Jennifer who you met earlier. Also Sam Dunn, the very distinguished gentleman here with the frosty gray hair. He was the one that really put the Film Center project together. It was his land, as they say it was his ball, and he wanted to share that ball with me, and we did it. But it was Sam that brought it to my attention as a private developer and architect, and the architecture is his, he did a fabulous job on that.

I also want to give special recognition to Steve and Peggy Zablotney who are not here right now but also helped greatly in putting together the Film Center with the design, and Steve helping as a volunteer for many years, a lot, a lot of people to thank.

Last but not least, and unfortunately she's under the weather right now, but my partner for 27 years, my wife Brenda Horrigan. I can't believe of another spouse that would let their husband go out every Friday and Saturday night to show a movie without her 'cause she's not a movie person, she's a book person. When I lived in Falmouth for seven years, I would leave on Saturday and go over to the Vineyard and spend the night and show a movie, and she would pick me up on Sunday, and she did that for seven years. So even though she wasn't coming to the movie, she was showing up and supporting my passion and to make me happy in doing this. So it's all come full circle. I hope that you'll all join us for many films this summer, and next summer, for many years to come. And I really greatly appreciate this honor. Thank you very much.

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