Maine Film Association Feature Business Member Friends of the Eastern Promenade is partnering with he MFA in Summer 2019 to bring Maine Movies on the Prom to audiences the last Saturday of each month. Founded in 2006, they are a nonprofit community organization committee to the stewardship of one of Maine's most iconic parks: Portland's Eastern Promenade. They work to preserve the park's landscape and protect its environmental integrity, as well as provide recreational and community opportunities for all to enjoy. We recently caught up with Friends of the Eastern Promenade's Operations Manager Courtney Walker to learn more.
MFA: Tell us a bit about Friends of the Eastern Prom and the work you do.
Courtney: FoEP is an independent, community-supported nonprofit organization. We parter with the city to serve as stewards of the Eastern Promenade - the 68 acres overlooking Casco Bay that was originally designed by the Olmsted Brothers. We coordinate park cleanups, the Summer Community Concert Series, The Hidden Gardens of Munjoy Hill, and this year we’re bringing a paddle race, Paddle for the Prom, into the mix..
MFA: Friends of the Eastern Promenade as been around since 2006-- what are some of your biggest projects you have under way right now that folks should know about, or accomplishments of which you're most proud?
Courtney: We’ve wrapped up the Fort Allen Restoration and the Jacob Cousins Memorial projects in the last few years, and we’re currently in the works on EEWAP - the East End Waterfront Access Project, which will consist of a set of granite steps for easier water access down near the boat launch. We’re pretty excited about it!
MFA: Why is it important to Friends of the Eastern Promenade to work with the MFA on the Maine Movies on Prom series this summer?
Courtney: We think it is so important for Maine stories to be told, especially during this time of rapid growth, and we’re all about the idea of taking those stories in somewhere that is so quintessentially Maine.
MFA: If a filmmaker wanted to do a shoot on the Eastern Prom, what steps would they need to take to get approval and make this happen?
Courtney: Its pretty accessible - people just have to fill out the park use application on the city website - there is a flat $100 fee per day. If its just man-on-the-street interview sort of situation, though, they don’t require anything, but they would like to know about it!
MFA: What else do you want MFA Members and our broader audiences to learn about Friends of the Eastern Prom?
Courtney: We’re always open to ideas - for both projects and partnerships! If you’re a fan of the prom, we’d love to hear from you!