Huge Turnout for BETWEEN THE FOLDS in St. Louis

Posted on November 12, 2009

Producing Partners are local community organizations that co-present Community Cinema screenings across the country. Last night, Producing Partner KETC in St. Louis, MO, screened the Independent Lens film BETWEEN THE FOLDS. The film looks at fine artists and theoretical scientists who have abandoned careers and hard-earned graduate degrees to forge unconventional lives as modern-day paper-folders. Sydney Meyer of KETC gives her take below: Wow! That was the first word that came to my mind as people kept flowing into the St. Louis History Museum for the screening of BETWEEN THE FOLDS last evening. 

This was Community Cinema at its finest. Approximately 340 people showed up for the viewing of the film and I was amazed watching the diversity of people fill the auditorium and overflow onto the steps and the sides of the theater. People of all ages laughed and clapped at various parts of the film, signaling they understood what the artists were trying to communicate to them. After the film, the fun continued as more than 120 folks stayed to try their hand at paper-folding with artist Sugi Taylor. 

There was a lot of laughter and concentration as people attempted to make a paper box and bird. As I walked around the tables, I heard comments like “I thought the simple figures would be easier. Now I admire the film artists even more!” or “I loved the film and I am amazed I can make this figure out of almost nothing… one simple square of paper.” A middle school girl who came with her math teacher told me, “I am a beginner paper-folder and the film inspired me to want to continue learning and try to become like the people in the film.” I loved the little girl's comment and it made me appreciate Community Cinema even more because inspiration and change is what the program is all about.

As I spoke with a math teacher from Valley Park Middle School, I realized how she had used paper-folding to encourage students who struggled with math. They were excited about math because they could see the practical, hands-on application. They wanted to learn vocabulary like “vertex” and “hyperbolic parabaloid” so they could make those shapes. As I listened to the teacher, I remembered my own struggles with geometry in high school. Where was paper-folding when I was young? It would have made math so much more fun and exciting! 

- Sydney Meyer KETC Project Manager and Community Cinema Producing Partner 

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BETWEEN THE FOLDS premieres on December 8 at 10:00 PM on Independent Lens on PBS (check local listings).


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