Start a Chapter of Screening Liberally

If you want to host screenings in your own community -- whether organizing group outings or arrange a special screening for the group -- you can become part of the Screening Liberally network. It's easy...and free.

Just let us know you're interested by emailing [email protected]

We'll set up a brief, initial phone conversation to bring you up to speed on the best practices to your chapter a success, and give you everything you need to get started.

There are a few ways we will support you:

* Space on our central website for your chapter, including a blog and photo account
* Help setting up and hosting group email lists
* Sample press releases, fliers and resource guides
* Connections to movie producers and distributors who work with our organization
* A place in a growing, national network

What are the guidelines for Screening Liberally?

There's no cost to using the Screening Liberally name - but you must be an officially sanctioned chapter on our site in order to do so. All we ask is that each group follow a few principles to make it a successful sibling to other Screening Liberally groups:

  • Your chapter should meet at a regular time and place. Routine is essential so participants know when/where they can drop in - the predictability makes it a comfortable and inviting setting. We ask that chapters meet at least once a month at a regular location. Most groups meet on a week day, but you know your city best.
  • Send reminders to the chapter mailing list. We provide each chapter with a mailing list and people interested frequently sign-up to receive updates and reminders about the chapter gatherings. Chapter leaders must send a reminder e-mail to their mailing lists prior to each gathering. This is especially important for screening liberally chapters so that attendees know what they will be watching.
  • Screening Liberally can't be "presented by" any other group.
    Other Democratic Clubs, campaigns, grassroots groups are welcome to support the chapter or co-host a special event, but Screening Liberally is its own organization.

  • While there are no direct costs for starting a chapter, and no membership dues, we ask each chapter to do their part to keep the network running, either engaging in Tipping Liberally at each meeting, or take part in our biannual pledge drives, encouraging their members to donate to keep the network going. Living Liberally is unique among progressive membership-based networks in not having any kind of initial fees for starting, or joining a chapter. Maintaining a 200-chapter network is only possible if chapters offer opportunities for their members to voluntarily give, whether it's throughout the year, or during our pledge drive periods. (Think public radio.)
  • Participate in regular communication with our network leadership. Every three months we "check in" with chapter leaders to make sure that everything is going smoothly and share ideas throughout the network -- this is critical as we grow and strengthen our network. We also have an optional monthly half-hour conference call with all the Chapter Leaders to share successes and challenges.
  • Screening Liberally does not officially endorse any candidates or political initiatives, or urge anyone to donate or volunteer for a campaign or vote for or against a candidate or candidates of a particular party. Please avoid having your chapter, or yourself in your capacity as a chapter leader, make endorsements or otherwise support or oppose particular candidates or ballot intiatives. More about our position on endorsements and
    our reasoning behind this.

  • And finally, from time to time it will be necessary for us to add to these guidelines, not to create bureaucracy or burden you, but to keep SL the fun, social space that makes it great, and comply with all applicable laws. By becoming a chapter leader and accepting our support, you agree to follow these policies and procedures and any others in the future.

Once you get in touch with us and have the brief phone conversation, we'll officially list you on the site. Since "Screening Liberally" is our trademark,
for legal reasons we need to give you official permission before you use the name or the logo, and need to limit use of the name and logo to only the chapters listed on the site.

Hints for a successful Screening Liberally
(just lessons we've learned along the way)

  • Try to get a couple friends to co-host. It can be lonely as the group grows, if you're the only one there.
  • Pay special attention to any newcomers - you already know your friends, and know they will return; the organizer's goal is to draw new people into the circle.
  • Make sure people can find you. Whether you make and post a sign at the venue or wear buttons or t-shirts give people a way to easily identify you. You can also tell the staff at the venue, so they know where to direct lost new members.