Three Dollar Bill Cinema at a crossroads and needs our help

An Open Letter to the Community:

We are reaching out to you today to inform you of some important updates regarding Three Dollar Bill Cinema. We are asking sincerely that you read to the end, as we need your attention and support.

There has been a lot of change during the last few years at TDBC: We moved offices for budgetary reasons; we changed the festival name from SLGFF [Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival] to Twist to SQFF [Seattle Queer Film Festival]; and core staff members have left to pursue other projects. Many of you are pitching in to help us re-group because you love Three Dollar Bill Cinema as much as we do and want to see it continue. And, so do we!

The reality is that Three Dollar Bill Cinema is at a crossroads. We need to see that you, the community, support us. And, as we look towards the future of the organization, we need to hear from you about what you want to see from us.

Some people may ask, “Well, why is the organization relevant anymore when there is so much queer content to watch on TV and streaming services?” We’d like to discuss why we believe we matter more than ever.

Let’s think about this: Friendship, Chosen Family, Community, Support for LGBTQ+ filmmakers, and Visibility, especially for independent films that represent diverse communities. NONE of this happens when sitting alone in a room watching Netflix (even though it can be relaxing and fun). But going to the cinema to be transported to other worlds or to the realities of this world through documentary with like-minded people can be TRANSFORMING.

None of us are safe from our rights being taken away by changing political climates, and it is absolutely necessary that we are vigilant about LGBTQ+ voices being supported on all levels. Seattle needs a media arts organization run by and for LGBTQ+ artists, filmmakers, educators, activists, youth, and volunteers, and supported by the larger LGBTQ+ community and our allies.

Currently we are moving forward by building the TDBC board capacity (also open to new members) and planning our 25th Anniversary Fundraising Gala: Dinner and Auction on April 4 at SODO Park (3200 1st Ave S).

Our goal is to raise $175,000 by April 4, 2020. We want to sincerely thank the people who have bought tickets or sponsored a table to the auction as we are now $11,000 towards our goal. We are looking for your participation in this fundraiser in whatever capacity you are able to give.

Purchase a table for you and your co-workers and friends. Buy a ticket and attend the event. Donate an item or a service. Sponsor the auction. Make a donation to Three Dollar Bill Cinema if you can’t make the event. Volunteer. Spread the word through your networks and social media.

Your participation will ensure that TDBC is able to continue to organize the following landmark events this year and for many years to come:

15th Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival – May 7-10, 2020 (one of only a few transgender film festivals in the world)

Seattle Outdoor Cinema (Queer summer film series – free and open to all!)

Reel Queer Youth – August 3-7, 2020 (video production and media literacy training for LGBTQ+ youth and allies ages 13-20)

25th Seattle Queer Film Festival – October 15-25, 2020 (bringing us diverse queer stories from around the world and inspiring members of our community to express themselves and share their visions through film and media art).

Over the past six years at TDBC, we have seen many positive changes: new audiences, younger people getting involved, excitement around our programs, and still loyal and wonderful supporters and members that realize the importance of being part of this community.

We want to make it beyond our 50th year!! The staff and Board of Three Dollar Bill Cinema are working very hard to be fiscally responsible, apply for grants, appeal to foundations, address issues of inclusion and diversity, and build a sustainable future.

When we imagine a world where we let longstanding community organizations like TDBC simply fade away, it fills us with a sense of loss. Where will we go to watch the documentaries, features, and shorts that may not get widespread theatrical release or make it onto Netflix? Where will we go to find our community that also loves cinema, promotes visibility, and shares our points of view? Where will we go to flirt?!

This year’s 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Auction is critical to our future as a key arts organization in Seattle’s LGBTQ+ community. Please take a moment to consider supporting this very important (and very fun!) Three Dollar Bill Cinema Dinner and Auction at SODO Park (3200 1st Ave S), a new venue, with new Board members we’d like you to meet. (

If you are unable to attend, please consider making a financial contribution or donating an item or service to our auction. (

Thank you so much for your support and consideration,

Kathleen Mullen
Interim Executive Director

Clay Warner
TDBC Board President

Courtesy of Three Dollar Bill Cinema

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