Jill Norris, center, with Carolyn Williams, and Mayor Steve Barnett as she is awarded the 2023 Carolyn and Marty Williams Franklin Volunteer of the Year award.
Behind the scenes of The Historic Artcraft Theatre is a group of volunteers – the supporting cast that keeps each show running and greets moviegoers with a smile. These volunteers help Franklin Heritage, Inc (FHI) with everything from popping popcorn, renovations, greeting guests during weekend showings, and decorating for the holidays. Their work ensures visitors can leave life at the door and be carried into the world of the movies. This week, we are interviewing Artcraft volunteer Jill Norris. Jill has been volunteering for the Artcraft for 20 years. She was recently awarded the Volunteer of the Year award from the City of Franklin.
In this blog, Jill discusses why she enjoys volunteering at the Artcraft.
Jill Norris surrounded by costumed volunteers at the May 2023 showings of "The Wizard of Oz" at The Artcraft. Jill has done makeup for the annual event for numerous years.
Q: What do you do for the theatre when you volunteer?
A: My volunteer experiences have included: Coordinating decorating teams for special events including the annual Artcraft Theatre Sponsorship Party; serving on the planning team and coordinating decorating team for Artcraft Theatre 100th Anniversary Celebration; serving on the hospitality team that welcomes and provides food/refreshments and assistance for visiting musical groups; coordinating outside decorating and makeup/costumes for special events including Wizard of Oz; serving on planning team for Secret Garden Walk and other FHI/Artcraft events; and volunteering at movies in various positions including greeting, concessions, and ushering.
Q: If you could pick a movie to show at the Artcraft, what would it be and why?
A: My favorite movie is Arsenic and Old Lace. The writer and actors displayed masterful writing, acting, and humor, and I laughed throughout. In some weird way, the ladies remind me of my late mother, as she was quite humorous and witty.
Q: What is your favorite concession snack?
A: My favorite concession snack is popcorn with a little butter and Diet Dr. Pepper.
Q: Why do you volunteer for FHI and the Artcraft?
A: When patrons enter the doors, they feel as though they are stepping back in time. They are welcomed by the always friendly volunteers, enjoy affordable and delicious refreshments, and exit with smiles on their faces. They do not just come to see a movie but have a wonderful experience with friends and family. I have fond memories of coming to the Artcraft as a child, and am so pleased that the theater is flourishing, and hosting a wide variety of movies and entertainment for its patrons.
FHI volunteers Linda Butler, Nicole Frye, Gary Kiesel, Erleen Faris, Carolyn Williams, and Jill Norris preparing for the 2023 annual sponsorship party.
Q: What is your favorite part about volunteering
A: My favorite part about volunteering is the teamwork. I have made many dear friends of all ages, backgrounds, and talents and enjoy collaborating with them on projects and events.
Are you interested in volunteering at The Historic Artcraft Theatre? Get the details here!
Megan Elaine is a writer and storyteller who lives in Franklin, IN.