The historic settlement of Lincoln was selected as one of eight communities to participate in a social communication project connected to the newly released film on the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.
Assets and Information Manager Michele Caskey received approval Tuesday from Lincoln County commissioners to move ahead with the project that ties two free screenings of the film at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Old Lincoln Church in Lincoln with discussions involving community leaders and the public.
County Manager Nita Taylor told commissioners that Caskey has been working with representatives of Active Voice for Lincoln to be part of a nationwide program called, "Stand Tall. Live Like Lincoln."
Villages and towns in Kansas, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, Michigan, Missouri and Arkansas are participating in the initiative, she said. "The feature film 'Lincoln' will be shown to the public and a panel of civic leaders is being identified to discuss the importance of community leadership and citizenship," Taylor said. Questions and discussion points will be provided by the company.
Checking the website for background on Active Voices, the group's leaders declare that the organization, "tackles social issues through the creative use of film. We believe that real progress requires real connection, and that film has a unique power to bring people together in meaningful ways."
Another statement notes that, "When you need to put a human face on social issues, count on Active Voice to deliver the clear vision and practical tools. Active Voice works with leading community advocates, educators, policy makers and social entrepreneurs to turn compelling films into powerful resources for positive action."
Some of the organizations current projects deal with immigration and issues facing young men of color as they try to succeed.
Caskey told commissioners the county was contacted by someone who saw the new county website a few weeks ago.
"They are a company that has been hired by the production company of the Oscar-nominated feature film 'Lincoln' and they were looking for eight towns named Lincoln across the country where they could show a free screening accompanied by some discussion among civic leaders about the moral character, courage and values of Lincoln," she said. "We have been selected as one of the eight to host one of these events."
The company will be using the film as a launch pad to prompt public discussion and education in schools and different types of events for people to consider the values of Lincoln, "and whether they are relevant today as we serve the people and we are citizens in our own neighborhoods," Caskey said.
The film was nominated for 12 Oscars and Caskey thought the screenings would not compete with the local theater, but Commissioner Dallas Draper said "Lincoln" currently is playing at the Allen Sierra Mall Theater in Ruidoso.
"Following each screening of the movie, we will have a moderated discussion among civic leaders about the moral values of Lincoln and whether they are important to us today," Caskey said. "I will be looking for civic leaders like yourselves to be part of one of the 45-minute discussions. The organization will provide discussion points and questions. I hope to have citizens show up who are interested in talking about Lincoln."
In some of the other participating community, similar events are being used as starting points for civic projects and campaigns in their communities, she said. "It's an opportunity for us as well other organizations that might want to get involved as part of some bigger program on what it is to be a citizen and to have moral courage."
She asked for suggestions about whom to invite. Seating is limited to about 75 people, but screenings are open to the public.
"I think it's going to be a very cool thing, actually," Caskey said. "I have not received the promotional material yet, but just the fact they will be showing the movie free is a great opportunity. I understand it's a very moving film."
Lincoln is located on U.S. 380 between the community of Capitan and U.S. 70.