Carrie Rengers

Tallgrass Film Association hires second full-time consultant

The Tallgrass Film Festival took place Oct. 15 to 19 with more than 200 films.
The Tallgrass Film Festival took place Oct. 15 to 19 with more than 200 films. The Wichita Eagle

The Tallgrass Film Association has reached a new milestone, and it’s not just that its 12th Annual Tallgrass Film Festival was host to almost 14,000 people for the first time last month.

“Tallgrass is getting ready to hire its second full-time consultant,” says executive director Lela Meadow-Conner, who until now has been the only full-time consultant.

Nick Pope is going to be the new director of operations and programming.

“It’s pretty cool that we’re in a position now that we can hire somebody to be our full-time operations person,” Meadow-Conner says. “It really shows the growth. … How far we’ve come over the last four years.”

Tallgrass has a part-time staff of 16 people and also is hiring Kathy Siebert of KMS Consulting as its part-time director of finance.

While Pope will handle day-to-day operations, Meadow-Conner says she’ll be free to focus on development and marketing.

Pope has been with the organization since it started in 2003. Most recently, he’s been co-director of programming.

In the most recent film festival, more than 200 films were shown from 35 countries.

“There’s so many logistics that go into an event like this,” Meadow-Conner says.

She says Pope and others “have dedicated so much of their lives and their passion” to making the event succeed.

“It’s an asset to Tallgrass to have somebody like him on board,” Meadow-Conner says. “So that’s really exciting for us.”

Ideally, one day Tallgrass will have a staff of almost a dozen full-time employees, she says.

“It’s my dream that we can one day all be in the same office together 40-plus hours a week.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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