Make mistakes and take risks.


The True/False volunteer army is a mighty force of chaotic good. Every year, we’re overwhelmed by the outpouring of community devotion and we want to give a hearty thanks tireless crew. This year, we’re highlighting volunteers from each department so they can tell us a little about themselves and why they started volunteering for T/F.

Meet Jane McElroy. She is a faculty member in the School of Medicine at Mizzou, a loyal True/False volunteer, and a wonderfully involved community member. About True/False she says, “I’m not a big movie fan, so I don’t watch very many films but I’m committed to supporting my community through meaningful volunteer activities and T/F ranks high.” Jane, to us, you rank higher than high. Thanks for giving us your time, energy, and endless support.


Jane builds houses with Habitat for Humanity. She has been doing this every weekend for years because she likes to stay active, she believes in the cause, and it’s fun. At some point, she started offering T/F her Sundays in the winter. We’re so lucky. I’m not even sure that she was able to attend this year’s event, but I bet she cut a full tenth of the lumber we used in preparation. – Ben Falby, T/F Production Manager


(Photo by Stephen Bybee)


TF: What department do you volunteer for? 

JM: Build. [Build Team is an off-shoot of the production crew that handles a lion’s share of the construction projects. The build team does everything from work with artists to help them create their visions to building storage crates for T/F production materials (and a million other things in between).]

TF:How many years have you volunteered for True/False?

JM: 6  years


TF: How did you get involved in volunteering? 

JM: Heard about it and tried a few different options before I landed on Build as a good fit a few years ago.


John NIchols and Jane McElroy discuss table saw safety with George Zimny during a work session at the Lab. (Photo by Stephen Bybee)


TF: What’s your favorite part about volunteering for T/F? 

JM: T/F rocks by providing an outstanding community experience and showcasing great documentary films.


TF: What would you tell people who never been to or volunteered for True/False? 

JM: Great event.  Volunteers on the days of the event are the face of T/F so it is a meaningful experience.  For those behind the scenes who volunteer,  we contribute to the quirky and nut-and-bolts pieces for a successful and memorable event.  In both cases it is a worthwhile experience with very tangible and fairly immediate results.  Patrons and artists feel supported and want to keep coming to the T/F event each year.  Columbia gets to have this event in their backyard.


TF: What’s been the most rewarding part of your experience volunteering?

JM: Being part of a great group of people (on the Build team) who have tasks without a exact answer on how we are going to complete them in every case.  With Ben as the coordinator/facilitator/and mentor, (working under Ben’s tutelage is one of the rewarding components of the experience), we stand around and problem solve.  Ben allows us to make mistakes and take risks as we pull together the structures that support the creative art installations.


Design and construction work begins early at the Lab for True/False 2015. Photo by Stephen Bybee.