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DIA Volunteers
DIA Volunteers

Volunteer Award Winner:
Prema Qadir

Detroit Film Theatre Ushers - October 2010

It is with pleasure that the Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) announces our 2010 Volunteer Usher of the Year - Prema Qadir.

Qadir is a native Detroiter, a graduate of Cass Technical High School majoring in Biological Chemistry, and graduate of Wayne State University.

It was at Cass Tech where, encouraged to supplement her strong mathematical aptitude with electives, she explored her creative mind with visual and performing arts coursework and "found her bliss.”  Upon graduation from high school, "it was time to get serious.” Persuaded by her parents and counselors to pursue a technical career rather than "become an artist," Qadir chose a Civil Engineering major at Wayne State University and went on to work for Chrysler Automotive Engineering, the City of Detroit Water Department and the State of Hawaii Health Department.

In 1983 Qadir moved to Hawaii to pursue spiritual studies (meditation, yoga and martial arts). She always wondered how her life would have turned out if she had become an artist instead of an engineer. So when an astrologer friend suggested she consider film production, Qadir contacted another friend in television and soon found herself producing her own Hawaii-based Arts & Entertainment and Documentary video projects.

A near fatal auto accident forced her into early retirement on the “Big Island” of Hawaii, where Qadir discovered the depth of her connection to the earth and sea.

After living in Hawaii for 26 years Qadir returned to Detroit to lend support to family members and expand her knowledge of website design and video production.

Qadir joined the DFT Volunteer Ushers in 2009 because she loves films outside of the mainstream. She often volunteers for multiple screenings of the same film: once to enjoy the film, then again to focus on cinematic details, such as visual composition, music scoring, directing, dialogue and editing.

Qadir continues to volunteer because she sincerely appreciates how much DFT patrons value a quality experience. Her most memorable experiences at the DFT are those occasions when she has escorted physically challenged patrons to the Crystal Gallery and balcony seating. "There is no greater reward for service than the happiness derived from making the seemingly impossible feat possible."

In addition to the DFT, Qadir volunteers at the Arts League of Detroit Virgil H. Carr Cultural Arts Center, and will volunteer at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

"Volunteer ushering at the DFT is one of the very best things that I've done for myself since moving back to Detroit! Helping others helps me feel good about myself."

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