The agreement announced this week to let the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival lease the second floor of the historic Grange Hall is a welcome sign that the Vineyard Preservation Trust is serious about its pledge to embrace the Island community.

And the return of the film festival to the place it first took root 20 years ago is wonderful news for an organization that has struggled to find a permanent home.

Islanders old enough to remember speak fondly of the days when the second floor of the Grange in the heart of West Tisbury was used regularly to hold community movie nights and host live performances, including elementary school plays. As part of its agreement with the MVFF, the Trust will insulate the upstairs and replace the elevator — an act of preservation far more tangible than restoring that word to its official name.

A related lease will enable the film festival to move its offices from Chilmark to the former town library in West Tisbury, also owned by the Trust, though MVFF executive director Brian Ditchfield said it will continue to hold programs at various venues around the Island, including its annual March festival at the Chilmark Community Center.

Since holding its first festival at the Grange in 2001, the MVFF has expanded to encompass a wide range of activities, from film production training at every Island school to film screenings and panels both up-Island and down. When the pandemic kept most theatres dark, the festival created an innovative pay-what-you-can drive-in at the YMCA, which lives on even as the original need for it faded.

The nonprofit Trust, which owns more than 20 buildings across the Island, needs to show that it cares about the community beyond Edgartown, where most of its board members and donors are based, after a series of missteps this year. Nevette Previd, its new director, is well connected in the Island’s arts community, and this creative melding of community interests marks a promising new direction for the organization.