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Published September 13, 2019
An award-winning documentary about an innovative startup company in Jackson will be screened at the University of Wyoming Wednesday, Sept. 25.
The free screening of “Hearts of Glass” will take place in the UW College of Education auditorium from 6-9 p.m. The event is part of a seven-stop film screening and discussion tour in Wyoming that is supported, in part, by a grant from Wyoming Humanities.
“Hearts of Glass” follows the tumultuous first 15 months of operation of Vertical Harvest of Jackson Hole. This social impact business grows produce year-round in a challenging mountain environment, while providing meaningful employment for people with disabilities.
The film is as much about sustainable food production as it is about social entrepreneurship, disability advocacy and community inclusion, says Jennifer Tennican, the film’s director and producer.
“These thematic intersections are an opportunity to create new communities and connections,” Tennican says. “I want viewers to be swept up by the momentum and, at times, the chaos of this startup; I want viewers to appreciate the nuances of each character’s personality; and I want viewers to be inspired by how one Wyoming community is dealing with pressing social and environmental issues.”
A panel discussion will follow the screening. Panelists are Tennican; Vertical Harvest employees; Michelle Jarman, of the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) at UW; and Christine Porter, Wyoming Excellence Chair in Community and Public Health in UW’s Division of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. Wyoming Public Media’s Micah Schweizer will moderate the discussion.
“‘Hearts of Glass’ reminds us that, when people come together to do good things, good things happen,” says Kate Muir Welsh, director of UW’s Social Justice Research Center. “Vertical Harvest is growing justice in the Jackson Hole valley by employing very capable people and responding to community needs. ‘Hearts of Glass’ will inspire you to do good things in your community.”
“Hearts of Glass” had its world premiere at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Northern California in January and has since traveled to film festivals across the country. The film won Best Feature Documentary at the Black Hills Film Festival in South Dakota.
Sponsors of the Laramie event include Feeding Laramie Valley, the John P. Ellbogen Foundation, the Laramie Advisory Commission on Disabilities, UW Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, UW Division of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, UW’s Social Justice Research Center, WIND, Wyoming Independent Living Inc., Wyoming Public Media and ZipGrow.
Other stops on the film screening and discussion tour are:
-- Monday, Sept. 16, 6-9 p.m., Riverton, Central Wyoming College, Robert A. Peck Arts Center Theater.
-- Wednesday, Sept. 18, 6-9 p.m., Rock Springs, Western Wyoming Community College, WWCC Theatre.
-- Thursday, Sept. 26, 6-9 p.m., Torrington, Eastern Wyoming College, EWC Fine Arts Auditorium.
-- Monday, Sept. 30, 6-9 p.m., Casper, Casper College, Wheeler Concert Hall.
-- Tuesday, Oct. 8, 6-9 p.m., Sheridan, Sheridan College, Kinnison Hall.
-- Wednesday, Oct. 9, 6-9 p.m., Powell, Northwest College, Yellowstone Building Conference Center.