ROCK SPRINGS — Hearts of Glass, JenTen Productions’ award-winning new documentary statewide tour will be in Rock Springs this Wednesday, September 18 from 6PM to 9PM at Western Wyoming Community College (Western). This is one of a seven-stop screening and discussion tour being supported in part by a grant from ThinkWY|Wyoming Humanities.
Hearts of Glass follows the tumultuous first 15 months of operation of Vertical Harvest of Jackson Hole, a social impact business with a dual mission: growing produce year-round in a challenging mountain environment and providing meaningful employment for people with disabilities.
“For me, Hearts of Glass represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share a story of possibilities unfolding in my own backyard,” said Jennifer Tennican, the film’s director and producer. “Prepare to be transported. This is as close to being part of a high-tech agricultural startup and social experiment as many of us will ever get. It will challenge your perceptions about abilities, the benefits of meaningful employment and the power of inclusion.”
Hearts of Glass reveals the highs and lows of an innovative startup. It also offers an intimate look into the professional and personal lives of an often overlooked population in our communities. The film is as much about sustainable food production as it is about social entrepreneurship, disability advocacy and community inclusion.
“These thematic intersections are an opportunity to create new communities and connections,” Tennican said. “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.”
Students, faculty and the general public are invited to see the film and stay for a panel discussion following the screening. The panel will reflect an inclusive mix of participants, including the film’s director, Vertical Harvest employees and local experts from the community and/or hosting academic institution.
Wyoming Public Media’s Micah Schweizer, Kamila Kudelska and Catherine Wheeler will moderate the events in Laramie, Powell and Sheridan, respectively. The morning after the screening, Tennican and Vertical Harvest employees will visit Western Wyoming Community College classrooms for a more in-depth discussion in an intimate, focused academic setting.
“Hearts of Glass reminds us that when people come together to do good things, good things happen,” said Kate Muir Welsh, Director at the University of Wyoming’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 traveled to film festivals across the country since. Wild & Scenic Film Festival called the film “a breath of fresh air — inspiring, heart-warming and joyful,” and it won Best Feature Documentary at the Black Hills Film Festival in South Dakota.
For more information on the film, visit HeartsOfGlassFilm.com or follow the film on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.