"Hearts of Glass" Goes to Public Television
Award-winning film airs nationally starting July 14
(Jackson, Wyoming - July 1, 2020) With over 1,000 airdates on more than 177 public television stations and channels, Hearts of Glass will be available to nearly 200 million viewers nationwide starting in mid-July. Hearts of Glass tells the story of the critical first 15 months of operation of Vertical Harvest (VH), a highly innovative experiment in growing crops and providing meaningful employment for people with disabilities. Directed and produced by Jennifer Tennican of JenTen Productions, Hearts of Glass is presented by KRCB/Northern California Public Media and distributed by American Public Television (APT). For airdates and times, please check local listings.
In a mountain town better known for extreme sports than extreme horticulture, VH strives to fill critical community needs including year-round produce and good jobs for an underserved population. Hearts of Glass follows the young business as it pushes the boundaries of social entrepreneurship and local, sustainable agriculture on a tiny sliver of land in downtown Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
“A compelling and timely story with national relevance –
enhancing the Wyoming narrative and promoting engaged and inclusive communities.”
— Shannon Smith, Executive Director
ThinkWY | Wyoming Humanities
Through its three-story futuristic glass and steel façade, viewers see the two key components of the hydroponic greenhouse – innovative technology and an inclusive workforce. The film weaves the story of VH’s launch with the personal journeys of employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Plants and people grow together in this intimate portrait of innovation, inclusion and community.
2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 100th of the federally-funded Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Additionally, this October will be the 75th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Tennican, KRCB/Northern California Public Media and APT are thrilled to begin offering Hearts of Glass to public television viewers across the nation during this landmark year.
Finding purposeful, competitively-paid employment is a challenge for individuals with
disabilities, who still face significantly higher unemployment rates than their
non-disabled peers. Good jobs can provide people of all abilities with economic
independence, ways to contribute to their communities and vital social connections. The film provides an opportunity to celebrate the strides our nation has made toward full inclusion, while inspiring us to do more.
In 2019, the film premiered at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in California where it was described as “a breath of fresh air - inspiring, heartwarming and joyful.” Other festival highlights included the Ashland Independent Film Festival, SLO International Film Festival and ReelAbilities: New York, Chicago and Boston.
In addition to festivals, Hearts of Glass has screened at national conferences and in communities across the country. On its Wyoming Screening & Discussion Tour last fall, the film engaged a variety of stakeholders through grassroots events at the University of Wyoming and community colleges across the state. Recently, the film was recognized with the 2020 Media Award for its positive depiction of Americans with disabilities from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
With its national public television release, Tennican hopes Hearts of Glass will challenge
viewers’ perceptions about abilities, the impact of meaningful employment and the value of inclusion. As a result of the film’s outreach and engagement campaign, Tennican has seen audiences begin to understand that disability is a natural part of the human experience. “This film shows that innovation and inclusion can go hand-in-hand, benefiting citizens with disabilities and the community at large,” says Tennican. She also hopes it will inspire audiences to embrace creative approaches to addressing a variety of social and environmental challenges.
Regional audiences can watch Hearts of Glass on PBS stations in Idaho and Utah starting on July 14 (7 pm MT) and in Wyoming starting on July 27 (9 pm MT). Check local television listings for additional airdates and times in these three states and across the nation.
National program underwriters include the ANCOR Foundation, Relias, Hughes Charitable Foundation and the Wyoming Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Wyoming-based underwriters include Jedediah’s Catering & Concessions, Give’r and Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board. Closed captioning and audio description are supported by the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities and Woman of Her Word, respectively. A full list of underwriters is available on the film’s website (HeartsOfGlassFilm.com).
Contact & Promo Materials:
Jennifer Tennican, Director | Producer
JenTen Productions is led by Jennifer Tennican, who began making documentary films in the late 1990s in Boston before moving to Jackson, Wyoming in 2002. She’s committed to sharing local stories with national and international resonance. Her films focus on identity, inclusion and conservation. Ms. Tennican’s award-winning work, including The Stagecoach Bar: An American Crossroads and Far Afield: A Conservation Love Story, has been featured in numerous film festivals and distributed nationally by American Public Television. For more information, please visit jentenproductions.com.
Vertical Harvest responds to two significant needs in the mountain community of Jackson Hole: year-round, local produce and meaningful, competitively-paid employment for people with disabilities. This 13,500 square foot hydroponic greenhouse is located on a town-owned, 1/10 of an acre lot in the heart of Jackson, Wyoming. Vertical Harvest sells locally-grown, fresh vegetables to Jackson-area restaurants, grocery stores and consumers. Learn more at verticalharvestjackson.com.
American Public Television (APT) is the leading syndicator of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations. Founded in 1961, APT distributes 250 new program titles per year and more than one-third of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles in the U.S. APT’s diverse catalog includes prominent documentaries, performance, dramas, how-to programs, classic movies, children’s series and news and current affairs programs. Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders, America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, AfroPoP, Rick Steves’ Europe, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Television, Front and Center, Lidia’s Kitchen, Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen, Simply Ming, The Best of the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, James Patterson’s Kid Stew and NHK Newsline are a sampling of APT’s programs, considered some of the most popular on public television. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service and distributes Create®TV — featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming — and WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org.