Looking to engage and educate the Gig Harbor community, Jeni Woock started Meaningful Movies Gig Harbor in 2016, a nonprofit organization and offshoot of a Seattle program that has been running for 14 years.
Meeting on the second Friday of every month, Meaningful Movies brings documentaries, speakers and action steps to viewers looking to be informed and engaged about national and global issues.
“It’s basically a way of storytelling in community to bring people together,” Woock explained. “We show documentaries and then have community discussion. And we always try to have an action step after. Now we hope to grow into the community.”
Helping the growth of Meaningful Movies is a $1,500 Spark Grant awarded Jan. 23 from The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.
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It’s basically a way of storytelling in community to bring people together. We show documentaries and then have community discussion. And we always try to have an action step after. Now we hope to grow into the community.
“We are hugely grateful,” Woock said of the grant. “For us, this is a lot of money.”
Shown at Agnus Dei Lutheran Church, the monthly films are presented without charge to anyone in the community, with a donation box available, but the screening fees for the films still need to be paid. The grant will go toward screening fees and other costs associated with the organization.
Documentaries for Meaningful Movies are chosen by a committee that includes Woock, Barbara Malich, Kriss Kevorkian and Judy Dresser, who consider a monthly theme and issues that are important to them and the Gig Harbor community while choosing films and speakers.
“We try to involve different agencies and groups in the community,” Woock explained. “A picture shown speaks a thousand words.”
Moving forward, a goal of the nonprofit is to expand its audience to include younger viewers, along with continuing the nonprofit’s mission of educating the Gig Harbor community on a variety of issues.
The goal of educational documentaries is not to make you feel bad. It’s to make you feel empowered. To feel good. To show positive changes.
“The goal of educational documentaries is not to make you feel bad,” Woock said. “It’s to make you feel empowered. To feel good. To show positive changes.”
The next film will be “13th,” an Academy Award-nominated documentary by Ava DuVernay that discusses race in the United States criminal justice system. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Feb. 10 at Angus Dei Lutheran Church, located at 10511 Peacock Hill in Gig Harbor.
Future films and more information for Meaningful Movies Gig Harbor can be found online at facebook.com/meaningfulmoviesgigharbor.