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Documentary on philanthropy has GR premiere at Wealthy Theater

Posted on May 12, 2014

A detailed documentary that focuses on the seemingly simple act of giving will make its Grand Rapids premiere June 14.

The documentary “What Is Philanthropy?” will be screened at the Koning Micro Cinema at Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy SE at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 14. 

Admission is $5. Grand Valley professor and producer Salvatore Alaimo will take part in a question and answer session after the film. The 86-minute feature-length film portrays and discusses philanthropy and giving through the perspectives of a wide variety of people from across the country. Subjects include Alex Smith, quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs; Senator Charles Grassley; Mike Farrell, Emmy-nominated star of M*A*S*H*; Nell Newman, President and co-founder of Newman’s Own Organics; Evelyn Lauder, of The Estée Lauder Companies; Civil Rights Leader Dr. William G. Anderson; and Amber Kriech, a young volunteer from Indiana.   

“The purpose of the film is to enhance our understanding of the concept of philanthropy and its role in American culture and society,” said Alaimo. “It seeks to broaden our perspectives for giving, enhance our understanding for philanthropy’s capabilities, and provoke us to reflect on our giving.”

The film premiered at the Queens World Film Festival in Long Island City, New York in March and screened at the Bare Bones International Film & Music Festival in Muskogee, Oklahoma in April and at the Westwood Public Library in Westwood, New Jersey on May 5.

Producer Salvatore Alaimo is an assistant professor in the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in philanthropy and nonprofit administration. Alaimo is a published author and has worked in and consulted for nonprofit organizations. He earned his doctorate degree studying philanthropy at Indiana University, in Indianapolis. 

View the trailer and find more information at or on YouTube at: For tickets, go to

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