Ideas, Inspiration, and Action at the 2013 Film Series

The illuminated sign of the Indiana Theater in Downtown Indiana on the evening of the Center's first film screening.
The illuminated sign of the Indiana Theater in Downtown Indiana on the evening of the Center’s first film screening.

On Friday, February 22, the Center for Community Growth launched the beginning of the 2013 Film Series: A New Economy with The Economics of Happiness (2011) at the newly refurbished Indiana Theater.  The film, written and directed by Helena Norberg-Hodge, calls for the creation of localized economies as a solution to problems caused by globalization and transnational corporations, suggesting that we create a system in which goods and services are produced to fulfill real human needs, rather than to generate more consumption and growth.

Audience at 2013 Film Series: A New Economy - The Economics of Happiness
Panelists speak to over 100 audience members at the Center for Community Growth’s screening of “The Economics of Happiness”.

Over 100 people attended the event. During intermission a short panel was held on how to bring ideas of localization and sustainability to Indiana County and Southwestern PA.  Panelists included Molly Rush of The Thomas Merton Center, Craig Stevens of The Three-Rivers Community Foundation, Ian Haffling of the IUP Environmentally Conscious Organization (E.C.O.), Jane Baumer, and Professor Susan Comfort of the IUP English Department, all spoke at the event.  Audience members responded enthusiastically to Dr. Comfort’s words when she addressed the theater at large:

“I want us to recognize the wealth that we have in the people of Indiana county, and that there is real wealth here in this room.”

Even more ideas emerged during the group discussion following the film.  The audience’s drive and creativity seemed to know no bounds as participants mentioned everything from the development of local currency, establishing a co-operative food market, and starting community supported agriculture (CSA), to building more community gardens and time-sharing plans.

Panelists at the 2013 Film Series
Center for Community Growth organizers G. Smith (far left) and Eric Barker (far right) introduce panelists (left to right): Ian Haffling of IUP E.C.O., Professor Susan Comfort, Craig Stevens, Jane Baumer, and Molly Rush.

The inspiration drawn from the discussion at the Center’s first screening demonstrated the strength and passion possessed by the people of Indiana, showing that our community is ready and willing to generate a local, sustainable economy through cooperation, commitment, continued education, and action.

The Center for Community Growth film series will continue for the next five months until late July.  In March we will show the fracking documentary Triple Divide (2012) by Melissa Troutman and Joshua B. Pribanic, which focuses on the shortfalls of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection and the controversy surrounding natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale. Read more about this and all other upcoming films on our film series schedule.

Members of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s E.C.O. group tabling at the theater before the film.

We would like to thank our sponsors at the IUP English Department, the IUP Women’s Studies Department, the IUP Graduate Literature Program, and our co-sponsor, the Thomas Merton Center, for giving us your generous support and making this event possible. 

We would also like to thank the organizations who took time out of their schedules to table before our event, including the Coalition for a Healthy County, IUP E.C.O., Indiana Community Gardens, and the Federation of Democratic Women.

Lastly we want to express gratitude to all those who helped to plan the film series, and everyone who attended our very first screening for making our vision of the 2013 Film Series a reality.

(Written by Colleen Donovan.  Edited by Lindsey Quakenbush.  Photos taken by Lindsey Quakenbush.)


Baker, C. (June, 2012). The economics of happiness: A film review by Carolyn Baker. In reviews at: The Economics of


Taking the First Steps: Photos from the start of the 2013 Film Series

“I want us to recognize the wealth that we have in the people of Indiana county, and that there is real wealth here in this room.”

-Adaptation of words spoken by Professor Susan Comfort of the IUP English Department at the 2013 Film Series: A New Economy, February 22, 2013.

(Photos by Lindsey Quakenbush)

Poetry for the Center: “Password Primeval” charity event scheduled this Friday

Photo by Lindsey Quakenbush

If you are looking for something to do this Friday before joining us for the 2013 Film Series: A New Economy, you might consider attending the special charity event being held by “I Speak the Password Primeval”!  Curated by IUP Professor Edward Carvalho and sponsored by the IUP English Department, Password Primeval is a new monthly reading series featuring poetry readings by aspiring writers and performers in Downtown Indiana.  This week they are holding a charity to benefit the Center for Community Growth right before the beginning of the Center’s film series!

The charity takes place this Friday, February 22nd at The Artists Hand Gallery.  Open-mic sign-ups last from 6:00pm-6:25pm, and readings begin at 6:30pm sharp.  IUP English Instructor Jennifer M. Woolston is the night’s featured reader.  The charity event is happening right before the screening of “The Economics of Happiness” of the 2013 Film Series and is just a short walk away from the Indiana Theater on Philadelphia street.  All proceeds will go towards funding the Center’s current and future programs, and will assist us with our administrative costs.

If you would like to benefit the Center and witness the performance of original, creative works of poetry, please attend the Password Primeval reading this Friday night!

For more information about the Password Primeval series and their upcoming events, visit their website:

(Written by Lindsey Quakenbush)

The 2013 Film Series Begins!

The 2013 Film Series begins this Friday, Feb. 22nd at 7:30pm at the Indiana Theater!
The 2013 Film Series begins this Friday, Feb. 22nd at 7:30pm at the Indiana Theater!

All this week, members and supporters of the Center for Community Growth will be making preparations for the screening of the first film of the 2013 Film Series, “The Economics of Happiness,” to be shown this Friday at Feb. 22nd at 7:30pm at the Indiana Theater.

In addition to holding a discussion during intermission, we have a list of confirmed organizations that will be tabling before the event begins to share information about their work and their upcoming projects.

We are also in the process of assembling a panel consisting of representatives from each organization at the film who will briefly share their thoughts on localization and how they, and their organization, are doing to achieve a more sustainable, just, and fair way of life for Indiana county residents:

Confirmed Organizations:

  • IUP Environmentally Conscious Organization (E.C.O.)
  • The Thomas Merton Center
  • Coalition for a Healthy County
  • Center for Community Growth
  • Indiana Community Garden

Panelists: (check back for updates)

  • Susan Comfort –  Center for Community Growth
  • Craig Stevens – Thomas Merton Center
  • Jane Baumer – Indiana workshare co-operative
  • Indiana Community Garden

Screening begins at 7:30pm.  the Indiana Theater at 637 Philadelphia St, Indiana, PA, 15701.  Arrive early to meet with local organizations and enjoy some baked goods.  Coffee, sandwiches, popcorn, tea, and more baked goods will also be available at intermission.

If you are interested in having your organization present on our panel and at our screening, or at future screenings in the film series, please contact us at and let us know of your interest.  We welcome local, state, and IUP student organizations to attend our films!  Please contact us if you are interested in being involved in planning the series, or if you have any ideas for new projects, programs, or issues that you would like to bring to the Center’s attention.

We are excited to kick-start the film series this weekend and are thankful to all those who have helped us make this vision a reality.  We look forward to seeing you this Friday!

For further information about the 2013 Film Series, check out our film series page and schedule!  Be sure to look for our posters around town this week promoting the 2013 Film Series!

(Written by Lindsey Quakenbush)

What is the 2013 Film Series?

Film series banner

This year, the Indiana County Center for Community Growth is proud to announce The 2013 Film Series: A New Economy, the last Friday of every month from February 22nd through July.  The series will include a diverse array of perspectives, worldviews, and experiences, feature a variety of documentaries that cover a range of current and historical issues of national and global scale significance.  All of our selected films are centered on a singular theme: The new economy.  Each film explores certain environmental and social justice issues in relation to our current economic problems in order to encourage discussion around similar issues affecting Indiana County today, and how those issues might be addressed on a local level.

The film series is part of The Center’s larger goal to support discussion and action among community members and organizations towards strengthening the well being of Indiana and its residents. It is our hope that this series will serve as an important first step towards bettering the quality of life of Indiana residents by encouraging discussion, engagement, and collaboration between individuals and groups to find solutions to common problems facing our community today.

We open with The Economics of Happiness (Norberg-Hodge, 2011). A project of The International Society for Ecology and Culture, this documentary discusses the impact of globalization in our modern world, and explains how current economics focus heavily on growth and increased production at the expense of the well-being of individuals and the environment.  The film promotes the localization of economics as a solution to begin improving the well being of humanity as a whole by making economics locally based, self-sufficient, and self-sustaining.

The Center believes that the objective of establishing a sustainable economy is relevant to the Indiana community, and that the film will provide a solid starting point from which to begin discussing ways of improving our local economy.

The 2013 Film Series is open to the public.  Admittance to each film is a suggested $5 donation. At each film a discussion will be held to generate ideas about how to begin addressing different issues in Indiana County.  Representatives from organizations will also be present to speak with interested audience members about their work in the community, and how others can get involved.  See the lineup of our films here!

If you would like to become involved in planning the series, or if you would like to support to this event financially, click here, or e-mail us at You may also contact event organizers for more details:

(Written by Lindsey Quakenbush, edited by Susan Comfort, Gerald Smith, Colleen Donovan, and Eric Barker)