Cameraman Aaron Bannasch and Producer Salvatore Alaimo recently shot footage in Baltimore, Maryland; Staunton, Virginia; and Charlottesville, Virginia.
In Baltimore, Alaimo spoke with Sorrel King, founder of the Josie King Foundation and author of Josie’s Story. On February 22, 2001, her eighteen-month old daughter Josie died from medical errors. Sorrel told her amazing and heartfelt story about how she and her husband Tony decided to channel their grief and anger by setting up the foundation to help prevent such accidents from ever happening to a child again.
Mary Baldwin College is a small, liberal arts-based, women-centered university founded in 1842 in hillside area of beautiful, historic Staunton, Virginia. Footage was shot of the campus and the graduation ceremony. Discussions were also shot with with David Atchley, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Margaret McDermid, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees and a donor responsible for funding what will be the new College of Health Sciences. They focused on the role philanthropy plays in higher education and how it has enabled the college to prosper.
A historical perspective of philanthropy is important to an educational documentary such as What is Philanthropy? University of Virginia history professor Olivier Zunz recently authored Philanthropy in America where he looks at the ways in which American philanthropy emerged not as charity work, but as an open and sometimes controversial means to foster independent investigation, problem solving, and the greater good. Zunz focuses on post Civil War to the present. The discussion featured interesting historical insights into how philanthropy formalized from charity and evolved over time.