To celebrate the 50th anniversary of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” WOSU Public Media is partnering with independent theater Gateway Film Center for a one-night shoe drive. The drive coincides with the premiere screening of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” a new documentary that takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers. As fans of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” will recall, Fred Rogers opened every episode by changing out of his loafers into a pair of sneakers.
Gently used and new shoes can be dropped off at Gateway Film Center (1550 N. High St., Columbus) on Friday, June 29 beginning at 6 p.m., and the special screening of the documentary will be at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased here http://gatewayfilmcenter.org/wont-you-be-my-neighbor/ and patrons who make a shoe donation will receive a voucher for free popcorn and soda.
The shoes that WOSU Public Media collects will be delivered to Soles4Souls, a nonprofit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world.
“To have the opportunity to extend the legacy of Fred Rogers in a small but significant way, and share his story through this screening with our community partner, Gateway Film Center, is meaningful to WOSU and the PBS audiences we impact every day,” said Tom Rieland, general manager of WOSU Public Media.
“I believe movies, and specifically documentaries, play a new and vital role in educating our community,” shared Gateway Film Center President Chris Hamel. “We’re proud to partner with WOSU — an organization dedicated to lifelong learning — to offer this intimate portrait of a man who taught us all a thing or two about being a better person.”
About WOSU Public Media
WOSU Public Media is a community-supported, noncommercial network of public radio and television stations, and digital services. For more information, please visit wosu.org
About Gateway Film Center
Gateway Film Center is Central Ohio’s world-class nonprofit, independent theater, playing a maverick mix of documentaries, indies, world cinema, studio and Ohio grown films. It has been named the city’s best theater by every major publication, and was identified as a top-20 art house in North America by Sundance. Visit www.gatewayfilmcenter.org.
Soles4Souls disrupts the cycle of poverty by creating sustainable jobs and providing relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, the organization repurposes product to supply its micro-enterprise, disaster relief and direct assistance programs.
Since 2006, it has distributed more than 30 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries.
A nonprofit social enterprise, Soles4Souls earns more than half of its income and commits 100% of donations to programs. Visit soles4souls.org for more information.
About Fred Rogers Productions
Fred Rogers Productions was founded by Fred Rogers in 1971 as the non-profit producer of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” for PBS. In the years that followed, it not only created hundreds of episodes of this much-loved program, but also extended Fred’s values and approach to other efforts in promoting children’s social, emotional and behavioral health and supporting parents, caregivers, teachers and other professionals in their work with children.
Today, Fred Rogers Productions continues to build on Fred’s legacy in innovative ways through a wide variety of media, and engaging new generations of children and families with his timeless wisdom. The company’s highly rated, award-winning children’s series include “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Peg + Cat” and “Odd Squad.”
For more information, visit www.fredrogers.org.
Submitted by WOSU Public Media.