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Impact of film: Interview with Nick Hartman, UICA Film Coordinator

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UICA begins a new partnership with the Children's Healing Center to provide monthly film-focused entertaintment to provide a safe, clean and engaging environment for kids with weak immune systems.
Children watching "Nacho Libre"

Children watching "Nacho Libre" /Nick Hartman

Underwriting support from:

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts has partnered with the Children’s Healing Center (CHC) to provide monthly film-focused entertainment to Grand Rapids’ youngest art enthusiasts. Thanks to a new initiative developed by UICA’s Film Coordinator, Nick Hartman, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts is bringing the big screen to the CHC to support their mission to provide a safe, clean, and engaging environment for kids with weak immune systems to interact with others.

Learn more about the initiative in our interview with UICA’s Film Coordinator, Nick Hartman:

Why did you develop this partnership?

"When I was between the ages of 11 and 16, I suffered from epilepsy and often found myself in a hospital, feeling ill, and/or unable to interact with others for days because of the severity of my epileptic episodes. This experience led to feelings of isolation and the desire to connect with others. While my circumstances forced me to spend much time alone, I found that watching movies kept my spirits up and helped me to understand and empathize with others. It was film that helped me to feel connected with the outside word," Hartman said.

Hartman added, "I believe that the impact of film on the healing process is significant, and that following the stories of cinema’s greatest heroes as well as those of the ordinary character who is overcoming life’s everyday obstacles, can have a profound effect on our mental health. Developing the partnership with CHC seemed to be the perfect opportunity for UICA to leverage the power of art in a positive and impactful way."


The UICA Movie Theater shows independent, foreign, and documentary movies in downtown Grand Rapids Tuesday–Sunday year round. Audiences can see critical favorites, festival award winners, and special one-night screenings of classic films in UICA's 195-seat theater, with a state-of-the-art, Dolby© certified movie viewing experience. Visit for a list of screenings and showtimes.

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