Last Sunday, the Rhode Island International Film Festival screened “Generosity of Eye” a feature length documentary telling the story of the amazing charitable donation made by William Louis-Dreyfus to the Harlem Children’s Zone.
It was the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, Geoffrey Canada, (also featured in “Generosity of Eye”) who inspired William Louis-Dreyfus to gift his extensive and personal art collection to Harlem’s most poverty-stricken children. The mission of the Harlem Children’s Zone is to break the cycle of generational poverty through education; a program that sees children from pre-school through their college graduation.
“I love this country, and I hate all of its blemishes,” Louis-Dreyfus said in the film and with this donation, he hopes to use his collection to right this injustice.
After the screening was a question-and-answer with Mr. Louis-Dreyfus, his daughter, Emmy Award winning actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, her husband and filmmaker Brad Hall and producer Julie Snyder.
The theme of justice continued into the Q&A portion, as did the need to raise awareness of this issue and to the art collection itself. Julia stated, “At the risk of sounding crass, it was kind of a marketing tool you could say, and one for a good cause…The idea was to raise awareness about the endowment, and raise awareness about the gift and raise up the prices and keep your fingers crossed.”