Movies & Meaning

Storytelling • Healing • Art • Justice

This April 26-28, 2018, at the lovely Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville, North Carolina, we will gather and hear from special guests Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color PurpleBrian McLaren, author and theologian; and Gareth Higgins, film critic and Irish peace activist. We’ll screen seven movies, hear seven stories, and participate in seven activities proven to nurture community, restore hope, and build a bridge to the kind of world so many of us seek. We’ll do it in the setting of one of the most beautiful and creative small cities in the world, in a lovely theatre, surrounded by fantastic restaurants, places to stay, and the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains. We’ll make new friends, see astonishing big screen art, and pick up fuel for the journey of living more whole in uncertain times. 

Movies & Meaning builds a better world through telling better stories. We gather around art and activism - those who desire to heal our personal and cultural wounds as a diverse community, laugh and cry around the “campfire experience” of great movies, and gain tools for constructive, respectful, and thoughtful dialogue across boundaries. 


Movies & Meaning came as a complete surprise to me. I had no idea how the films would impact me emotionally, be so thought and soul provoking, and leave me transformed in ways unexpected.
— 2017 Movies & Meaning Attendee

We are born into stories, many of which rely on oppositional energy: who we are against, what we don’t like, who to exclude. These stories don’t work, but the noise of damaging stories has only gotten harsher, louder, and more overwhelming. The task of creating our better world seems too large and difficult to hold. And many people we’ve talked to just seem, for lack of a better word, tired

The Movies & Meaning Experience is designed for this moment, and we’ll soon be announcing the next opportunity for you to participate.

Most recently, we shared a healing, joyful, challenging, and life-giving experience, which lifted our hearts without asking us to switch off our brains.

Since 2015 Movies & Meaning has screened extraordinary films in beautiful environments, gathering distinguished artists and activists including Godfrey Reggio (director of Koyaanisqatsi), Alice Walker (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple), Richard Rohr (contemplative activist and teacher, author of Breathing UnderwaterMira Nair (Golden Globe-winning filmmaker of Mississippi Masala and Queen of Katwe), Rodrigo Garcia (co-creator of HBO's In Treatment and director of Last Days in the Desert), Jessica Helen Lopez (New Mexico poet laureate), and James McLeary (pioneer of the transformation prison program known as The Work). Hosted by our founder Gareth Higgins (Irish storyteller, writer and violence reduction activist), the Movies & Meaning event is becoming a second home for people who love cinema, community, life and the common good. Each time we gather people tell us that they make new friends, see astonishing big screen art, and find fuel for the journey of living more whole in uncertain times. 

Epic and intimate, serious and funny, inspirational and relaxed: this community is growing, and is ready to welcome you.

A wonderful opportunity to see spectacular films, and a time to meet and reflect with people from all over the world.
— 2017 Movies & Meaning Attendee


The flagship publication behind Movies & Meaning, The Porch is a slow and substantive conversation in a world of publications rushing to out-publish, out-shout, and out-do each other to convince readers that the world is in crisis.

Our Partners