Launching the film festival on aging Coming of Age in 2011 was part of the plan to expand gerontology into the community--just as San Diego State University was abolishing the department of gerontology. With small donations and the work of volunteers--including staff and faculty--the first Coming of Age was launched in collaboration with the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA.) The festival aimed at filling a much needed gap in highlighting issues relating to aging within the San Diego community. The initial committee that established Coming of Age included Joaquin Anguera, Dixon Arnett, Marie Begay, Stephen Chin,Chris Murphy, P Parra, Lonnie Hewitt and Diana Zellhofer.
An anonymous (SDSU Faculty) sponsor together with Pedram Salimpour and Pamela Smith were our initial supporters that helped launch the film series. The supportive staff at MOPA--which have consistently hosted and supported Coming of Age--include Deborah Klochko, Paolo Zuniga, Jenelle Iglesias, Joaquin Ortiz, Priscilla Para, Danielle Lewis-Richardson, Carmela Prudencio, Kevin Linde and Erica Gleichman.
A mirror film festival is also organized at the New Jersey Montclair Film Festival on Aging working with the founder Caren Martineau and Devorah Medwin.
In the past Coming of Age has received sponsorship from key organizations such as Alvarado Hospital, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Live Well San Diego, The City of San Diego, Rancho La Puerta and the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors. Sponsorship allows for this unique film series to be offered free to audience. This year's 2020 sponsor is St Paul's Senior Services. Promoting education on aging through engaging the community.