Residents and Friends of Middletown are Invited to Create Our Town: Middletown

Last Updated by Juliet Hulme on

Gather around, Middletown! Rhode Island PBS’s Our Town series continues its story-telling journey through the state of Rhode Island, and Middletown is the next stop. Middletown town residents and the interested public are invited to a planning meeting on Monday, March 18 at 5:30 p.m., at the Middletown Library, 700 West Main Road.

Our Town is a community-based project in which neighbors become filmmakers to share the charm and unique characteristics of Rhode Island towns and villages. Part fund-raiser, part community builder, part historical and cultural documentary, and part “day-in-the-life” video scrapbook, the Our Town series shares local legends, historical happenings, and backyard secrets with viewers.
 
For the 10th project, Rhode Island PBS invites the Middletown community to shape the documentary and capture the essence of life in their town. “Our Town gives local residents the opportunity to showcase their town’s favorite qualities and distinct features, from their perspective and in their own words. The project slogan is 'your voice, your vision' and we are excited to see what Middletown has to offer,” said David W. Piccerelli, president of WSBE Rhode Island PBS.
 
Indeed, it is the town residents who drive the project. Rhode Island PBS offers technical advice and stitches together the stories into a one-hour film, but all other aspects are created by the participants. This provides the community with its own platform to share local anecdotes about the town. “After all, the residents are the most qualified experts to speak about the ins and outs of their own town. Without their stories and participation, this series would not exist,” said Jodi Mesolella, director of membership and special projects at Rhode Island PBS, and director of Our Town.
 
There are no restrictions as to age or experience and there is no cost or compensation to participate. For those with a story to tell but no camera to capture it, Rhode Island PBS has a camera to lend by appointment and with a security deposit, which is returned when the camera is returned.
 
Rhode Island PBS invites anyone interested in the Middletown community to participate in the Our Town: Middletown project. During the March 18 planning meeting, participants discuss and choose the subjects and locations they want to include in the documentary. Residents of Middletown are especially urged to participate, but one need not be a resident of the particular town - just have a great town story to tell. Rhode Island PBS welcomes the entire community to come and find out how easily their story can be shared.
 
While there will be two days dedicated to filming, Our Town Producer Nicole Muri adds, “We encourage participants to shoot footage of any relevant event or story line at any time before the submission deadline. Those who wish to start filming right away do not have to wait for the filming dates - just contact the station and let us know.”
 
The Middletown edition of Our Town will air in September 2019.
 
For information about joining the Rhode Island PBS Our Town project, and for details about meetings as the dates approach, visit ripbs.org/our-town, or call Jodi Mesolella at 401-222-3636, extension 209, Nicole Muri at extension 225, or email ourtown@ripbs.org.
 
WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits high-definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) programming over the air on digital 36.1; on RI cable: Cox 08 / 1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08 / 508HD, and Full Channel 08; on MA cable: Comcast 819HD and Verizon FiOS 18 / 518HD; on satellite: DirecTV 36, Dish Network 36.
 
WSBE Learn transmits standard-definition (SD) content over the air on digital 36.2; in Rhode Island on Cox 808; Verizon FiOS 478; Full Channel 89; and in Massachusetts on Comcast 294 or 312.
 

About Rhode Island PBS

WSBE Rhode Island PBS is operated by the Rhode Island PBS Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. WSBE Rhode Island PBS is a viewer-supported member of the PBS network of public broadcasting stations, and uses the power of noncommercial media to educate, engage, enrich, inspire, and entertain viewers of all ages in Rhode Island, southeastern Massachusetts, and eastern Connecticut since 1967. WSBE-DT delivers content on two channels: Rhode Island PBS (digital 36.1), and Learn (digital 36.2). For more information about programs and education services at WSBE, visit www.ripbs.org.