Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 03-18-2021

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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6 CUMBERLAND MARCH 18-24, 2021 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION Share stories and snapshots of Cumberland for PBS special CUMBERLAND – The Arnold Mills Fourth of July parade, the his- toric Monastery, and the upcoming 275th anniversary of Cumberland Town Hall are all likely to make their way into the next episode of the pop- ular "Our Town" series, produced by Rhode Island PBS. Staff at Rhode Island PBS are cur- rently asking residents to think about what they'd like to feature in the one-hour "Our Town: Cumberland" episode that will air in September. The public is invited to attend a vir- tual meeting on Wednesday, March 31, at 6 p.m. to learn more and dis- cuss story ideas. "The biggest thing for this project is that no experience is required," said Jodi Mesolella,"Our Town: Cumberland" project director and a Cumberland resident. "Just your story ideas and your love for the town of Cumberland." Last Wednesday, March 10, Rhode Island PBS staff hosted a webinar for community stakeholders, where they overviewed the project, showed video examples from past episodes, provided filming tips, and talked about how local residents and busi- nesses can support the project. "We rely on our community lead- ers to get the word out about the project," Mesolella said, adding that they are also looking for local busi- nesses to sponsor the episode. Creating an "Our Town" episode is a democratic process as local resi- dents serve as storytellers and vid- eographers. Rhode Island PBS will not choose the stories to be included or film the segments, but staff will stitch submitted videos together into a one-hour-long episode. No one should feel intimidated to participate, Mesolella said, noting that staff can offer tips and loan out equipment at no cost if needed. There are no restrictions on age or experience and no cost or compensa- tion to participate. Participants do not have to live in Cumberland to contribute. Each episode contains approxi- mately 12 to 15 stories that last from three to five minutes each, she said. Cumberland is the 12th community to create an "Our Town" episode. Mesolella described the episodes as part-fundraiser, part-community builder, part-documentary film, and part-day-in-life scrapbook. The best place to begin is with a story idea, she said, whether it's about a place that people love to visit, an annual event, or the history of a family or business with deep roots in the community. "Stop and think about how you can tell the story visually," she said. Use old family photographs, shoot video, incorporate historic documents, let- ters, or even more recent photos, she said. "The library and local historical society are great resources." Filming can be done using a cam- era, phone, or tablet, and no experi- ence is needed for folks to participate in the project. Participants have until May 14 to film their stories. At last week's meeting, Greta By MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writer JODI MESOLELLA, a Cumberland resident, is the project direc- tor for Rhode Island PBS' "Our Town: Cumberland," which will air in September. 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