I’m very pleased to be collaborating with G-Town Radio to present “Portraits of Germantown.” This project is part photography, part oral history, but all about Germantown, its diverse and eclectic community character, and how and what it remembers.
Portraits of Germantown is an installation that is comprised of a window display of informal portraits of community members that I made during the run of my solo photography show, “The Other Germantown,” at iMPeRFeCT Gallery earlier this summer. Also, there is a small selection of street and documentary photographs that are currently hanging inside of G-Town Radio’s studio. The selection of photographs inside is a mix of photos from the show, along with some new work, all of which is for sale!
The installation opened October 19th in conjunction with a” Reimagining Maplewood Mall” block party held the same day.
During the run of the Portraits of Germantown installation at G-Town Radio, I am asking the Germantown community to come out and have their photograph taken. Here’s the twist: Everyone interested in being photographed is encouraged to bring an item that to them personally embodies or symbolizes Germantown (think paraphernalia of all kinds, like T-shirts, photos, buttons, vintage signage, anything that has a Germantown connection).
In addition, G-Town Radio and I will team up with the community to participate in The National Day of Listening, which is a new national holiday started by StoryCorps in 2008. StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate the lives of everyday Americans by listening to their stories. On the day after Thanksgiving, StoryCorps asks everyone to take a few minutes to record an interview with a loved one. Celebrating the National Day of Listening provides a noncommercial alternative to “Black Friday” shopping sprees.
I, along with G-Town Radio programmers, will be on hand Friday, November 29th between 1pm and 5pm at the G-Town Radio studios (24 Maplewood Mall) to photograph participants and make audio recordings of participant stories on The National Day of Listening. The audio portion will be loaded to the StoryCorps website; also, G-Town Radio will produce and air a podcast of these stories/conversations.
The goal of this collaboration is to engage the community to share their stories through photography, artifacts and oral history that expands our collective awareness about what and who gives Germantown its distinctive character. I would love to see broad and enthusiastic participation in this effort.
To facilitate full participation, we’ve scheduled the following dates and times for the community to drop by G-Town Radio.
Wednesday, November 20, 1-5pm (photos)
Thursday, November 21, 1-5pm (photos)
Sunday, November 24, 1-5pm (photos)
Monday, November 25, 1-5pm (photos)
Tuesday, November 26, 1-5pm (photos)
Friday, November 29, 1-5pm (National Day of Listening: photo and audio)
Saturday, November 30, 1-5pm (photos)
If you find that you can’t make it to the studio on the 29th but you still want to contribute audio for the National Day of Listening podcast (and be photographed), call Tom Casetta as soon as possible at (215) 906-8658 so that alternate arrangements can be made. We want to make sure we accommodate everyone who has interest in participating.
One more thing: G-Town Radio kicked off its annual appeal recently, and I strongly urge you to donate. If you didn’t know this, G-town Radio is a modestly run non-profit, grassroots community internet radio station. Accomplishing its goals requires a lot of hard work from a corps of dedicated collective members and volunteers. It also requires a steady stream of money to keep serving the community. I urge you to help G-town Radio stay on the air by making a one-time or continuing donation. Every contribution goes toward supporting its mission to reach more listeners with its diverse array of programs and community outreach. I can personally attest to the importance and reach of this community resource.
Thanks and peace!