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3/21/2017 Smithfield reps urge neighbors to tell Smithfield’s story
Amateur filmmakers sought to create RI PBS program ‘Our Town,’
no experience necessary

STATE HOUSE – Smithfield representatives Thomas Winfield and Gregory J. Costantino want your help to show Rhode Island what makes Smithfield special.

Smithfield has been selected as the subject of this year’s “Our Town,” Rhode Island PBS’s community project showcasing one town in the state each year. (Actually, this year, there will be two, with Bristol being the other.) Now it’s up to citizens to get behind the cameras to tell the stories that make Smithfield the place they call home.

Part fundraiser, part community-builder, part historical and cultural documentary, and part “day-in-the-life” video scrapbook, “Our Town” enlists ordinary citizens to tell the stories of local legends, historical happenings, and backyard secrets of their town, culminating in a program that airs on the Rhode Island PBS, Channel 36.

Rhode Island PBS needs up to 20 to 25 volunteers with video cameras to create the program. There are no age or experience requirements, 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 provides guidance, technical advice and support, and edits the volunteers’ footage to create a one-hour film.

“Smithfield is brimming with character and has rich stories to share with the rest of Rhode Island. As a lifelong Smithfield resident, I’m very excited about this opportunity to put those stories together in a way that will showcase what a special place Smithfield is to grow up, live and work,” said Representative Winfield (D-Dist. 53, Smithfield, Glocester).

Said Representative Costantino (D-Dist. 44, Smithfield, Lincoln, Johnston), “No one can quite tell a story like the people who live it every day. To really capture the essence of Smithfield’s way of life, we need neighbors to come forward to tell those stories. Now is the time for the community to get together and make this program a fitting tribute to Smithfield.”

There are two meetings coming up to provide assistance to those who would like to get involved. The first is today, Tuesday, March 21, at 5:30 p.m. at the Greenville Public Library, 573 Putnam Pike. The second is Monday, March 27, at 5:30 p.m. at Rhode Island PBS, 50 Park Lane, Providence. Attendance at one of the meetings is not mandatory, but the meetings will provide tips and assistance to potential filmmakers for the project, given by a PBS producer and a technical engineer.

For more information about joining the Rhode Island PBS Our Town project, visit, or call Project Director Jodi Mesolella at (401) 222-3636, extension 209, or Producer Nicole Muri at extension 225, or email

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923