No one knows a community better than its residents. They know what makes their town special. They know what makes it home. Who better to look through a camera lens and capture the true essence of a town's character and charm? Through the OUR TOWN series, witf offers the people of Central Pennsylvania the opportunity to create a show about their own community.
It all began in the Spring of 2000, when witf was looking for a unique way to more directly involve the public it serves throughout Central and South-central Pennsylvania. The OUR TOWN series is a modern twist on the concept of a "day-in-the-life" picture book, by using home videos instead of still photos to profile the people, places and happenings of a particular town on a given day. Instead of printed captions, the people who do the videotaping are the narrators. witf adapted the idea from a similar series at the public television station in State College.
How is the show created? Through newspaper and radio ads, witf recruits local volunteers to offer their time and talent to record an average day in their community. Armed with their home camcorders, a blank tape and a lot of enthusiasm, the volunteer videographers spend a day videotaping the people and places of their choice. The resulting footage captures the personalities, businesses, activities and history of the area. Using video from the volunteer's camcorders and audio from subsequent interviews with the volunteers, witf creates a glimpse into the community's daily life. Sometimes, even a few town secrets are revealed.
Quotes from local residents
"After watching “Our Town: Columbia” last evening, I am not ashamed to say that I actually welled up with pride by the end of the show – tears and all. Every segment of the show and every interview was presented with such an obvious love and respect for the town and its people."
- Barbara Horn Letavic, Columbia native
"For your talent and success in showcasing Harrisburg, know that you have my personal and this City’s continuing gratitude."
- Stephen, Harrisburg
“Our Town: Annville” was truly a gift to the community."
- Jo Ellen, Lebanon County
"What a perfect way for the young people of Waynesboro to learn about the town in which they live!"
- Charlene, Waynesboro
"Both the Mayor and I were so delighted with the screening. It exceeded our wildest expectations."
- Ginny, Reading
Your favorite episodes of witf's OUR TOWN series are available on DVD. Whether you want to capture hometown memories or introduce new residents to your town, a DVD can be an ideal way of saying, "Welcome to our town!"
witf's OurTown communities include:
Adams County, Annville, Camp Hill, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Columbia, East Pennsboro, Elizabethtown, Ephrata, Gettysburg, Hanover, Harrisburg, Hershey, Lebanon, Lewisburg, Lititz, Manheim, Mechanicsburg, Middletwon, Millersville, Perry County, Reading, Red Lion, Selinsgrove, Shippensburg, Steelton/Highspire, Sunbury, Waynesboro, Wyomissing, York
For more information on obtaining your copy of any Our Town or other installments within the series, or call 1.800.366.9483 between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm EDT.
Support for WITF is provided by:
Support for witf is provided by: