Saturday, November 21, 2015

Explore OUR TOWN: PORTSMOUTH on December 2

The local legends, historical happenings, and backyard secrets of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, are the focus of Our Town, a Rhode Island PBS community project. Rhode Island PBS proudly premieres the documentary Our Town: Portsmouth on Wednesday, December 2 in a live television presentation starting at 8 p.m. The evening includes an encore broadcast of Our Town: North Kingstown at 9:30 p.m. UPDATE: We encore OUR TOWN: PORTSMOUTH on Thursday, December 10 at 9 p.m.

Doug Smith describes Portsmouth's 375th Anniversary
Earlier this summer, neighbors in Portsmouth became storytellers and filmmakers to capture the stories they wanted to tell for Our Town: Portsmouth. These stories have been woven together into a visual tapestry of nostalgia, humor, enterprise, history, even a surprise or two, all representing life in Portsmouth through the eyes of those who know it and love it. Portsmouth residents and friends involved in the production will be in the studio to share experiences they had while they worked on the project.

Portsmouth High School Marching Band
Among the stories in the film are segments about coaching (the horse and carriage kind); the Portsmouth High School Patriots Marching Band; Portsmouth's history and highlights of its 375th anniversary; historic Greenvale Vineyards; the story of Julia Ward Howe, whose poem became the Battle Hymn of the Republic; Hunt Yachts; polo; meandering stone walls, and more. Here are story summaries.

Part fund-raiser, part community builder, part historical and cultural documentary, and part "day-in-the-life" video scrapbook, Our Town: Portsmouth is the third documentary in the Our Town series. The first film, Our Town: Glocester, premiered a year ago in December 2014. The second, Our Town: North Kingstown, premiered in September 2015 and will encore at 9:30 p.m., following the debut of the latest in the series, Our Town: Portsmouth.
Wine tasting at historic Greenvale Vineyards

The purpose of Our Town is to share the charm and character of Rhode Island towns and villages - in particular, untold or uncelebrated stories that capture the essence of life in the town. Building community by enhancing connections and relationships between Rhode Island PBS and town residents, the stories are told by resident storytellers and videographers, who choose the stories they want to tell about their town. The role of Rhode Island PBS is to offer technical advice and then stitch together the stories into a one-hour film.

After the premiere on December 2, Our Town: Portsmouth will encore on December 8 at 4 a.m., December 10 at 9 p.m., and December 11 at 2 a.m.

Where the project will go next is up to the residents of Rhode Island's remaining 28 towns. On December 2, Rhode Island PBS will announce details about how Rhode Island residents can go about nominating their own town to be the next Our Town.

For information about the Rhode Island PBS Our Town project, visit

Our Town: Portsmouth is made possible by support from three neighborhood businesses, Clements Marketplace, Greenvale Vineyards, and IMS International Manufacturing Services.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) content over the air on digital 36.1; on Rhode Island cable services: Cox 08 / 1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08 / 508HD, Full Channel 08; on Massachusetts cable services: Comcast 819HD, Verizon 18 / 518HD; on satellite: DirecTV 36 / 3128HD, Dish Network 36.

Updated: December 9, 2015