|Pittsfield 250 To Document City's Oral History|
|By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff|
03:21AM / Thursday, May 26, 2011
|Andy and Sue Kelly founded the project to retell stories of the city and archive them for future generations to hear.|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new program in the city's yearlong birthday party will archive the city's stories and memories.
Stories about the city's history or nominations can be submitted to the project's website and the most captivating will be documented on camera.
The project, "We Are Pittsfield," is asking for submissions of fascinating stories that have taken place in or about the city. A number of them will be videotaped. The group will also accept nominations of others that have great stories.
The stories will be archived at the library, shown on public access television and shared through the project's website.
"Ever since I was a kid ... I've been captivated and mesmerized by stories from adults," project co-Chairman Andy Kelly said at a press conference Tuesday at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. " We're going to record the oral history of people so that when the city celebrates its 350th, they can look back at its history."
Kelly and his wife, Sue, developed the idea and the city's Cultural Council granted the funding for it. It will be managed by Jennibeth Gomez, who is an AmeriCorps VISTA assigned to the council.
"I want to hear why Pittsfield is so great. I want to know why people are coming here and why they are staying here," Gomez said.
Submissions and nominations can be made on the project's website or though applications that are available at City Hall and the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. The stories can be anonymous or applicants can list contact information; a steering committee will later choose some of the best stories to be told on camera.
Sue Kelly said the committee is looking for a broad spectrum spanning all age groups and cultures. From struggles to success, any captivating story will be documented in one- to two-minute clips, with some becoming lengthier and more researched about the city's past, she said.
"I can't imagine the amount of untold stories that will out because of this," Mayor James Ruberto said.
The committee is also looking for volunteers to help film and public access television has offered a training seminar on June 6 to teach the volunteers basic cinematography, Gomez said.
Submissions are already being accepted.