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Are you a Little Compton resident with a unique story to share about your town? Rhode Island PBS is looking for you to be part of the station’s Our Town documentary series.     

Little Compton residents with stories to share and an interest in learning more about the Our Town project are invited to a virtual town meeting on Wednesday, August 24, at 6 p.m.       

“We are pleased to announce the selection of Little Compton as the next location for Our Town,” said David W. Piccerelli, president of Rhode Island PBS. “Our Town gives the community a platform to share stories and insights about the town in their own voices,” Piccerelli said. “It is also a meaningful way for the station to connect with our communities.”        

The 15th installment in the series, Our Town: Little Compton invites friends and neighbors to make their own short films for the documentary. Interested amateur and professional filmmakers are encouraged to register in advance for the planning meeting.   

“While this kind of collaborative group project invites residents to be more involved with Rhode Island PBS, it also invites them to be more involved with each other,” said Our Town project director Jodi Mesolella. “The stories are decided exclusively by the participants. They choose what will be in the film. If someone has a story idea, please come to the planning meeting and share it. We look forward to seeing what Little Compton decides to do!”         

Part community-builder, part culture catalog, part fundraiser, and part “day-in-the-life” video scrapbook, each edition of Our Town shares the local legends, historical events, and personal memoirs of a Rhode Island town and its villages. The finished product will showcase the unique experiences, untold stories, and hidden gems that capture the essence of life in Little Compton.  

At the virtual town meeting, participants will learn more about the production and have the opportunity to discuss the topics and ideas they have in mind. Rhode Island PBS staff will outline the timetable and submission deadlines, plus share tips about how best to capture stories. Throughout the presentation, participants can ask questions in real-time chat with Rhode Island PBS staff. Local business owners are also welcome to attend for more information about promotion and sponsorship opportunities.   

“Second only to the storytellers, businesses in the community play an essential role in this project,” said Kristen Haffenreffer, director of development at Rhode Island PBS. “Demonstrating their hometown pride and support for educational public television, local businesses will find Our Town is an affordable and mutually rewarding investment.”    

There are no restrictions on age or experience, and there is no cost or compensation to participate. For those with a story in mind but no camera to capture it, Rhode Island PBS has the equipment to lend by appointment.      

For more information about Our Town: Little Compton, visit  ripbs.org/ourtown. Participants may call project director Jodi Mesolella at 401-222-3636, extension 209, project producer Abbey Oldham at extension 225, or email ourtown@ripbs.org. Business owners interested in Our Town: Little Compton sponsorship opportunities may contact Kristen Haffenreffer at 401-222-3636, extension 339. 

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Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.