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One thing that hasn’t wavered over time is people’s fascination with and appreciation for photography. The process of mulling over age-tinged photos in battered photo albums or scrolling through photo galleries on our smart phones is exciting and fulfilling.

Family Pictures USA is a new travel-style television show that will focus on bringing people together to share family pictures and stories in a highly interactive and engaging experience known as Community Photo Sharing. The show will be a series of filmed CPS events with hosts and producers guiding participants through personal stories in which their collected photos serve as storytelling tools.

Family Pictures USA Trailer

Family Pictures USA explores neighborhoods and cities through the lens of family photographs and the stories residing within them. The show travels to different locations within a given town or region and uncovers personal stories that connect people to a larger history and narrative of that locale.  Family Pictures USA draws on local stories and photos to illuminate local connections between family members and communities to create an inclusive new Digital Family Album.

As our participants reconsider their hidden family photos, once stashed in boxes in dusty attics or on new smartphones, they unpack more than artifacts and ephemera. They introduce us to their relatives and old friends —fascinating characters, brought back to life by images and stories —who now have a new home in our collective consciousness, and who become part of our own extended families in a community-generated ritual of healing.

In a Community Photo Sharing experience, the individual goes through a process whereby they become part of a larger community unencumbered by geographical region, ethnicity, religion or even language and introducing us to a more nuanced and diverse story of our common history, shared present and evolving future.

Guided by host Thomas Allen Harris and in collaboration with local hosts, Family Pictures USA will mine this rich treasure trove of personal narratives to reveal roots, connections, and provocative parallels that will surprise us and illuminate the path toward a new world for the 21st Century. Family Pictures USA provides the antidote to what ails our conflicted world.

Filming and Locations

The pilot episode has been filmed in Detroit as part of the Detroit Historical Society’s Detroit 67 Project – a multi-year community engagement project that brings together diverse voices and communities around the effects of the 1967 12th Street Riot to find their place in the present and inspire the future.

The pilot episode of Family Pictures USA will air locally on Detroit Public TV (WTVS) and nationally on WORLD Channel’s 149 stations, in association with PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

How Can I Participate in the Show?

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To share your photos today, join our Facebook group here!