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 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.

Community Photo Share

Guests bring their favorite photos – digital or print – and are interviewed by the production team. Family Pictures USA then follows several participants into their neighborhoods, mapping the present day with their photos from the past. The culminating event is the Grand Finale – a live, interactive, and highly celebratory performance, where participants show the community a reflection of itself.

Bring Family Pictures to your Town!

Family Pictures USA is working with 20 local public television stations and partner organizations around the country to develop a new model of a locally produced, nationally broadcast series. It all starts with you. Where should we go next? Is there a hidden American story in your family album? Or in the archives of your company, congregation, library, or school? Help us bring Family Pictures USA to your town!