Monday, September 08, 2008
Fall River, Massachusetts and Pawtucket, Rhode Island share amazing similarities. To be sure there are differences, but both are cities that are made up of land that was originally part of another state. Both are cities that have a river that runs through the heart of it, and both owe their development to that river. Both have an amazing legacy in the Industrial Revolution and the textile industry. Fall River was once the biggest producer of cotton in the country, perhaps the world. The Industrial Revolution started in Pawtucket at Slater's Mill. Today both cities share a strong Portuguese heritage.
It is this shared bond that makes Pawtucket Rising so interesting. Both Fall River and Pawtucket have stumbled and struggled to find prosperity after the decline of the textile industry. Both have looked at the arts as a way to turn around their fortunes. Pawtucket Rising is a documentary, by Fall River's own Jason Caminiti, that tells the amazing story of how the arts is revitalizing Pawtucket. Caminiti is an award winning cable show host, who has highlighted the best of Fall River on The Fall River Show. Now he puts himself behind the camera and assembles a fascinating look at the ongoing changes taking place in Pawtucket, Rhode Island - told by the people making it happen.
Pawtucket Rising is both an inspiration and a sobering reality. It's an inspiration because Caminiti has created a documentary that could serve as a primer for embracing the arts as a means for revitalization. After watching Pawtucket Rising I had to wonder have our elected officials here in Fall River been paying enough attention to the changes taking place just a 1/2 hour away? It's a sobering reality because revitalization just didn't happen because Pawtucket showed some interest in the arts. No, Caminiti creates a 'connect-the-dot' format with Pawtucket Rising that shows that revitalization came because Pawtucket believed in the arts, embraced the arts, and made a commitment to arts. It's an amazing thing to have developers, government, and artists all working together, striving for the same goal. It's sobering because you have to wonder can you just make that sort of co-operation happen?
If nothing else Pawtucket Rising is a sign of hope. It shows what can happen. It shows how it happened. Here in Fall River, The Mayor, the city council, and the head of FROED, should all have to watch this. In fact anyone in Fall River who has long wondered how to make change happen, should watch Pawtucket Rising.
Jason Caminiti has managed to put together an incredibly professional documentary, in appearance, in content, and in construction. Pawtucket Rising is informative. It's interesting and engaging. The man who considers himself the talent in front of the camera tackles an amazingly ambitious project and delivers.
See the trailer here!
Pawtucket Rising can be seen at a free showing being held for Arts United Fall River at:
Arts Express Fall River
139 South Main Street
Fall River, Massachusetts 02721
Wednesday - September 10, 2008