#WeAreHingham — Join a community dialogue this Sunday

May 21, 2022 by Carol Britton Meyer (photos supplied by Brooke Bartletta)

#WeAreHingham is a community-based project aimed at sparking dialogue and fostering unity "during a time fraught with disconnection and trauma."

This initiative stems from the conviction that everyone deserves to be seen, supported, and celebrated and is based on love, acceptance, connection, harmony, respect, home, compassion, inclusion, support, and kindness.

This project was created by local resident and photographer, Brooke Bartletta -- who was inspired by French artist JR's global initiative Inside Out Project, a platform that helps communities around the world to stand up for what they believe in and spark global change locally.

Although born in the United States, Bartletta -- a 20-year Hingham resident -- calls herself "a third culture kid who spent a large chunk of my childhood overseas."

Although she has been taking photographs most of her life, she began in earnest about 16 years ago with child and family portraits that eventually led to fine art and documentary work.

"I have met so many incredible people via #WeAreHingham," Bartletta said. "I have had the privilege of having some open, honest, and sometimes heartbreaking conversations. Each time, I was left feeling closer and closer to our community.  My hope is that this project will encourage others to have similar conversations and to be open to the possibilities that come next."

In addition to sparking dialogue and fostering unity, her intention is "for everyone [in Hingham] to feel seen, heard, and celebrated. We all have something valuable to contribute to the rich fabric of our community."

Bartletta shared some of her favorite things about Hingham. "I was first drawn to the sheer beauty of the town and its natural vistas. We are so fortunate to have access to the beach, parks, farms, etc. and yet be so close to the city," she said.  "I love that we care deeply about each other even when we disagree. (I will never take our Town Meetings for granted.) When the world shut down, Hinghamites rose to the challenge by caring for one another and expressing gratitude to essential workers and first responders. Our local businesses are a testament to this support as well. Hinghamites have a lot of love to give, and I love that!"

Hingham resident Linda Sturtevant views the We Are Hingham banner in Downtown Hingham.

#WeAreHingham would not be possible without the support of many local businesses and organizations who have stepped up as sponsors --  including Assembly Showroom, Derby Street Shops, Clandestine Kitchen, Hingham Unity Council,  Hingham Historical Society, Hingham Institution for Savings,  Intrinsic Provisions, J|A Living, Krigsman Yoga, Lisa Corrado Design, Salty Days Fish Co., South Shore Conservatory, Untold Brewing, Weston Graphics, White Magdelena House, and The Hingham Anchor.

In addition to their support, Bartletta credited her teachers, "incredible documentary photographers Mary Beth Meehan and Ruddy Roye, and her Social Documentary Network classmates "who were there from the beginning" of this project.

"Without that class -- "Breaking and Remaking" -- this project would not have been born," she said.

A #WeAreHingham banner will be located behind the Heritage Museum at 34 Main St. during Saturday's "Springham" event from 2 to 7 p.m. This celebration is hosted by the Historical Society and the Hingham Downtown Association. There is no charge to participate.

#WeAreHingham is partnering with the Hingham Unity Council to host a free community dialogue on Sunday, May 22, at 2 p.m. at South Shore Conservatory. All who live, work, study and/or worship in Hingham are welcome to join the conversation and share their thoughts about, and experiences in, the Hingham community and their hopes for the future.

Participants will break into small, moderated groups for an open dialogue about their individual and collective experiences, sharing thoughts on topics such as why they chose to live here and their aspirations for the community.

Light bites from Clandestine Kitchen and beer from Untold Brewing will be available for purchase following the discussion. Both businesses will donate 25 percent of their proceeds from the event.

Liora Norwich, Executive Director of the Network for Social Justice, is planning and facilitating this conversation.

Registration is appreciated, but not required.  Click here to register:  https://hinghamunity.org/event/we-are-hingham/. "Two banners and a total of 42 community members will be on view," according to Bartletta. "These events came together organically through conversations with participants and sponsors."

Bartletta expressed appreciation to the HUC for hosting the Sunday gathering, the Historical Society for displaying the banners, Lisa Corrado Design for her assistance with the graphic design details, and "every single participant and sponsor." All ages are welcome.

For more information on the #WeAreHingham visual project and how to still participate by having your portrait included,  visit www.wearehingham.com.

Organizations that would like to be involved and/or host a banner can reach out to BrookeBartletta@gmail.com. Her work can be seen at www.BrookeBartletta.com.

"This is an ongoing project, and I welcome future collaborations with businesses and organizations," she said. "I am also very interested in seeing this grow beyond Hingham."

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