Oldtown Calendar Celebrates 11 Years of Building Community

October 03, 2016

Oldtown Calendar Celebrates 11 Years of Building Community
On October 16th, the 11th annual Oldtown Photo Calendar Competition will take place at Memorial Hall, 40 Eliot Street in South Natick.  Show hours are 11 AM to 3 PM.

Over the years, the Calendar project has evolved into a community tradition. Participating photographers have been younger than 10, and over 90.  They are residents of Natick, Dover, Sherborn, Wellesley, Needham, and other towns and even other states.  Some are professional, others strictly amateur, and the cameras have varied from fancy to phone.  Close to 2000 cumulative visitors have visited the show over the years.  They come to vote - the decision of which photos win placement in the calendar is largely democratic.  They come to meet representatives of local community groups who also attend the show (Many of these groups sell the Oldtown Calendar as a fundraising tool).  They come to buy calendars and cards featuring the work of local photographers.  And they come to be part of the community and soak in the rich history of the place. The event is part of Natick Artists Open Studios weekend.

The theme has not changed - the show is all about “Oldtown” a fictional town invented by local author Harriet Beecher Stowe in her 1800’s book “Oldtown Folks”.  The area is centered on South Natick village, and for the purposes of the show, Oldtown is considered to be anywhere within a few miles of the Eliot Bridge over the Charles River, including parts of all the towns mentioned above.  That theme has opened a flood of photographic possibilities.  The Charles is, of course, a popular theme, from landscapes to wildlife.  Photos come from area farms, fields and woods.  Local people and buildings and local events share the spotlight.  While you’re at the show, the Natick Historical Society invites you to join an Oldtown Walking Tour of the Eliot Historic District. Tours will depart right from the show.  

The Oldtown Calendar Project seeks to highlight our community, the work of local photographers, and to build appreciation for the place where we live.  Fundraising is part of the mix, and over the past 11 years over $15,000 worth of calendars have been sold, in the process raising much needed funds for local nonprofit groups.  The show, and the calendar, has been featured in local and regional media. The calendar will be available at Natick nonprofit groups, including Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, the Bacon Free Library, Morse Institute Library, Natick Historical Society, the Eliot Church, as well as the Charles River Coffee House and Wellesley Books.

Building community is an ambitious goal, but this group effort is making it happen.

For more information, contact oldtowncalendar@verizon.net, or visit www.oldtowncalendar.org

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