When the Hidden City Festival temporarily reopened the long-abandoned Germantown Town Hall, Germantown Artist Roundtable organizer Paula Paul saw an opportunity to honor locals who represent “the bones and sinew that hold this community together.”
That idea quickly led to the launch of the “Photographing Germantown’s Human Assets: Our Community Groups” project, which is an effort to document the diverse civic and volunteer clubs working to improve the neighborhood.
Group photos will be taken inside the Town Hall, where they will also be displayed until the festival’s end on June 30.
Paul said she invited up to 25 groups to participate.
She encouraged interested Germantown groups to schedule a photo session by Sunday at the Town Hall, which is open from noon till 7 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.
A few Germantown Artist Roundtable photographers agreed to volunteer their time and efforts for the project which Paul deemed an important way for groups to develop public identities since many do not have a group photo for their website or press materials.
More than sweat equity
According to Paul, it’s not just local sweat equity that make these groups “a tremendous force for the good.” It’s “vision, it’s perseverance, it’s dedication, it’s initiative,” she said.
“I know we have the parks, and I know we have Historical Germantown, but the people are supreme,” maintained Paul. “Germantown has great people.”
If sufficient funds could be raised, the finished photos — printed and framed — could form a rotating exhibition at other Germantown locations after the close of the Hidden City Festival, she added.
The groups involved
So far, participating groups include the Germantown United Community Development Center, Awbury Neighbors, the Germantown Boys Soccer Club and the Board of Citizens for Health Center Number 9, which Paula said has been an advocate and liaison for Health Center patients for 20 years.
To kick off the project, GUCDC board president Andy Trackman and 11 board and committee members posed for Roundtable photographer Gary Reed in the Town Hall rotunda.
“Germantown Town Hall is so symbolic, and there’s a lot of meaning in it for the neighborhood,” Trackman said of why it’s a particularly appropriate group-shot setting. “We want to be a part of the history, but also part of the future.”
Germantown groups interested in having a free membership photo taken at Town Hall before Sunday should contact Paula Paul of the Germantown Artists Roundtable at (267) 253-7849.