As new members of our Chatham County community, Chatham Park is powering our Go See This series this year because art is an integral part of Chatham County’s identity. They join us in inviting you to Go See This . . .
As summer rolls on, we are pleased to see more and more events come onto the calendar to help us connect as a community. If you’re looking for fun and kid-friendly activities to do this summer, look no further than the Chatham 250 celebrations, including an agricultural photo contest!
After the success of Chatham 250’s kick-off event, Founding Day, the Chatham 250 committee is now focused on helping the community engage with the Chatham 250 Passport Experience, as well as several upcoming events. As Chatham 250 Project Manager Hilary Pollan notes, “We’ve had a wonderful response to Chatham 250 events from the community thus far. We estimate that more than 400 people attended Founding Day in April, the Chatham 250 kick-off event, and nearly 300 people have registered for the Chatham 250 Passport Experience. More and more people are starting to reach out with questions about Chatham 250, and how their organizations, businesses and community can be involved. I’m hopeful that’s a sign that interest in the Chatham 250 celebrations is beginning to ripple throughout Chatham County’s communities.”
Explore Chatham through the Chatham 250 Passports
Each of the five Chatham 250 Passports — Creative Arts, Growth and Change, Community and Diversity, Agriculture and Natural Environment — offer nearly 20 safe, accessible, and fun activities designed to help you explore Chatham County in honor of the 250th anniversary. For example, if you’re looking for activities related to the arts, you could check two items off of your Creative Arts-themed passport list by visiting a Chatham County pottery studio and going to see some live music, such as a Friday night concert at the Bynum Front Porch. The Passport idea allows community members to explore places and events safely and at their own pace. As Hilary notes, “The idea for the Chatham 250 Passport Experience emerged early on in our planning when there was still a great deal of uncertainty about the pandemic. The passport idea presented a safe way for people to celebrate all the great parts of Chatham. Each activity is designed with flexibility in mind; they can be done individually or in small groups, virtually or outdoors, and/or with low to no contact. It also provides us with the flexibility to respond to the changes with the pandemic as we’ve had more information, allowing us to start offering some in-person events.”
Submit a photo to the Chatham 250 Agricultural Photo Contest
If you have an interest in photography, there’s a very special Chatham 250 event just for you! The Chatham 250 Agricultural Photo Contest is a fabulous opportunity to connect two things Chatham County is known for–Arts and Agriculture–while learning about our amazing farms and farm history in Chatham County. Contestants will need to upload one photo of their choosing and submit insight into why they chose their photo, in 200 words or less, by August 1. The jury is looking for photos that highlight agriculture in Chatham County, including agricultural landscapes, crops, livestock, farm activities like planting and harvesting, farm equipment, farm workers, and farmers’ markets. Agricultural enterprises could include produce, flowers, livestock, field crops, beekeeping, forestry, and anything else related to agriculture.
According to Kaley Lawing, a 4-H agent with the Chatham County Cooperative Extension who is coordinating the photo contest along with Debbie Roos and Chris Elkin, the jury is hoping to receive a wide variety of images. As Kaley explains, “We are looking for photos that highlight the culture and importance of agriculture within Chatham County. We are hoping to see an array of photos that showcase the diversity of agriculture and that highlight the passion and dedication of farmers and growers in Chatham.” The 200-word written piece is also an important part of the submission as it gives the jury context around the photo. “The written section is important because we are hoping to provoke thought in the minds of community members,” says Kaley. “What makes this image meaningful to the individual photographer? We are inviting the photographers to take a moment to reflect on the importance of agriculture to themselves and how it impacts their lives.”
The Chatham 250 team is hoping that community members who choose to take part in the events come away feeling more deeply connected to Chatham County. As Hilary notes, “Sally Gregoire, the Pittsboro artist who designed the Chatham 250 logo, beautifully described that she chose to create a postage stamp for the logo because ‘communication links a community.’ The Chatham 250 core planning committee saw our aspirations for the anniversary celebrations deeply reflected in her description of this image. Chatham 250’s hope is that through the events and activities, specifically the Chatham 250 Passport Experience, that Chatham County residents engage in conversations and experiences that link us together in new and different ways, to build an understanding that our differences are what actually makes our character unique and strong. Also, put simply, we hope people have fun! This is a celebration after all.”
So sign up for the Passport Experience, start checking off your lists, and start taking some photos of Chatham’s beautiful agriculture!
- What: Chatham 250 events
- Where: Various locations across Chatham County
- When: Passport activities are self-paced; the photo contest deadline is August 1
- Cost: Free!