Smoke Signals initiates program to celebrate downtown

Emma Taylor, Managing Editor

When living next to a larger city, the small-town ambience sometimes becomes undesirable.

The yearn for bigger and better things consumes people, while a fantastic downtown has everything they need but with a homey feel.

The revamping of our downtown has been the city’s mission for a while now.

Two Smoke Signals Media students, Hannah Curreri and Caroline Cuccinelli, are part of a project initiated by the student media program to celebrate our downtown.

Smoke Signals Salutes is a video series highlighting local businesses and organizations in downtown Winchester.

“We have been going to all of these places downtown, talking with the owners and managers and getting to know their stories,” Cuccinelli said. “Each is so unique and we hope to capture that in our videos.”

Because of their work on the project, Curreri and Cuccinelli were asked to be a part of the Main Street Winchester Image Committee.

The committee is made up of several members around the community – graphic designers, The Winchester Sun managing editor, an Ale-8 executive, and other leaders. Their ideas have broadened the scope of what this video series could do for the community.

“We strive to enlighten everyone in Winchester, especially GRC students, of the amazing businesses and non-profits here in our own town,” Curreri said. “We want students to know that Winchester is full of cool places to shop and visit, and it’s important to give back to our own community.”

Many students may not be aware of all the downtown opportunities, so the Salutes are one step in the right direction to help increase awareness.

“When Mrs. Crosby contacted us to share Hannah and Caroline’s project, we were thrilled,” said Rachel Alexander, director of Winchester First. “Main Street Winchester had been hoping to find a way to partner with the high school, and we were particularly interested in social media projects. It was perfect.”

Alexander went on to say that Curreri and Cuccinelli “have already proven to be a valuable asset for the committee and provide great insight.”

Having the collaboration between the Main Street Committee and the high school can help prevent the downtown from being overlooked.

Next time you want to go shopping or want something to do on a Friday night, you don’t have to look far; just look downtown.