Local franchisor helping to make national TV show possible

Oasis Senior Advisors celebrates the bond between seniors and their families. That’s why the Bonita Springs-based franchisor is proud to underwrite the production of Family Pictures USA, a television series and transmedia project that will air in the spring of 2019 on WGCU-TV and nationally on the World channel.

Family Pictures USA blends the personal narrative style of the popular PBS series StoryCorps with the surprising discoveries that made Antiques Roadshow a hit show on public television. The production crew traveled to Southwest Florida, Detroit and North Carolina to film families as they sorted through old photos and gained fascinating insight about their heritage.

“Every day, our advisors see the strength of the emotional connection between seniors, their families and their past,” Oasis Senior Advisors CEO Tim Evankovich said. “Family Pictures USA underscores that connection and shows how it links families with their communities and the nation as a whole. We’re thrilled to be a part of this amazing show.”

The show is an offshoot of Digital Diaspora Family Reunion, a touring program that brings people together to encourage them to engage with their own family photographic archives in galvanizing ways.

Digital Diaspora has held live events in cities across the USA and around the world for the past 10 years, amassing interviews of more than 2,500 people and gathering in excess of 30,000 images. It also gave rise to the 2014 documentary film “Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People.”

“The Senegalese poet Leopold Senghor said, ‘The photograph is the shortest distance between one person’s eyes and another person’s heart,’ and that’s what this is all about,” Family Pictures USA Executive Producer Don Perry said. “This project is really about engaging in an intergenerational dialogue.”

Perry and Family Pictures host and creator Thomas Allen Harris came to Southwest Florida this fall and held two photo sharing events where families brought in their old pictures, many of which became the basis for the storytelling that takes place on the show.

One of the segments features Independent Miccosukee native Larry Osceola and family going through their albums, an experience that piqued the interest of the family’s children in surprising ways.

“The kids were like, ‘We should do this more often.’ They thanked us. They had such a ball doing it that they want to make it a regular thing,” Perry said.

Part of the idea behind the show is to reintroduce families to a way of exploring their own history that strengthens ties with older members of the family.

“We love that Oasis is a sponsor, working to connect us with human beings who provide vital connections to our past,” Perry said. “Elderly folks are often looked on as a problem at a certain point. In a culture that undervalues age, we don’t want to be reminded of our mortality. But we need to look instead at their vitality and their engagement.”

Oasis Senior Advisors is dedicated to helping seniors live better lives by providing a no-cost service that guides them to the right place for their care. The company undertakes numerous initiatives that help raise awareness of issues that affect seniors, such as the Virtual Dementia Tour, which affords caregivers, health care workers and family members a better understanding of the disease.

Visit oasissenioradvisors.com to see all the ways Oasis Senior Advisors help seniors and their families.