Fostering community one photo at a time.


In a world that too often feels socially disconnected and politically divided, photography has become a tool for bringing diverse groups of people together and fostering a sense of unity. Inspired by French artist JR’s global Inside Out Project, Hingham photographer Brooke Bartletta set out to showcase the spectrum of different kinds of people who live, work, study or worship in the Hingham community.

Specializing in fine art and documentary-style photography, Bartletta launched the #WeAreHingham project in early 2022. Over the course of the previous year, she photographed and collected submissions of dynamic black-and-white portraits of more than 85 individuals, spanning ages, races, religions, sexual orientations and political affiliations.

“We have a rich fabric of people who make up our community,” says Bartletta.

“I really wanted to show that we all matter and everyone deserves to be seen, supported and celebrated.”

Bartletta transformed the photographs into a series of eyecatching posters and partnered with the Hingham Unity Council to host a free community dialogue in May. The photographs were also posted on Bartletta’s website along with five words that each person used to describe themself. Bartletta hopes to expand the #WeAreHingham project in the future, helping more people feel seen, heard and celebrated and inspiring local residents to get out and meet their neighbors. She is currently planning a #WeAreHingham event
for the fall. For more information, visit wearehingham.com.

Family Music Time

Hingham educator brings interactive musical play to children and their families


Two mornings a week at the Hingham Community Center, it’s Family Music Time! Babies and toddlers reach into their own little bag of instruments and props to pull out egg shakers, rhythm sticks, handheld bells, and colorful scarves and ribbons in preparation for each new song.

Longtime music educator Jana Kahn, who previously taught at South Shore Conservatory in Hingham, leads her classes through rousing renditions of family favorites and traditional tunes, such as “Old MacDonald” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” The little ones jump to their feet for the “Hokey Pokey,” enthusiastically thrusting their arms to and fro, and shaking them all about.

“We play a lot of traditional and familiar songs that the parents already know, and they’ll sing along with the children, which helps them learn and makes it fun for everyone,” says Kahn, also a Hingham resident.

All of the Family Music Time songs and activities are interactive, designed to encourage participation and creative play among infants and toddlers, ages 0 to 5. During “Old MacDonald,” the children imitate the movements and “moo” sounds of a cow and, in turn, flap their bent arms and quack like ducklings. The tapping, rattling and jingling of the percussion instruments echo throughout the spacious community room, which provides ample room to spread out and dance around.

“When they’re introduced at a young age, it lays the foundation for music in their lives,” Kahn observes.

“It’s uplifting being around music and my hope is that the experience that begins here continues at home.”

She believes strongly in the notion of allowing children to express themselves freely through singing, dancing, and any other movement that music inspires in them—whether that means simply sitting and clapping their hands or jumping up and down and playing with every instrument in their bags at the same

“I start with the foundation that all children are musical and music is for everyone.”

Kahn initially launched Family Music Time in response to the pandemic, offering online and outdoor classes to families seeking creative outlets for their children. She continues to teach private family and small-group classes, as well as sessions at the Hingham and Cohasset Community Centers and special events at Weir River Farm.


Japanese Language Enrichment


Written by JENNIFER H. MCINERNEY Photography by KATE ROGAN

At first glance, the students gathered in front of the blackboard at the Hingham Community Center may look like any other class—but listen closely and you’ll discover that they’re greeting each other not in English, but in Japanese. The six classmates address each other with the suffix “san,” a title of respect—such as Emma-san, Christian-san—and practice asking, “How are you?” Each student responds from a list of vocabulary words reflecting their moods, including translations of happy, sad, sleepy, and full of energy.

Welcome—or irasshaimase—to the Hingham Japanese School, the only program of its kind on the South Shore, taught by Melissa Takenoshita, an educator and Japanophile who moved to Hingham nine years ago. Each week, over a ten-week session, Takenoshita leads students in grades
five through nine on a journey through Japanese language,
culture and customs right here in their own community.

“They all come with eagerness and excitement,” she says of her students. “I hope to keep that spirit alive in the class. Japanese is one of my favorite things of all and I just want to share it.”

Takenoshita traces her lifelong love of Japanese language and culture to her childhood, while spending time with the family of her best friend, who is half-Japanese. In college, she enrolled in Japanese language classes and had the opportunity to study abroad at International Christion University in Tokyo. During that brief period, Takenoshita’s immersion in Tokyo quickly gave her the confidence to engage in conversations with her Japanese dorm-mates, ask for directions at train stations, shop in grocery stores, and order
meals at restaurants.

Immediately following graduation from the University of California at Santa Cruz, she returned to Japan as part of the JET Programme, sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education, to teach English in public junior high schools. As part of the program, she took advanced Japanese classes as well as a course in teaching Japanese. Takenoshita then spent a decade working in Tokyo as a corporate communications
translator. She also met and married her husband, an Osaka native.

Now, at Hingham Japanese School, Takenoshita strives to instill in her students a level of confidence that
will help them pursue an appreciation and mastery of the language. Her teaching approach includes short
conversational dialogues, “touching on all the grammatical points in the speech, practicing and then reciting
the grammar in a personal way,” and learning the basic components of the writing system: hiragana and katakana. She also introduces her students to the customs and rituals that are the keystones of Japanese culture to “help bring the language to life.”

Each week, Takenoshita builds on the previous week’s lesson, using repetition
to strengthen fluency. While she doesn’t assign homework (given the students’ full academic schedules outside of her class), she does provide worksheets for practice and strongly encourages writing
the kana, which loosely equates to an alphabet, at home.

For additional information about the Hingham Japanese School, please visit hinghamcommunitycenter.org/pages/ programs.education.


Hometown Close-Up

Photography by JACK FOLEY

How well do you know Hingham? We sent photographer Jack Foley out to capture closeup snapshots of local sights around town. See if you can recognize where each image was taken. Turn the page to check your answers!


A. “A Bale of Turtles, a Croak of Frogs” sculpture by David Phillips, located at Founder’s Park at
intersection of North and South Streets.
B. Wire flower sculpture at Derby Street Shops
C. Hingham Liquors Sign
D. Bronze sculpture of St. Paul at St. Paul’s Parish by artist Susan Luery
E. Hingham Maritime Center
F. Heart on the road by Glastonbury Abbey
G. Hingham Maritime Center
H. Bare Cove Fire Museum
I. Mural behind The Snug
J. Scarlet Oak Tavern
K. Derby Pride Mural - Snap a photo and share it on social #DerbyPrideWall and Derby Street Shops will
donate a dollar per photo to Hingham Pride Project (up to $1,000).
L. A rock gifted from Hingham, England, located near the door to Hingham Memorial Bell Tower.
M. Iron gate by Old Ship Church
N. Intersection of North and South Street
O. South Shore Model Railway Club