As Greenwich House Prepares to turn 115, a Filmmaker Begins to Explore What Makes the Organization Survive and Thrive

Greenwich House will celebrate its 115th anniversary in 2017, an award winning documentary filmmaker will be capturing stories from members who make up this century old dynamic and inclusive community.

Greenwich House was founded on Thanksgiving Day 1902 in the settlement house tradition. Its early program’s largely helped recent immigrants adapt to life in a new city and a new country. However, over time as the neighborhood has changed, so too has Greenwich House. Today, Greenwich House serves 15,000 New Yorkers a year through its arts education, senior service and behavioral health programs.

Emmy-award winning editor Peter Odabashian will focus his documentary On the Square specifically around Greenwich House members at their Center on the Square Senior Center where for up to six months he will be capturing seniors as the daily interactions of Center members as they learn, share meals, make friends and engage in visual and performing arts with each other.

Odabashian is an accomplished filmmaker, having helped craft close to 40 different movies including Reds, Carlito’s Way and People Like Us. His film Getting Back to Normal was an official selection of SXSW and featured on the PBS series POV.   

Odabashian considers himself an “old-fashioned documentary filmmaker”. He approaches his work without a preconceived notion of what each film will say, its message or takeaway. He strives to shoot his work in intimate and personal manner that allows him to connect with his subjects and accurately capture their stories and emotions. His typically operates as a single person crew, no lights and minimal sound equipment, to be as unobtrusive as possible.

At Center on the Square, Odabashian said he expects “the film will address aging, friendship, love, loneliness, self-expression, depression and happiness the circulates through the senior center’s members’ lives.” He is also interested in how the staff and volunteers of Greenwich House help hundreds of seniors who come through its doors each day have a better, more fulfilling life.

“I have the sense that everyone here, from the seniors to the staff, feels a part of something bigger than themselves. I want to capture the small, everyday interactions of everyone at Center on the Square - how they look out for each other and care about each other,” he continued.

On the Square is set to be released in the second half of 2017. 

About Greenwich House

Greenwich House is a registered 501 c(3) organization and a member of the United Neighborhood Houses of New York. If you are interested in learning more about the network of settlement houses and the work they do, click here

Greenwich House is proud to be a Better Business Bureau accredited charity.

Greenwich House is proud to be a Gold-level GuideStar Exchange participant, demonstrating our commitment to transparency.

Greenwich House is a proud member of FPWA. 

Greenwich House is a proud member of Behavioral Health Agencies.  

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Greenwich House
27 Barrow Street
New York, NY 10014