Lori Ersolmaz, below, and her new video on the place of the Fair Haven Fire Department in the community it serves. (Click to enlarge)


For filmmaker Lori Ersolmaz, it’s all about civic engagement.

Through a growing series of short videos clustered online under the umbrella of Engaging People, Ersolmaz is on a mission to spotlight individuals and groups who volunteer to make the world a better place.

Case in point: the above video, which views the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair – underway now through Saturday – in the rich context of volunteerism and tradition.

The fair video, with footage shot in 2012, is one of several that “tell stories about how model citizens respond, in different ways,” to meeting needs in their communities, Ersolmaz, told redbankgreen over coffee at Booskerdoo, just a few blocks away from the firehouse where the fair is held each year.

Other videos in the series include a look at a team of disaster-relief volunteers and a profile of a woman who has spent nearly 50 years working for civil rights, particularly for people behind bars.

“All my work is based on research about civic engagement,” Ersolmaz said. “I look for what people add to civic engagement in their communities.”

The aim, she said, is to inspire others, by spotlighting individuals who demonstrate that in merging their passions with energy, that they can “make an impact.”

Additional videos from Ersolmaz’ company, Voices of Hope Productions, can be found at its website.