The concept for Big Front Porch Productions was born over 20 years ago after I read an article entitled, “Porch Sitting As A Creative Southern Tradition,” written by Trudier Harris and published in the Journal of Southern Cultures in 1996. The article, an enlightening examination of the personal and societal role of the front porch in Southern culture, reminded me how important it is, particularly in this day and age, to have a place where civility, conversation, and community can be encouraged to take place at a more leisurely pace than our frantic world often demands. The physical porch, having nearly disappeared with the advent of air conditioning and television, seems to be making a comeback in today’s southern house plans, and I believe that’s a good thing.
“I like to think, though…and I admit that this is pure unadulterated romanticism…that there are pockets of communities in the South where porch-sitting has survived whole, as Alice Walker would say. Where during the day as well as in the evening, people can engage themselves and their neighbors in the exchanges that reflect a way of life, a relational way of being, one that ties people to their families and their neighbors as well as to passersby. Where to ‘sit according to your family’ is as much a cultural and creative imperative as a behavioral one. Where interaction is the norm.”
“Where during the day as well as in the evening, people can engage themselves and their neighbors in the exchanges that reflect a way of life, a relational way of being, one that ties people to their families and their neighbors as well as to passersby.”
“More important, perhaps, than the glimpse, figurative or literal, inside the house is the window the porch provides on the world.”
Porch Sitting As A Creative Southern Tradition. Southern Cultures Volume 2, Number 3/4, pp. 441-460.)