Film Distribution and Archive of This Was Our Year: COVID-19 Pandemic Stories from Hampden County

“Coronavirus Virtual Stories is a grassroots project that is a local response to the unprecedented and overwhelming societal effects of COVID-19. Our youth-adult team designed, filmed and edited a 65-minute film called This Was Our Year – COVID-19 Pandemic Stories from Hampden County. The goal was to hear firsthand from young people and adults – particularly from people of color and those from lower-income households – about how this pandemic has shaped and impacted lives in our area. Now we want their voices and stories to contribute to the fabric of our local history and how it is remembered. By making these stories accessible in a number of libraries throughout Western Mass, these pandemic narratives will become part of institutional memory.

With this new grant from the Markham Nathan Fund, we will make sure that our film is archived and made available to millions across the state as it becomes part of the permanent collection at a number of regional libraries. This grant will help cover labor costs of designing and printing DVDs and shipping them to local libraries. This grant will also cover labor to contact and communicate with local libraries about receiving copies of the film. This will include Holyoke and Springfield Public Libraries, as well as a number of local college libraries. In addition to carrying DVDs, we will request that libraries carry our film with a digital streaming option. Lastly, this grant will also fund a screening event at the Springfield City Library this summer. Visit to see a 1-minute trailer, & to watch the full film.” Ali