Historic Newton is working to ease anxiety and bring Newtonites together with a new project called Newton Connects. It will be sharing submitted photos and written entries via Instagram and Facebook about residents’ thoughts, experiences, and emotions surrounding COVID-19.
“I wanted to provide a platform where residents or folks in the community could share and process their experiences during the COVID-19 shutdown, and then also feel a connection to their neighbors,” said Kelsey Merriam, the organizer of Newton Connects and the education manager for Historic Newton.
Historic Newton operates two museums in Newton and maintains an archive of historical documents related to the history of Newton. It began accepting submissions via email on March 18. One of these submissions will be shared at least once a week, and submissions will possibly be shared more frequently based on the number received. Historic Newton will also be archiving all of the submissions that it receives for future reference.
“I think everyone is feeling a little isolated right now and a little nervous,” Merriam said. “And so I’m hoping that it will help Newton residents to feel more connected to one another, and also to take a moment and think about their experiences and what they might share with their neighbors.”
Merriam said that these submissions will help to document how the city of Newton reacted to and dealt with the coronavirus.
“I think, you know, in talking with my co-workers and seeing some of the initial submissions, people are feeling a lot of different things throughout the course of even one day. Perhaps feeling anxious, feeling isolated or lonely,” Merriam said. “But also, I also hear a lot of people realizing that this is a moment to kind of slow down and be in the moment and be with their family.”
Merriam said the ages of those making submissions have ranged from an elementary school student to seniors.
Merriam said Historic Newton wants to continue this series through the COVID-19 shutdown. Afterward, the submissions will be available to the public at Historic Newton’s location at the Jackson Homestead and Museum as well as online.
Featured Image Courtesy of Kenneth C. Zirkel/Wikimedia Commons