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Queens Memory Presents "The COVID-19 Project: Navigating a Pandemic," A Two-Part Documentary Portraying Life in Queens During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The Series will Stream on the Queens Memory Facebook Page and Air on QPTV

Queens, NY (July 22, 2020)—Queens Memory—a community archiving program supported by Queens Public Library and the Queens College Library—is pleased to present “The COVID-19 Project: Navigating a Pandemic,” a two-part documentary showcasing a mosaic of personal stories, audio and video recordings as well as photos, depicting what it has been like to live and work in Queens during a pandemic.

The stories and images featured in the documentary have been collected as part of the COVID-19 Project, an initiative seeking to reconstruct the state of mind of Queens residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, making a lasting record of how people have been living, working, learning, and helping one another during this tumultuous time.

The documentary paints a picture of Queens gripped by pain and uncertainty amid a constant wail of sirens filling the empty streets. It also shows residents drawing strength from their close-knit communities and being hopeful as they unite in the cheer to applaud first responders every night.

Drawing from hundreds of submissions to create this documentary, General Librarian Jo-Ann Wong saw this as “an opportunity to showcase many of the moving and important stories that are a part of this growing collection.”

The first episode, portraying life in the borough when it was the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus, will stream live on the Queens Memory Facebook page on Sunday, July 26 at 1 pm.

Among many voices, viewers will hear from a man who lives six blocks away from Elmhurst Hospital, especially hard-hit by the coronavirus, a nurse coping with the overwhelming stress of her work, and a retiree working for a food pantry seeing a dramatic uptick of people needing assistance.

Part two, scheduled to stream on Tuesday, August 25 at 7 pm, will feature voices of teachers and students facing the challenges of remote learning, show how the pandemic intersects with Black Lives Matter protests, and reflect on what people are most hopeful for as their borough slowly heals and recovers.

The segments will air at the same time on QPTV and will later be available on Queens Memory’s Aviary page.

“The role of the Queens Memory Project is to bear witness to the lives of Queens residents and to preserve a record of their experiences and contributions for future generations,” said Natalie Milbrodt, QPL’s Coordinator of Metadata Services and the founding Director of the Queens Memory Project. “It is also about reaching audiences now to tell the stories of people who might otherwise not have a voice outside of their own communities. We have an opportunity to bring a broader awareness of the challenges and resilience we witness every day in Queens.”

The Queens Memory COVID-19 Project continues to collect stories, which can be contributed in a variety of formats, including phoned-in audio testimonies using a toll-free number (855-QNS-LOVE), photo and written submissions through the Urban Archive platform, and long-form remote interviews conducted by Queens Memory staff and volunteers.

The Urban Archive platform, where stories, photos and other materials are posted, currently features approximately 350 submissions.

“The COVID-19 Project: Navigating a Pandemic” on QPTV:

Part 1, 28 min - Sunday, July 26 at 1 pm and Tuesday, August 4 at 7 pm and 7:30 pm, Spectrum Channels 34/1995, RCN Channel 82, and Verizon Channel 34; Sunday, July 26 at 10 pm, Tuesday, August 4 at 10 am and 10:30 am, and Saturday, August 8 at 10 am and 10:30 am, Spectrum Channel 1997, RCN Channel 85, and Verizon Channel 37.

Part 2, 58 min - Tuesday, August 25 at 10 am, Spectrum Channel 1997, RCN Channel 85, and Verizon Channel 37; Tuesday, August 25 at 7 pm, Spectrum Channels 34/1995, RCN Channel 82, and Verizon Channel 34.

Contact:  Queens Public Library—Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska