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Town of Normal News

Posted on: January 10, 2022

Call for submission: items to be sealed in pandemic time capsule

An image of a logo for The 20-Year Project, a time capsule effort.

Community asked to share perspectives to educate future generations

Community organizations partnered to create a town-wide time capsule to provide future generations with a snapshot of life during the pandemic in the Town of Normal and the greater Bloomington-Normal community.

The 20-Year Project, the brainchild of local University High School student Sirihaasa Nallamothu, seeks submissions of pictures, keepsakes, art, reflective essays, letters, news items, oral histories and more to publicly seal in a time capsule on Feb. 26, 2022. The time capsule will be stored at Town of Normal facilities with plans to open it in 2042. 

“We are interested in preserving stories from the pandemic, particularly the impacts felt in our local community,” says Nallamothu. “The pandemic has impacted people across the world; we want to capture experiences from Central Illinois so they will not be forgotten.

“Our collective local history is important,” she adds. “We want to record community voices and stories, as well as collect tangible items representing this unprecedented time.”

The Town of Normal Parks and Recreation Department, the Normal Public Library and The 20-Year Project collaborated on the effort with a goal of providing people in the future with education and information about the impacts of COVID-19 on the community. 

“The Town of Normal is honored to participate in this effort to preserve local history,” says Mayor Chris Koos. “Much has already been and will be recorded about the global and national impacts of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. We cannot forget the local impact. I urge students and residents to participate by sharing stories, memorabilia and items to educate others about how COVID-19 impacted our community.”

SuQr code</p><p>Description automatically generatedbmit items for time capsule by Feb. 23

Those interested in providing tangible items to be included in the time capsule need to complete the Google form at:  Items for submission can be dropped off at the Normal Public Library, 206 W. College Ave, through Feb. 23.

Qr code</p><p>Description automatically generatedRecord oral histories by Feb. 23

Those interested in sharing audio recordings of their thoughts, feelings and perspectives during the pandemic can record oral histories at the Normal Public Library. All ages are welcome to share stories and scheduling is flexible. Complete the Google form at: 


Attend community event to seal time capsule

The event to seal the time capsule is free to attend and will be held from 5 to 6:45 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Town of Normal Community Activity Center, 1110 Douglas Street, Normal. Attendees will experience a historic event while connecting with community. The event will include refreshments, reflective circles, speakers and arts and crafts. 

 About the 20-Year Project

For more information about the 20-Year Project, contact

 University High School student Sirihaasa Nallamothu created The 20-Year Project as a means of commemorating the pandemic’s impact on the local community. To bring the effort to fruition, 

Nallamothu submitted applications for numerous grants to fund the time capsule initiative, securing $800 for the project.

 Nallamothu also sought partnerships with the Town of Normal and the Normal Public Library to ensure a means of safely storing the time capsule and creating a reminder for it to be opened in 2042. The effort also includes participation of various student groups and organizations from both University High School (UHigh) and Unit 5 High Schools in Normal who donated time and/or resources.

 Funding partners and in-kind assistance

Additional donations and sponsorships are still being sought. Those interested in sponsoring or donating money to The 20-Year Project can send email to Sponsoring businesses are welcome to set up an informational booth at the Feb. 26 event.

 Following is a list of organizations providing resources for the effort: 

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