welcome to western mass junction
your connection to the western mass experience
entertainment in isolation
For the first time ever there’s nothing to do in Western Mass. Well, at least not in public. Plenty of Western Mass creatives and businesses are bringing entertainment to you. Many of these will require a facebook or instagram account but some are open to anyone.
Plenty of local musicians are bringing tunes to you during the shutdown. Some are doing it weekly, some daily, some more sporadically and schedules are always changing.
Check out some music releases from local bands. Maybe even shell out a few bucks for a download if you can afford to.
Amherst Cinema may be closed but you can still support them by renting movies through their “Virtual Cinema.” You can find more details on their website.
Watch some movies shot in Western Mass. They aren’t all exactly classic movies but maybe you’ll recognize some locations or extras.
Speaking of movies if you haven’t seen “The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then Bigfoot” yet check it out on Hulu and then see some behind the scenes photos from the filming
community in quarantine
We can still stay connected even while being socially distant. Some businesses and institutions have found fun ways to engage with the community online.
We may be socially distant but you can still keep up with your favorite businesses and institutions on social media. These are just a few accounts that have been
Join me over on instagram for Where In Western Mass Wednesdays. I post a photo from somewhere in Western Mass and see who can guess where it is. I kind of keep score and had been planning to give a prize eventually but I have no idea what it will be.
I built a website around a collection of letters my grandma saved while working at Montgomery Ward in the 1930s. The content isn’t Western Mass related but I’m from Western Mass and this is my damn website so I’m going to self promote. Some of the letters are free but most require a subscription. If enough people subscribe to this I will be able to keep Western Mass Junction up and running.
shop local online
Most businesses have been deemed non-essential but supporting them is still very much essential. Many stores have set up ecommerce stores and will ship or deliver items to you.
Check back later for a searchable guide for what local businesses are offering. In the meantime here’s a list of resources that are already active.
an update about
western mass junction
I’ve been running this site for about 2 years. I’ve self funded it using what I could scrape together from crappy day jobs and eventually the money left when my parents passed away.
I did so with an eventual monetization strategy of incorporating ads, sponsorships and paid tools for small businesses.
Then this stupid pandemic hit. There are no events to promote which is the major draw of the site. And of course local businesses are more worried about staying afloat than new forms of marketing.
So, I need to direct my attention towards other things that may actually help pay my bills.
I will keep the site online in some capacity but won’t be updating it very often.
I would love to keep the site going more actively but I can’t do it for free anymore.
Any path forward will require some combination of outside investment, advertising and a membership structure for businesses. Please feel to contact me if any of that sounds interesting to you.
For the hell of it here are the things I was planning to do when I was able to raise some money.
- Online Marketplace for local businesses, makers and artists. Monthly subscription paid through commission with lower commission rate after that. Cheaper and easier than running your own store and benefiting from group promotion.
- Video content about Western Mass businesses, makers, artists focused on their specific Western Mass Experience
- Serial written content about various Western Mass topics including nature, history, art, etc
- A history of the local music scene in the form of a searchable, sortable database
- Guides to the work of local authors
- A searchable, sortable database of local artists and designers. Especially those available for commissions or for hire work.
- A collection of images of Western Mass from local photographers that could be licensed.
And so much more.
Maybe someday some or all of that will happen but at this point I don’t know how I can afford to do any of it.
If you do feel like supporting this site indirectly and have some laughs you can subscribe to my site Dear Mister Ward. On that site I share letters from a collection of complaint letters saved my Grandma when she worked at Montgomery Ward in the 1930s. The content is not Western Mass related but is pretty universal and fun.