Dreamathon: Reimagining Pandemic Life Together

Illustration of three people against a blue background: a person with long hair to the left, a person in a wheel chair in the center, and a person with a mask around their neck to the right.
Jessica “Jessie” Vergel, whose Pacific Islander identity moves her to celebrate BIPOC communities through design, created this art to promote the #DreamathonWA campaign.

As we look ahead to fall and winter, what can we learn from communities who have been at the front lines of COVID response about the role of art, culture, creativity and joy? After enduring more than 18 months of a pandemic, what does the world need now?

These questions are at the heart of an arts-centered community health campaign organized by a coalition of partners including the Library, African American Health Board, Washington Community Alliance, King County Library System, mutual aid organizers of color and community-led BIPOC groups. Called “What the World Needs Now: A Dreamathon,” or #DreamathonWA, this series is part of the Library’s ongoing focus on race and social justice.

Please join this effort to reimagine life together during the pandemic and after. The #DreamathonWA finale events — all free, virtual and public — will take place over the next two weeks. Here are a few sneak peeks:

Virtual dance party: Friday, Oct. 22, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

A colorful image with four squares of people dancing
Event art by artist Kisira Hill, a cultural and biological anthropologist, graphic designer and content creator

Dancing is a big part of the #DreamathonWA bill. Hosted by local musicians Rell B Free and CarLarans, this 18+ event is for those who may have lingering questions on how they can enjoy themselves and stay safe this fall and winter. Converge Media co-hosts and the lineup includes DJs Toe Jam and Tremenda Diosa.

RSVP and find out more at this Facebook link.


All-ages Community Celebration: Saturday, Oct. 23, 2 to 4 p.m.

Colorful illustration of people in a bustling city setting: pushing a baby carriage, shopping for produce, with masks.
More #DreamathonWA event art by Kisira Hill

Food justice, poetry, music, cooking, Black wellness, Indigenous insights and children’s well-being: They’re all on the menu at #DreamathonWA’s virtual Community Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. RSVP and find the streaming link at this Facebook event.

Roxana Pardo Garcia
Roxana Pardo Garcia. Credit: Leo Carmona

The day will showcase community-led COVID responses that increase joy, well-being and health. Hear from renowned pediatrician Dr. Ben Danielson and Black Panther Aaron Dixon, who worked with local children including the Sand Point community’s Art Club to dream up a program on community health. (Don’t miss this video of Art Club kids, lab coats on, interrogating COVID itself.)

Catch a chat with Chef Matt Lewis (of Where Ya At Matt) and activist Roxana Pardo Garcia as they share ideas for tasty, affordable meals that can brighten pandemic life.

Emerging food justice leaders with BLOOM will share about Indigenous sovereignty, Black liberation and BIPOC solidarity. Continue reading “Dreamathon: Reimagining Pandemic Life Together”

Watch and Read: Sweet Tooth

Those of us who have watched Sweet Tooth know that it’s a show that’s easy to love. The series takes place after an apocalyptic event called “The Great Crumble,” which kills off much of Earth’s human population due to a virus. Babies born in its wake develop certain animal characteristics. Gus, the main protagonist, resembles a deer. These babies are called hybrids, and they are being hunted.

The Bear by Andrew Krivak
Capturing the loving relationship between Gus and his father, this novel tells the story of a father and daughter who live in isolation surrounded by nature and animals. The father teaches his daughter how to survive for they are the last of humankind. Through fables the daughter learns all the necessary skills she needs, with the animals to keep her company, including a very important talking bear. While it has moments of melancholy, it is still a tale of hope.

Continue reading “Watch and Read: Sweet Tooth”

The Book Was Better, 2019

It is rare that a movie or TV show is better than the book it is based on. I mean, it happens, but it’s rare.  Yes, some movies live up to or complement their source material, but most of the time they don’t. For starters, let’s take 2019 – remember 2019? – back when we were still going to movie theaters? Ah, seems like ages ago, doesn’t it? Skip these 2019 movies, and read the book (or listen to the audiobook) instead:

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? Cate Blanchett! Richard Linklater! Our fair city and library as a filming location! What could go wrong? A lot, it turns out.

  • The book: “…a compelling composite of a woman’s life—and the way she’s viewed by the many people who share it. …the nuances of mundane interactions are brilliantly captured, and the overarching mystery deepens with each page, until the thoroughly satisfying dénouement.” – Publisher’s Weekly.
  • The movie: “The script is an insult to the principle of adaptation: All that is good in the plot has been excised in favor of the shortest route to a happy ending.” – The New Republic. Rotten Tomatoes: 50%.

Continue reading “The Book Was Better, 2019”

Watch & Read: Ozark

Ozark is one of those shows that is just pure madness – it snakes in on itself in perpetual chaos. No breaks, no ease, just edge of your seat shenanigans the whole time. And I can’t get enough! While we wait for the next season, here are a few items in our collection that will also have you saying, WTF?!

Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell
Bazell gives us a brutal and entertaining rollercoaster ride, punctuated with clever footnotes. His main character, Dr. Peter Brown, is working as an intern in a Manhattan hospital, and his daily encounters of blood and mayhem don’t even come close to his nightmarish past career as a hit man for the mob. Pietro “Bearclaw” Brnwna went into witness protection, changed his name, went to medical school and thought he’d left his past behind. But when patient Nicholas LoBrutto recognizes Dr. Brown, he asks him to help him beat the reaper – or the mob will be told where to find him.

The Nightworkers by Brian Selfon
It’s a family business: Uncle Shecky launders money and teaches his nephew, Henry, and niece, Kerasha, the trade. But everyone has secrets in this family, and when money goes missing, those secrets will rise to the surface. In this exceptionally good crime novel, the characters are developed beautifully and the sense of place truly shines. Just as the Ozarks are a character in that series, so here we delve into the avenues and back alleys of Brooklyn. Continue reading “Watch & Read: Ozark”


DVD cover image for Shardnado

2013 was a watershed moment for disaster films. While many folks were updating their anti-Zombie kits some of us were shopping for chain saws in case the absolute worst-case came to be – a Sharknado. This terrifying premise is exactly what it sounds like – a huge Oz-level tornado sucks up sharks (and only sharks) from the sea and throws them at large municipalities and at a few people specifically. The movies aren’t comedies per se, but play it straight with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

In the opening installment, the main character, Fin, appropriately, is on a mission to save his estranged wife and daughter during the height of this cloudburst of cartilaginous killers using the best tool at hand – a chain saw. By the end, Fin has saved his family and sawed a swath through Los Angeles’ aquatic infestation.

But wait! There’s more! Five more monsoons of man-eaters!

DVD cover image of Shardnado 2

Sharknado 2: The Second One takes us to New York where Fin’s now-safe wife April (Tara Reed) is promoting her new book about surviving a deluge of toothy torpedoes. Little do our heroes know that weather systems WILL follow you across the country when thwarted to taunt you a second time.



DVD cover image of Sharknado 3

Continue reading “Sharknado!”