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”

National Park Service Founders Day on August 25

This Wednesday, August 25, is National Park Service Founders Day, and while Washington doesn’t have the most (that belongs to California) we do have three amazing National Parks right at our doorstep: North Cascades National Park, Olympic National Park, and Mount Rainier National Park. The Library has a bountiful collection for all your National Park needs: art, travel guides, stories, and more! Here are a few that caught my eye!

Art & History

Maps & Travel Guides Continue reading “National Park Service Founders Day on August 25”

#BookBingoNW2021 Black Joy

A short list of good reads that can be applied to the Black Joy 2021 Book Bingo square. These are funny, romantic stories that follow Black characters whose best lives find them.

Girl Gurl Grrrl: On womanhood and belonging in the age of Black girl magic by Kenya Hunt, deputy editor of the fashion magazine Grazia UK, is an anthology of essays about her life and career, sharing the joys and trials of being a Black American in the UK. 

28-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate in Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers, having just completed her PhD in astronomy. A straight-A high achiever, she is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman she doesn’t know, until she does exactly that… Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2021 Black Joy”

#BookBingoNW2021 Small Press

Those who follow the literary world know the agglomeration of mega-publishers that was once termed the “big six” long ago became the “big five,” and through yet another merger/acquisition will soon become the “big four.” It seems just a matter of time before we’re talking about the “big one.” Fortunately, there are many many small publishers out there bringing a panorama of distinct editorial styles and missions to bookstore and library shelves. As you approach this Book Bingo square, you may want to browse this mega-list of small and independent publishers from our catalog. Here are just a few of my own favorites from this eclectic list:

Archipelago Books specializes in beautifully produced international titles, often in their English language debuts, making them a sort of United Nations of literature. Their big cash cow has been Karl Ove Knausgaard’s popular soul-searching six volume memoir My Struggle, the kind of commercial success that most small publishers dream of, and one that helps underwrite a wide range of other less profitable but no less fascinating titles. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2021 Small Press”

Explore Pacific Northwest History with Newly Digitized Photographs

More than 500 new historic photographs from our Northwest Photograph Collection are now available through our digital collections. These photographs feature images of Washington, Oregon and Alaska spanning from the late 1800s to the 1970s and include shots from prominent local photographers such as Asahel Curtis, Webster & Stevens and Frank Jacobs. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite photos below.

Antlers Hotel at Lake Cushman
The collection includes 14 photos showing the Lake Cushman’s Antlers Hotel and its various tourist excursions to the Olympic Mountains from ca. 1898 to 1910. The hotel, once a popular tourist destination, ceased operation in 1922. In 1926, the Lake Cushman Dam was created, flooding the remains of the hotel. This photo shows two women and their guide in the snow fields of the Olympics.

Continue reading “Explore Pacific Northwest History with Newly Digitized Photographs”