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”

Are you ready for Seattle Independent Bookstore Day – X 10!?

A good little bookstore…is a laboratory for our coming together
       – Ross Gay

Seattle loves its bookstores, and right near the top of that long, sad list of things we really missed in 2020 was Seattle Independent Bookstore Day. Well, it’s back – and bigger than ever! Starting this Saturday, April 24, you’ll have ten days to visit ten (or more) stores, making ten or more purchases, which will qualifying you for this year’s champion tote bag, certain to be the tote to be seen with in 2021. This spread out schedule will help discourage the festive crowds that Indie Bookstore Day has become known for, while opening the experience to participants both buying books in person, or at several locations online. You can pick up a passport at a participating store, or print your own. Continue reading “Are you ready for Seattle Independent Bookstore Day – X 10!?”

Ninth Annual Seattle Asian American Film Festival

The ninth annual Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF) takes place from March 4 to March 14 and showcases feature-length and short format films by and about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across North America, with an emphasis on filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest.

Check out the festival’s 123 films here, many of which are PNW-centered. Snag tickets and passes at http://bit.ly/saaff2021. Continue reading “Ninth Annual Seattle Asian American Film Festival”

Washington’s Undiscovered Feminists with Mayumi Tsutakawa

On Dec. 5th, the Seattle Public Library presents a virtual program, Washington’s Undiscovered Feminists with Mayumi Tsutakawa, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. It is about five woman warriors of the Pacific Northwest: pioneering photographer Imogen Cunningham; Black American jazz musician Ruby Bishop; Chinese American artist Priscilla Chong Jue; Leftist journalist Anna Louise Strong; and Native American linguist Vi Hilbert. Here are some books from the library to learn and explore about each warrior or the field where the warriors pioneered.

Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976) specialized in plant photography. Richard Lorenz’s book Imogen Cunningham: Flora presents a selection of her botanical images, from simple flower arrangements to elaborate compositions of ferns and lilies.

The Blue Note by David Keller focused on Seattle’s black American Federation of Musicians’ Local 493. It is an upbeat story of race, jazz, gender, and union culture spanning the years from the 1880’s to the mid-1950’s. Ruby Bishop’s brother was an agent for Local 493, the black musicians’ union.  Jackson Street After Hours by Paul De Barros provides a detailed description of the vibrant Central District music scene that led up to the funk and soul clubs described in the documentary Wheedle’s Groove. Continue reading “Washington’s Undiscovered Feminists with Mayumi Tsutakawa”

Legendary Children: A QTBIPOC Celebration Goes Online

LEGENDARY CHILDREN is a QTBIPOC-led extravaganza is usually held at Seattle Art Museum, featuring spoken word, performance, dance, and a public runway. Legendary Children is where arts and social justice get real, with QTBIPOC voices ringing loud and clear.

Now you know a pandemic can’t stop The Children. Save the date for Saturday Nov 21, 8 p.m., the 5th Anniversary edition of Legendary Children. Come ready to show out with us! Continue reading “Legendary Children: A QTBIPOC Celebration Goes Online”