“What the World Needs Now: A Dreamathon” hopes to inspire a brighter change this fall and winter by inviting people across Washington to imagine a better pandemic life together through art, inspiration and wisdom from people and communities at the frontlines of the COVID-19 health crisis.

With a little creativity and a lot of community building, the #DreamathonWA campaign includes several public virtual events, including a community celebration on Oct. 23 (featuring Dr. Ben Danielson, Aaron Dixon, Amir Islam and more), selfie stations, a virtual dance party and the Reflections Dance Festival on Nov. 4. Information about each of these events can be found below.

The “dream team” behind this innovative partnership includes artists, entertainers and public health advocates, including: Converge Media, the African American Health Board, PICA WA, Washington Community Alliance, BIPOC-led mutual aid organizers of color and community groups, as well as The Seattle Public Library and King County Library System.

From Thursday, Oct. 14 through Monday, Oct. 18, King County Library System (KCLS) is hosting pop-up “dream” selfie stations in South King County. Passersby can take a snap of themselves and share their dreams for a better pandemic life. “Bringing people together to dream of what’s possible in spaces that focus on strength, belonging and creativity is ‘What the World Needs Now,’” said Jo Anderson, KCLS Social Impact Coordinator.” Follow the hashtag #DreamathonWA on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for updates on selfie station locations.

Dancing is a big part of the #DreamathonWA bill! From 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, join us for this special virtual pre-funk dance party, hosted by local musicians Rell B Free and CarLarans. Designed for adults 18 and older, this event is for those who may have lingering questions on how they can enjoy themselves and stay safe this fall and winter. RSVP for this dance party on our Facebook event page. With a lineup of underground DJs Toe Jam and Tremenda Diosa, and co-hosted with Converge Media, this after-hours event aims to be a party with a purpose.

From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23, join our artsy pandemic town hall with something for everyone and a BIG dream: How can pandemic life get better? This Community Celebration will not be your typical online program. Learn more and RSVP on our Facebook event page.
#DreamathonWA’s biggest event will include live performances and a focus on helping families and communities prepare for pandemic life this fall.

We’ll share a special livestream with Tubman Center for Health & Freedom. Poetry and documentary storytelling will bring to life the voices of frontline medical workers. Incarcerated people and others will explore how to recover emotionally and economically from COVID-19. As kids wait in the wings for vaccine approval, families have important questions, too, and Kids Clinic is here to share timely insights for little and big folks. A special cooking segment might even make pandemic life a little yummier. Special surprise guests will be announced closer to the event.

Presenter highlights

  • Aaron Dixon: Cofounder of the Black Panther Seattle Chapter
  • Amir Islam: Executive director of The Residency and peer recovery counselor
  • Art Club: Our kid commentators put their fingers on the pulse of abolition, public health, kids vaccines and family health
  • Art Dojo youth poetry with Jordan Chaney: A special poetry highlight featuring the dreams of incarcerated youth with a spoken word poet
  • Dr. Ben Danielson: This beloved pediatrician and civic leader will provide perspective on community well-being
  • Chef Matt Lewis and activist Roxana Pardo Garcia: Learn about their community work and how to make a nutritious, delicious and affordable dish
  • Converge Media: Our official community correspondents, hit the streets to find out what communities are dreaming about
  • BLOOM: Emerging food justice leaders dreaming about Indigenous sovereignty, Black liberation and BIPOC solidarity
  • Kids Clinic: See what happens when we let kids “doctor” on pandemic family health with pediatrician Dr. Ben Danielson and Black Panther Aaron Dixon
  • Naomi Ishisaka: Seattle Times social justice correspondent shares pandemic insights
  • PICA WA (Pacific Islander Community Association): Living out Indigenous values of the Pasifika communities in Washington
  • SOUL Clinics: Learn the ins and outs of designing a pop-up clinic with the African American Health Board, Sacred Passing, Gathering Roots and Harborview Medical Center
  • Tubman Center for Health & Freedom: This innovative Black wellness initiative is enlivening conversations about community health

Community Chats
The Community Celebration will also include breakout chat sessions to dream up solutions for joy, health and well-being. Select workshops are listed below.

  • Equity and in-person school: How are families or guardians navigating returning to classrooms, navigating learning, and centering the wellness of the whole child?
  • Good eating: How can good cooking, nutrition, and food sovereignty stay on the menu with challenges of pandemic life?
  • Indigenous cultural insights: How can traditional arts and culture help us to tap in when we feel disconnected?
  • Black wellness: What are everyday solutions that increase the chances for Black joy and well-being?
  • Abolition: How do the harsh realities of COVID-19 shift how people are imagining a world without mass incarceration?
  • Save your social life: What are easy, practical things that we can do during the fall and winter holidays so we have less stress and more joy?

#DreamathonWA winds down with a special dance festival showcasing artists from communities who were hardest hit by COVID-19. RSVP for this event on Facebook, and join us for the dance festival from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4. Filmed on Seattle’s Pier 62 and presented as a virtual event, Reflections is a love letter to the city during Delta times.

Community partners involved with #DreamathonWA include: African American Health Board, African American Reach and Teach Health (AARTH), A Sacred Passing, Black & Tan, Columbia Legal Services, Converge Media, Fred Hutchinson (CoVPN), Gathering Roots Wellness, Harborview Medical Center, King County Equity Now, King County Library System, KVRU 105.7 LPFM, Pacific Islander Community Association, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Youth Commission, Tubman Center for Health & Freedom, UTOPIA Washington, Washington State Department of Health, Wa Na Wari, Washington Community Alliance and #SeattleTogether.

The Seattle Public Library’s 2021 Public Health Series has responded to the disparities of COVID-19 by partnering with communities most affected by the pandemic to meet the challenges presented and to protect communities. Support for the Public Health Series is provided by The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

For COVID-19 information, resources and updates, please visit the Washington Department of Health’s COVID-19 webpage, or call their hotline at 1-833-VAX-HELP. Language assistance is available.

The Library believes that the power of knowledge improves people's lives. We promote literacy and a love of reading as we bring people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community.

Visit the Library's Road to Reopening page for more information on current Library services.
Contact the Library’s Ask Us service by phone at 206-386-4636 or by email or chat at www.spl.org/Ask. Staff are ready to answer questions and direct you to helpful resources and information.