Foraging for Hope in Seattle
In challenging times, Seattleites are finding ways to feed, inspire, teach and entertain our community in (spite of) state-mandated isolation
By Ariel Shearer
March 27, 2020
It may feel like consuming as much information as possible will somehow inoculate us from the virus. In truth, it’s healthier (if challenging!) to limit one’s news consumption, and that’s why we’re now gorging all the good local news we can find. Here are a handful of hopeful stories and helpful resources illustrating the many ways Seattleites are working to support our city during this mandated state of isolation.
RESTAURANTS ARE FIGHTING FOOD SCARCITY
Last week, chef Melissa Miranda transformed Musang, her new Beacon Hill Filipinx restaurant, into a community kitchen, providing free meals to those experiencing food scarcity. Just get in touch with the Musang Community Kitchen team to set a pickup time and they’ll run the food outside—no questions asked. Other local restaurants embracing the community kitchen model (That Brown Girl Cooks, Feed the People and Guerilla Pizza Kitchen) have since teamed up with Musang, and collectively they’re feeding Seattleites who need it seven days a week. In Ravenna, Salare is now operating as a relief kitchen providing 250-300 meals per night to unemployed restaurant workers.
MUSEUMS ARE SENDING ART, SCIENCE AND AIRPLANES INTO OUR HOMES
After closing on March 12, the Seattle Art Museum launched Stay Home with SAM, a virtual educational program sharing “art activities for all ages, videos, interviews, art news, and more.” My favorite so far: this installment exploring the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit that opened on March 5, which includes a prompt for creating an abstract drawing of a song. The Pacific Science Center regularly adds new content to its Curiosity at Home page, including Live Science Show videos, and the Museum of Flight is offering virtual tours and at-home activities for a range of grade levels.
MUSICIANS AND DANCERS ARE KEEPING THE BEAT ALIVE
The Music Factory, a music school in Madison Valley, is now offering live-streamed lessons for a range of instruments and time slots, keeping students engaged and local musicians employed, a vital income stream with so much lost from canceled shows. Dance Church, a beloved guided movement class started by Kate Wallich, is live-streaming classes several days a week—a great excuse to get up and moving, especially if you can coordinate with friends and loved ones for a virtual dance party. Pacific Place is hosting happy hour concerts with local musicians weekends at 5 p.m. through Facebook Live. For a full guide to local digital arts consumption, check out this post from Gemma Wilson.
BOOKSTORES ARE STILL STOCKING OUR SHELVES
Elliott Bay Book Company is now offering home delivery to certain neighborhoods (and hosting occasional discussion groups through Google Hangouts). Many other local bookstores are still taking online orders and offering pickup or free delivery—which is a great way to support local businesses and reduce stress on Amazon fulfillment workers.
CRAFTERS ARE HELPING HEALTHCARE WORKERS
Personal protective equipment is in high demand and low supply. The Crafters Against Covid-19 Seattle Facebook group already has more than 1,200 members and they’ve made it their mission to sew masks for healthcare workers, even as larger manufacturers step up to meet the needs of our hospitals.
LOCAL COMPANIES ARE EASING THE CHALLENGES OF HOMESCHOOLING
Code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to computer science education, has launched a Code Break program, with weekly interactive classroom sessions hosted through Zoom. Amplifier, known for its political posters and iconography, is providing free artwork and teaching tools to help parents and caregivers facilitate home learning.
GROCERY STORES ARE LOOKING OUT FOR GRANDMA
Here’s a whole list of grocery stores hosting special hours for elderly and at-risk shoppers.
MINDFULNESS COMMUNITIES ARE MAKING MEDITATION ACCESSIBLE
There’s probably never been a better time to start a meditation routine. Groups like the Mindfulness Community of Puget Sound and Seattle Insight Meditation Society continue to host guided meditation groups online.
THE LIBRARY IS GIVING US A FREE ALTERNATIVE TO NETFLIX
In addition to all the amazing e-book rentals you can snag through Libby, Seattle Public Library offers cardholders access to movie streaming service called Kanopy with some excellent films you can’t find on Netflix—like Rafiki, and Wendy and Lucy, which Nick Bruno from SIFF suggested when I asked recently about film recommendations with local ties.
WE’RE ALL MAKING HAPPY SOUNDS AT 8 P.M.
The Seattle Office of Arts and Culture recently launched #MakeAJoyfulNoise, an initiative asking us to open our windows, stand on our balconies or head out to our front yards and clap our hands, shout joyfully, bang pots and create other happy sounds to foster a sense of solidarity and support for healthcare workers and others on the front lines. Set a timer, hit pause on Tiger King and join in every night at 8 p.m.
Want to share some good news and community resources during these challenging times? Email me: [email protected]