Online initiative gathers multimedia impressions of local life during COVID-19

How will we remember life in Bellingham and Whatcom County during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy quarantine? Peoples’ Perspectives: COVID-19 in Whatcom County, a new online initiative organized by a coalition of local organizations, invites community members to record their impressions. Visit wcls.org/covidperspectives to see the selection of multimedia projects, to view stories gathered so far, and to get involved.

Choose from projects sponsored by more than 12 community organizations to share stories via photography, writing, storytelling, visual arts, or other creative platforms. For example, click the link to the Whatcom Museum’s Story Dome to record a story in response to prompts about this time. Chuckanut Writers Conference – produced by Village Books and Whatcom Community Collegeinvites submissions of poetry and creative nonfiction for a virtual reading to take place in September. Western Washington University senior Sophia Marble asks her fellow graduates to share their piece of the Coronavirus puzzle in her project, The Hassle of the Tassel. And local libraries are sponsoring Dear History in which community members can document their experiences in the form of a letter to the future.

“We hope community members will find a project – or projects – that speak to them and allow them to share their experiences during this strange and unusual time,” says Rebecca Judd, director of the Bellingham Public Library.

The webpage also showcases COVID-inspired stories that have already been gathered by local groups. Featured stories include articles from The Northern Light’s Young Reporters Project, KMRE’s Coronavirus Stories, KZAX’s Quarantunes, Vol. 1, featuring songs written for this time by local musicians, and more.

Peoples’ Perspectives will be active throughout the duration of this pandemic. Organizers will review submissions to determine next steps.Our intent is to archive selected contributions for use by researchers, educators and journalists and as a record of this experience for future generations,” says Christine Perkins, executive director of Whatcom County Library System. The ad-hoc group also hopes to host an exhibition showcasing the creative work shared with the Peoples’ Perspectives project.

All are invited to contribute. To add a project to the Peoples’ Perspectives webpage, email Rebecca Judd with Bellingham Public Library, rejudd@cob.org, or Christine Perkins with Whatcom County Library System, christine.perkins@wcls.org.

Founding organizations of Peoples’ Perspectives: COVID-19 in Whatcom County are All Point Bulletin, Allied Arts of Whatcom County, Bellingham Public Library, Bellingham Roller Betties, Bellingham Symphony Orchestra, Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, Chuckanut Writers Conference, KMRE 102.3 FM, Make.Shift/KZAX 94.9, Pickford Film Center, The Northern Light, Village Books, Western Washington University, Whatcom Art Guild, Whatcom County Library System, Whatcom Community College and Whatcom Museum.