Stylized blue background with subtle rays of light and text overlay that reads "News Gleams Aug. 26, 2021" with a black circle on the right with a white graphic of a radio tower appearing to emitting lightning bolts. In the background is a South Seattle skyline featuring the Pacific Medical Center.

NEWS GLEAMS: Call for BIPOC Artists, Stressed Hospitals, a Filmmaking Grant, and More

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (Photo: Alex Garland)

Hospital System ‘Stressed, Stretched, and Strained’ — State Health Officials Implore Residents to Mask, Socially Distance, and Get Vaccinated as Delta ‘Ravages’ State

At a Department of Health press briefing on Wednesday, Aug. 25, State health officials said Washingtonians need to support the “stressed, stretched, and strained” hospital system and pointed to the ongoing need for community members to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus to avoid serious illness related to COVID-19. 

The highly infectious delta variant of the virus is responsible for the recent rise in contracted cases, but hospitalizations related to the illness are still overwhelmingly among those who are unvaccinated — with 95% of COVID-19 cases in those hospitalized from Feb. 1 to Aug. 3, 2021, being patients who were not fully vaccinated, according to Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah.

The pandemic is not slowing down. “Instead, if anything,” Shah said, “it has sped up.” Vaccinations are safe, effective, “available everywhere in our state,” and, Shah noted, they are “key to protecting our communities.”

To find out where to get a free vaccine and to learn more about getting vaccinated, visit the King County website. (At this time, third doses of the vaccine — said to be effective at mitigating serious illness in those most at risk — are only available for those who are severely immunocompromised.)

Check out the recent Emerald article by Sally James that answers COVID-19 questions based on recent developments.

“Noh theater inside the main building of the Museum of Art in Atami, Shizuoka,” by J. Cuatrotrasas (image altered and used here under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license).

PNW AAPI Theatre Group Seeking New Works From BIPOC Artists

Pork Filled Productions’ Unleashed! Festival and Café Nordo’s Slow Cooker program are partnering to form a new presentation, “Slow Cooker Unleashed! PNW Lore,” that will feature three brand-new genre works by local BIPOC artists. The program will offer financial and production support for workshop performances for the three selected works in Café Nordo’s Knife Room in February/March, 2022. 

“Slow Cooker Unleashed!” is looking for “short and full-length stories that specifically explore Seattle and Pacific Northwest lore, monsters and myths while indulging in genre, upending expectations, and expanding imaginations. These stories can be plays, movement/dance pieces, or something never seen before!”

Deadline to apply is Sept. 19, 2021.

For more information (including submission guidelines), visit the Pork Filled Productions’ “Slow Cooker Unleashed! PNW Lore” webpage or Café Nordo’s “The Slow Cooker” webpage. Apply here.

NWFF’s Lynn Shelton ‘Of a Certain Age’ Filmmaking Grant Open for Applications!

From the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF): “The Lynn Shelton ‘Of a Certain Age’ Grant is a project-based award that provides $25,000 to an individual woman, non-binary, intersex, and/or transgender U.S. filmmaker, age 39 or older, who is working on their first narrative feature (65 minutes or over) as a director. 

“This grant seeks to recognize a film director for their distinct vision, storytelling, and singularity.

“The Lynn Shelton ‘Of a Certain Age’ Grant was established by Northwest Film Forum alongside Duplass Brothers Productions to honor Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton, who passed away tragically on May 16th, 2020. Lynn Shelton often spoke of feeling inspired after seeing filmmaker Claire Denis speak at Northwest Film Forum and learning that Denis did not make her first feature until age 40. Shelton went on to make her own first feature film (We Go Way Back) at the age of 39. In the years since, she built a prolific canon of feature and television work and made an indelible mark on the landscape of American cinema.”

Applications close on Sept. 7 at 9 p.m. PST.

For more information (including eligibility and project criteria) and to apply, please visit this webpage.

Rise Up! Action Band performs outside the Seattle Public Library Beacon Hill Branch (Photo: Jessie McKenna)

SPL Expanding Open Hours Starting September 1

From the Seattle Public Library (SPL): “The Seattle Public Library will significantly expand the open hours of its reopened locations starting on Wednesday, Sept. 1. … The NewHolly Branch will also reopen later this fall; a precise date is not yet determined for the branch.

“Beginning Sept. 1, most reopened branches will be open every day of the week. This expansion of hours marks a major step toward full restoration of pre-pandemic Library open hours and is the result of funding provided by the Seattle Rescue Plan to restore Library staffing levels, which were reduced in 2020 and 2021 as part of citywide General Fund budget cuts. The September hours expansion and building reopenings will more than double the total number of Library open hours per week, increasing total weekly open hours from 588 to 1,192.

“All reopened libraries will adopt their new schedules on Wednesday, Sept. 1, with the exception of the Central Library, which will expand hours starting Wednesday, Sept. 15, when it will add Sundays and Mondays to its current schedule. It will also be open later on Wednesdays, closing at 8 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. Currently, Levels 1, 3, and 5 of the Central Library are available to the public. The Library anticipates opening more floors of the Central Library in coming weeks, but a date is not yet set.

“The Library will continue to restore hours of operation as staffing levels permit, and seeks to return to full, pre-pandemic, 7-day service, including evening hours, by the end of October. 

“Please note that the expanded schedules and reopening dates outlined here may change in response to future developments related to the pandemic. The Library continues to closely monitor public health data, guidance and mandates as part of reopening planning.”

South Seattle Reopened Locations and Hours as of Sept. 1: (Branches with air-conditioning are also noted below.)

  • Beacon Hill Branch (A/C) —10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays; 12–8 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; 12–5 p.m. Sundays
  • Central Library (Levels 1, 3, & 5) (A/C) — 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Wednesdays; 12–6 p.m. Sundays
  • Columbia Branch — 12–8 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; 12–5 p.m. Sundays
  • Delridge Branch (A/C) — 1–8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 12–5 p.m. Sundays
  • Douglass-Truth Branch (A/C) — 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; 12–8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 12–5 p.m. Sundays
  • High Point Branch (A/C) — 1–8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; 12–5 p.m. Sundays
  • International District/Chinatown Branch (A/C) — 1–8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays; 12–5 p.m. Sundays
  • Rainier Beach Branch (A/C) — 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; 12–8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 12–5 p.m. Sundays
  • South Park Branch (A/C) — 1–8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
  • Southwest Branch — 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; 12–8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 12–5 p.m. Sundays

All reopened locations and their open hours can be found on SPL’s  “Hours and Locations” webpage.

Latino Community Fund of Washington’s Latinx Leadership Summit on Friday

From Latino Community Fund of Washington: “You are invited to join us at our annual Latinx Leadership Summit! This year our summit will be held TOMORROW, Friday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. over Zoom. Last year, many organizations had to set aside their plans and were forced to attack the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, as our communities continue to heal and face life after quarantine, we want to reassess and align ourselves with the things that inspire development.

“We will hold engaging workshops put on by grassroots leaders on a range of topics, host motivational speakers that influence our movement work in the future, and offer opportunities to network with other community leaders across the state. 

“After this last year, we want to take this time to celebrate our wins. The pandemic brought up many challenges for our community, but the way we came together to combat those injustices remains one of the beautiful things that came out of this last year’s tragedy. Latino Community Fund invites you to take Pasos Pequeños Hoy, para cultivar Cambios Grandes Mañana.”

For more information (including a schedule of events) and to register, please visit this webpage.

Join the Essential Southeast Seattle (ESES) Marketplace

During the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits serving the Southeast Seattle small business community formed the Essential Southeast Seattle (or ESES) Collective and created the Essential Southeast Seattle website to connect businesses with customers at a time when people weren’t sure just who was open for business. 

Recently, ESES Collective launched the Essential Southeast Seattle Marketplace, a website that “strives to provide a one-stop virtual Main Street for our community,” their mission states. Small business owners can list goods and services on the site so customers can easily find them in the neighborhood — and now they can also sell goods using the online marketplace.

In the directory, you can find restaurants, retail, services, nonprofits serving your community, and more. Search by category — Retail, Food, Services, Culture & Entertainment — by neighborhood, and by business type (e.g., Black-owned, Native-owned, LGBTQ-owned, Woman-owned, Family-owned, Nonprofit, Eco-friendly, and more) to find hyperlocal businesses you want to support.

The website says that while the ESES Collective formed during the pandemic, they “envision this site as an important tool for our community to use in the long-term to stay connected in an increasingly digital world.”

Now they’re looking to connect even more local businesses to the marketplace and share the resource with small business owners who can use the platform to sell goods.

From the source: “The Essential Southeast Seattle (ESES) Marketplace is an e-commerce website that helps local businesses connect with customers through a free online store where they can sell items and get their business listed online. The ESES Marketplace helps small businesses adapt to an increasingly digital economy with an online presence and dedicated technical support. Activate your free online store or link your own website — you control content! It’s easy to create your profile. Start here. (If your business is already listed, ask us for access to create your own login:”

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