About What the World Needs Now

What the World Needs illustration

If you could travel back in time and go through COVID knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? What would you dream up for your COVID-response kit for you, your loved ones, and our communities to have a better life in the pandemic? 

These questions were the focus of an arts-centered public health campaign in 2021, a collaboration between the Library and dozens of partners representing communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

On Oct. 22 and 23, 2021, What the World Needs Now: A Dreamathon, culminated with a two-day live-streaming event featuring participants in Seattle, Tacoma, Kent, Spokane and across Washington state. During the virtual dance party and our community celebration, we heard and learned from an incredible lineup of artists, organizers, performers and public health advocates. The focus was on coming together to reimagine a joyful, well future.

Help Washington State #StaySafeTogether

Thanks to everyone for participating in #DreamathonWA!

Watch for the final report-out summarizing all of your great ideas. After the Dreamathon, the What the World Needs Now team will create a draft statewide report about the community solutions that were developed. It will also have pandemic pro tips for quarantine, Delta and other variants, plus a roundup of local community resources.

What the World Needs Now Backstory

In the past year, we have been working with a coalition of community-driven public health partners, asking and answering BIG questions together: 

  • How can the frontlines of our most-affected communities work together to make the next leg of the pandemic easier? 
  • How can we reshape how our state, cities and institutions respond to COVID? What are the creative solutions that YOU want to see? 
  • How can people who have the largest health inequities shape a response that is more fun and joyful? 
  • How can the next leg of the pandemic have deeper relationship-building, connection and care? 

People of all ages and backgrounds — children, youth, elders, caregivers, single folks, EVERYONE — came together to dream, draw, build innovative, community-led solutions for the world now — and then spent one day working with public health advocates and artists to share the brilliance.

Community Partners