June 8, 2020

Mary Vermillion, Community Relations Manager
Whatcom County Library System

Peoples Perspectives gathers memories of Whatcom County 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 to see the selection of multimedia projects, to view stories gathered so far, and to get involved.

Peoples Perspectives Social Media Graphic

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 College – invites 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 StoriesKZAX’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,, or Christine Perkins with Whatcom County Library System,

Founding organizations of Peoples’ Perspectives: COVID-19 in Whatcom County are All Point BulletinAllied Arts of Whatcom CountyBellingham Public LibraryBellingham Roller BettiesBellingham Symphony OrchestraBellingham Whatcom County Tourism, Chuckanut Writers Conference, KMRE 102.3 FMMake.Shift/KZAX 94.9Pickford Film CenterThe Northern LightVillage BooksWestern Washington UniversityWhatcom Art Guild, Whatcom County Library System, Whatcom Community College and Whatcom Museum.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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