Eastside Welcoming Week 2021

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Participants dance in Eastside Welcoming Week 2019.

The City of Bellevue invites the community to celebrate the sixth annual Eastside Welcoming Week with several events over the coming weeks and during the official Welcoming Week period of Sept. 10-19. 

Welcoming Week in East King County brings together new immigrants and long-term community members in a spirit of unity, education and celebration through sharing of cultural traditions, art, dance and community. In a time when COVID-19 has shifted our ways of engaging with each other and where social inequities are seen both nationally and locally, the city and its many partners continue the commitment to welcoming all.

The community is invited to engage in opportunities during Welcoming Week and beyond to learn, connect across differences and take joint action to achieve a welcoming, equitable and inclusive community. Bellevue has grown from a quiet suburb into a dynamic, international and multicultural city. As part of its Diversity Advantage Initiative, the city provides cross-cultural outreach and engagement opportunities, implements equity-driven policy change and strives to provide inclusive, accessible services.

Highlighted Events

Pop-up Story Walk, "Drawn Together" Sept. 4-25, dawn to dusk

Local literacy program PopUp StoryWalk presents an installation along the Lake to Lake Trail from Wilburton Hill Park to Bellevue Botanical Garden, sharing the story "Drawn Together" along the way, which is a selection from their diversity series. The story explores the experience of a young boy visiting his grandfather. Their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens. With a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.

Access to the park and garden are free, and the PopUp StoryWalk will be open daily from dawn to dusk Sept. 4-25. More information on this and other PopUp StoryWalk installations is at popupstorywalk.org.

Bellwether Sept. 9-19 (and all month at Bellevue Botanical Garden and Bellevue Arts Museum)

The annual Bellwether art and culture event coincides with Welcoming Week this year and will feature exhibits at Bellevue Botanical Garden and the Bellevue Arts Museum during the entire month of September, including several pieces honoring the Coast Salish people and other cultures. In addition, the garden will host artist Gustavo Martinez for a free, open-air public sculpture demonstration on Saturday, Sept. 11, starting at 11 a.m. 

Other art installations and performances throughout Bellevue during the official festival from Sept. 9-19 also reflect the Welcoming Week theme of “Belonging Begins with Us” such as roving performances at Bellevue Downtown Park showcasing ancestry and self-discovery, performance art by Anida Yoeu Ali exploring Islamophobia and homophobia, and an artist panel discussion about censorship in the arts. 

The latest schedule and more details on exhibits and performances throughout the festival are at bellwetherart.org.

Equitable Economic Development: Exploring Opportunities in our Region, Friday Sept. 17, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Join Eastside For All, the cities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish, King County Library System, Enterprise Welcoming Group, and OneEastside for a virtual Welcoming Week event for community leaders, elected officials, business owners, nonprofit organizations, and others interested in advancing racial equity and inclusion in our local economy.

This is an online event. Visit the event site for more information and registration details.

Cultural Conversations: Belonging in the Garden, Friday Sept. 17, 1-2:30 p.m.

Cultural Conversations begins a new season of storytelling on Friday, Sept. 17, 1-2:30 p.m. for ‘Belonging in the Garden’ at the Bellevue Botanical Garden, 12001 Main Street, Bellevue, WA.

In connection with the theme “Belonging Begins with Us” for National Welcoming Week, the event features informal pop-in conversations and sharing. Share your story on our interactive story boards. Take a walk with friends and check out Bellwether art installations at the garden. As we navigate the concept of belonging for those who have moved here from across the U.S. and the globe, let’s consider what is universal about flowers, gardens, traditions, and the connections they create. How is that expression of beauty similar? What might be different or a surprise?

Belonging in the Garden takes place in the Gathering Place, an outdoor covered reception area at the garden. We will be following King County Guidelines for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic; masks will be available. 

For more information or accommodation needs, contact NeighborhoodOutreach@Bellevuewa.gov or 452-452-6836. All meetings are wheelchair accessible.

Tree Talks at Bellevue Botanical Garden Sept. 18, 10 a.m.-1 p.m ::: 벨뷰 식물원의 나무 이야기   :::   贝尔维尤植物园的树木讲座   :::   貝爾維尤植物園的樹木講座

Come share stories about your favorite tree and the importance of trees in your culture and those across the world in this Welcoming Week Tree Talks session. Learn more about the value and benefits of trees in our city, Bellevue's work to preserve our urban forest, and learn from others about their passion for both native Washington trees and trees from around the world. Discussions will be in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean.

10 a.m.-1p.m. – “Ask Us Anything” you’ve ever wanted to know about trees and how to care for them at our Tree Talk. Ask us about “why are most trees in Washington conifers?” or “why do tree limbs fall?” or “how can trees help fight climate change?” 

Discussion times   :::   讨论时间   :::   討論時間   :::   토론 시간
11-11:15 a.m. - Welcome and introduction to trees in Bellevue 

11:15-11:45 a.m. - Share about your favorite tree and learn about the Pacific Northwest Ecosystem (Discussion groups in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean)
좋아하는 나무에 대해 공유하고 북경어 광둥어와 영어로 태평양 북서부 생태계 토론 그룹에 대해 알아보십시오.

11:45 a.m.-12 p.m. - Cross-cultural discussion about trees (English with translation assistance for Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean)
중국어 광동어 및 한국어 번역 지원과 함께 나무 영어에 대한 문화 간 토론

RSVP appreciated for planning purposes   :::   注册赞赏   :::   註冊讚賞   :::   감사합니다

CANCELED due to weather: Community Connections Fair at Crossroads Park Sept. 18


Other highlights

A full schedule of Eastside Welcoming Week events can be found at https://ericmembers.org/welcoming-week-2/.

Welcoming Week is sponsored by Welcoming America, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that supports local outreach efforts to build bridges between newcomers and long-time residents. This year’s national campaign is dedicated to fostering a more welcoming nation where everyone–regardless of their background–can feel they belong.