As we transition into the new season, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the amazing summer we had at FEEST! This summer was full of joyful surprises, transformative growth, and incredible memories, and we’re excited to share them all with you! In this blog post, we’ll be focusing on Summer Stories, FEEST’s summer program all about storytelling and art, as well as our yearly Organizer Summer Camp, which was a huge success thanks to our amazing students, staff, and community! 

Kicking us off with Summer Stories, we are proud to share that this year we tried something new and offered the program in a hybrid format! Students were invited to join either online over Zoom or in person at the Delridge Branch Library right in West Seattle. Co-facilitated by FEEST’s Communications and Development Manager, Devan, and FEEST alumni, Heena, we had about a dozen students join us over 6 weeks of arts and story based programming. In addition, we were honored to be joined by 4 amazing teaching artists!

We want to extend a special thank you to Heena, and teaching artists Ammara,  Rawuda, and Jadie for supporting us throughout this journey and leading our students through arts and storytelling practices rooted in their own voices and experiences. We hosted workshops about visual art and affirming your heart, dove into the technical side of storytelling with a Figma and UX Design / Accessibility workshop, got to play with words and dive into poetry, and at the end of the summer made a full-fledged Zine!  Zines have a long history as a tool for storytelling, organizing, and activism. Each teaching artist helped us build our Zine each week, and students reflected their learnings as pages for the Zine. 

After Summer Stories ended, we transitioned into Summer Camp! FEEST’s Summer Camp is a yearly tradition that provides a space for our students to ground in political education, organizing, and FEEST’s mental health campaign. We curate a space for youth to participate in meaningful activities, build friendships with one another, and to experience radical joy! We hosted summer camp for one week in person at El Centro De La Raza, and one week online over Zoom.  Each day of summer camp was an opportunity to create the culture we wanted. We explored community guidelines, values, how to connect with each other, and creating what it looks like to share collective space with each other. 

This year we are focusing on leadership development intentionally. In the month leading up to summer camp, students were mentored in the process of co-creating their own curriculum. Students got the opportunity to edit, expand, and grow what they’ve learned from FEEST’s organizing program, and take their learnings into their own words. Staff mentored student leaders throughout the month and finally summer camp was their opportunity to try out facilitating! 

With the support of staff, as well as the learnings from Mari Shibuya and Heather Adams, students were able to build with each other, as well as their own skills especially around storytelling, and helping them gain a deeper understanding of their own intuition and inner wisdom. We are grateful for the support of Mari and Heather, as well as the rest of FEEST’s dedicated Youth Organizers who made summer camp such a success! Shout out to our impromptu karaoke sessions during lunch, as well as the wellness corner that was filled with beautiful twinkly lights and our fave plushies, our creativity when we made the Triple Double Disaster Sundae for Milk Drunk, and all of the joy! 

We ended summer full of joy, and are so excited to start the year strong and grounded in our shared analysis, vision, and values that were co-created by our Student Organizers. Thank you to everyone who made Summer Camp a success! This Summer at FEEST was full of learning and we are excited to continue that into the fall. 

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