Washington, By and By is a new educational graphic novel designed to empower diverse youth to get engaged in community planning across the State of Washington.
Washington, By & By, is a new community planning graphic novel that follows the adventures of Washington state teens who meet at a summer camp about planning. As the story unfolds, Cricket, Daniel, Jenna, and Ben are forced to confront the intersections of power, development, displacement, and preservation in their lives and the lives of the people around them.
Support from this campaign will enable us to publish the novel online and make it available for free to Washington teens along with resources for teachers and librarians.
We are ready to get this novel into the hands of thousands of teens in Washington state but we need your help. All backers $10 or more get a digital copy of the novel.
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
This is the second graphic novel we've developed together. Our first novel, No Small Plans, was authored for the Chicago Architecture Center. No Small Plans is now being used in more than 100 Chicago Public Schools and dozens of libraries and community organizations.
The Youth in Planning Taskforce of the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association saw the Chicago Architecture Center's No Small Plans and wondered, "Why don't we have a tool like that to help address issues of diversity and youth engagement in planning here in Washington?" The group commissioned us to create a graphic novel that would engage diverse teens and explore growing concerns about housing and livability in Washington.
We couldn't be more thrilled to have the chance to work with our new partners and can't wait to get this new novel into the hands of teens all over the great State of Washington.
Funding raised by this Kickstarter campaign will be used to:
- ink and color the pages,
- finalize the design,
- publish the novel as an ebook, and
- create an educational support page with resources for teachers and librarians.
IF we exceed our goal, additional funds would enable us to
- translate the novel into additional languages (beginning with Spanish, the 2nd most spoken language in Washington State),
- build more robust outreach to teachers, and ultimately,
- print the novel and send it to schools and libraries across Washington.
Washington, By and By, follows the adventures of four teens brought together by "WALP'ers" (Washington Leaders in Planning), a summer program in Olympia about community planning.
Cricket, the daughter of property caretakers near Chelan, is an avid nature lover. The morning she departs for camp, Cricket learns devastating news: her family is selling their home. The mobile home they live in isn’t worth much, but the property, set on land near a beautiful lake, has taken on new value.
Daniel, a city-loving Tukwila resident with strong ties to his Quinault tribal community, is a keen observer, artist, and skeptic. He believes acknowledging the state’s past is critical but not until he argues with his new friends does realize his voice could help shape the future.
Jenna is a 5th generation apple farmer from the Yakima Valley. She has an economist's eye on housing and development issues. When she realizes some of the issues the team is debating might also be happening on her own family’s farm she is forced to reconsider what “home” means.
Technophile Ben opens his heart and home in Redmond to his new friends. When he realizes Cricket's dilemma might have been created, in part, by his own family’s activities, he's forced to ask himself what his values might mean for other people’s lives.
Over the course of the story we learn about the places the characters are from through their eyes. The teens get to know Olympia, take the train to Seattle, visit the Wing Luke Museum, sit in on a community meeting, encounter teen activists, and hike and camp in the mountains. As the team works to help Cricket reconcile with the changes happening in her life, they realize that "Washington, by and by," really means "Washington, now. The Washington WE want."
WHY DOES THIS PROJECT MATTER?
The planning profession suffers from a serious lack of professionals from diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, Washington state communities are anxious to engage youth in community planning. By creating a novel that allows young people to see themselves represented we hope to raise awareness of issues that affect everyone and also make the planning profession more accessible to diverse audiences.
Washington, By and By, illustrates youth agency through characters that teens can relate to. Deeply researched and highly place-based, the book revolves around critical questions: How does planning happen? Why does planning matter? How does housing affect people's lives? How should people balance issues now with issues that will come up in the future? What is the role and responsibility of youth in shaping where they live - and where they might live in the future?
In 2016 Washington State mandated all public school students to have robust civics education experiences. Discussing current events and controversial issues - particularly ones young people view as important to their lives - is a critical component of this education requirement -and an easy tie in for the questions at the heart of Washington, By and By.
The book's themes align with the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards and the novel will be supported by free, online digital planning resources for teachers and librarians. APA-Washington will publish the novel as an e-book in Summer 2019.
Our creative team is made up of Gabrielle Lyon, Devin Mawdsley and Kayce Bayer. We are experienced artists, educators, writers and designers. We first joined forces on No Small Plans, an acclaimed graphic novel. We've are thrilled to have the chance to work together again thanks to this partnership with the Washington State Chapter of the American Planning Association's Youth in Planning Taskforce.
We have a deep appreciation for the power of mass education through graphic novels as a medium. Translating complex, enduring themes - such as the relationship between development and displacement, the role and responsibility of young people in shaping their communities, and the power of planning and why it matters - is our passion.
We work to develop authentic characters and to locate them in real-life contexts. Most importantly, we believe youth have agency and that equipping young people to design the places they want, need and deserve is a critical responsibility.
Gabrielle Lyon has a background in education and design with a focus on developing programs and spaces that enable participation by populations underserved by traditional design approaches. Gabrielle is leading the project including managing the community-design process to develop a stakeholder-informed design brief; serving as the artistic director, writing collaborator and editor. She's also managing the Kickstarter Campaign. Lyon earned her BA and MA in History from the University of Chicago and her PhD in Curriculum Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In June she'll become the Executive Director of Illinois Humanities.
Devin Mawdsley is a Chicago-based artist, illustrator and educator. He earned his MFA in Studio Painting at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Devin is responsible for the pencil and ink work for Washington By and By along with character and story development. Devin established Eyes of the Cat Illustration Studio to harness the power of narrative and help raise collective consciousness in troubled times, telling stories by and for the people. He is an avid student of language, with a BA in Chinese, and work experience in interpretation and translation. Devin teaches at ChiArts, Chicago's public arts high school.
Kayce Bayer is an artist educator and designer in Chicago. She earned her MFA in Studio Art from Memphis College of Art in Tennessee. Kayce leads the visual and historical research for Washington, By and By, keeps us organized (no small feat) and is a writer and editor. She is also responsible for color and final design work for publication. Her creative practice is varied - working across media and collaborating with artists, writers, musicians, and community members - exploring personal narrative, histories, and art experience outside of institutional spaces. Kayce has over 15 years experience as an arts and design educator, currently grounded by her work with teens at ChiArts.
The creative team is working extremely closely with Gwen Rousseau, Shane Hope and Steve Butler, cochairs of the Youth in Planning Taskforce of the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association, a volunteer-led committee of professional urban planners who commissioned Washington, By and By. Once the novel is completed the Taskforce will work with Youth Councils and teachers around the state to make Washington, By and By available and easy to use.
A COMMUNITY DESIGN APPROACH
At the heart of how we work is a community-informed design process that helped shape the story. We conducted interviews, site visits, a survey, and hosted a community workshop to surface diverse perspectives on fundamental questions of "What is most worth knowing and experiencing about planning and housing?"
- May/June — Kickstarter campaign. Continue working on pencils and begin to ink the novel.
- July — Finish all ink and color work. (Celebrate.) Render and design files for online publication.
- August — Publish the novel online.Begin fabricating backer rewards. Develop education landing page.
- September — Begin delivery of backer rewards. Begin outreach to youth councils, teachers and librarians.
- October — Complete delivery of rewards.
GET INVOLVED, STAY INVOLVED
The best way to get involved in Washington, By and By, is to visit the Youth in Planning Taskforce project page HERE. If you have questions or want to partner on education and outreach please let us know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with "Washington, By and By" in the subject line
Join the Facebook page to stay in touch with the Washington, By and By, community.
IN THE NEWS
BJ's Geek Nation Podcast - Take a listen to an interview with Gabrielle Lyon about the inspiration behind (and the "easter eggs" hidden in the pages of) Washington By and By.
Risks and challenges
RISK: Can you pull this project off?
RESPONSE: We know we can do it because we've done it before. Firstly, we are a strong creative team with a great work ethic and collaborative spirit. The story is grounded in authentic issues and characters that are compelling. The artwork is beautiful and backed by significant visual and historical research. Secondly, we know how to manage production timelines. The creative team (Lyon, Mawdsley and Bayer) is comprised of experienced professional artists and educators. We know how to deliver quality work on time. The Kickstarter is timed to get us through the final stages of inking, coloring, printing and publishing online so that the novel is ready for use when teachers and students go back to school this fall. We'll be ready.
RISK: If you DO have a successful campaign and are able to publish online how will you actually get it to teens?
RESPONSE: We're launching the Kickstarter campaign with strong encouragement from our target community: planners, educators and community organizations from around Washington state who are ready to use the novel in their communities. APA Washington specifically has taskforce members in counties around the state who are primed to put the book to work. But most excitingly, the civic education mandate in Washington makes this a resource we believe will be wanted by teachers even if they aren't teaching planning. The APA- Washington Youth in Planning Taskforce will work with WA Public Schools to ensure that all teachers - particularly 9th grade teachers - are made aware of the novel and online support resources.
RISK: What happens if the campaign is SUPER successful and you exceed your goals?
RESPONSE: If we significantly exceed our goal our first concern will be making sure we are able to get rewards out to backers. We believe we've been strategic offering rewards we know we can deliver on and that we've given ourselves sufficient time to make and deliver rewards. If we exceed our goal we have some ambitions and will share these in stretch goals. For example, 1) we'd like to translate the novel initially into Spanish. 2) We would like to do a short print run to ensure the WA-APA Chapter can put the novel in every Washington state public school library.
- (30 days)