Togetherness

Recommended Resources

Inspiration
a couple in wedding garb sit on a stoop decorated with tons of flowers
Photo: Annabel of Belathee

Dancing in the Street: Elaine Welteroth Got Married on Her Brooklyn Stoop, Then Threw a Virtual Block Party, by Alexandra Macon for Vogue

We kicked off our Zoom ceremony with a little “love letter” exercise and virtual family photo. In our invitation, we asked our guests the following: “Write us a love letter: In lieu of a formal guest book and registry, we invite our guests to sow seeds of support via a handwritten letter—marriage advice is welcome!—that can be mailed to us following the ceremony—address is in your invite email. \*Very Important\* On the back of the envelope in large letters, please write one word to take with us on our marriage journey. Note: During the zoom ceremony, guests will be directed to hold up your word for a virtual family photo.”
Erykah Badu performing in a very large coat
Photo: Variety

How Erykah Badu Created Her Own Livestream Company for ‘Quarantine Concert Series, by Jem Aswad at Variety

I had to quickly think of something, and like every other artist in the industry, we thought of livestreaming. But I couldn’t just put a phone up on a tripod and do a livestream on one of the social platforms, because that would just feed me: I had to figure out a way to keep morale up for all [my] musicians and techs and engineers and keep all of us employed.

I wanted to create a livestreamed interactive experience that had the same integrity, ingenuity, creativity and technical aspects of my live shows, because I had to charge something
a video call with different yeti faces

Behind the Scenes: a remote holiday party, from the &yet blog

We love gathering together, but sometimes it’s just not an option. So this past December we decided to try an all-remote holiday party. Some activities worked really well and others not as much. Here’s a rundown of what we did!
Short Reads
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Image: CV Harquail

Bringing Feminist Practices into Online Work Sessions, by CV Harquail at Feminists at Work

The quality of our interactions with each other and the quality of our collective presence determines the kinds of results we get in our work as well as the overall experience we have together. If we prioritizing “doing” and the accomplishment of tasks, we often diminish or ignore what it takes to “be” ourselves and to “be” together.

(Here’s a shorter, two-page summary of the above booklet.)
Dave Grohl performing in front of a huge crowd
Image: Thomas Rabsch

The Day the Live Concert Returns, by Dave Grohl at The Atlantic

In today’s world of fear and unease and social distancing, it's hard to imagine sharing experiences like these ever again. I don’t know when it will be safe to return to singing arm in arm at the top of our lungs, hearts racing, bodies moving, souls bursting with life. But I do know that we will do it again, because we have to. It’s not a choice. We’re human. We need moments that reassure us that we are not alone. That we are understood. That we are imperfect. And, most important, that we need each other.
Books

These book links are affiliate links that point to Bookshop.org. If you use these links to buy something, we may earn a commission. We encourage you to buy from your local, independent bookstore, but if you choose to buy through Bookshop, they give away 75% of their profits to independent booksellers, publications, and authors.

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Parker, Priya. The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
hard copy | Kindle

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Glouberman, Misha and Heti, Sheila. The Chairs Are Where the People Go: How to Live, Work, and Play in the City
hard copy | Kindle

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Vellos, Kat. Connected From Afar: A Guide for Staying Close When You're Far Away
hard copy | Kindle

Podcasts
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Together Apart, from The New York Times

On the first episode of “Together Apart,” we meet a woman who has been gathering for Passover Seder with over 40 people for 35 years and wants to know how to celebrate digitally without losing the intimacy. Priya helps her design a meaningful digital gathering by exploring one of the most important questions from the Passover tradition — what makes this night different from all other nights?
Tools
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Vito Vito is a platform for hosting live events that incorporates livestreaming, networked discussion, ticket sales, and a really thoughtful approach to privacy and inclusion. It’s being built by the folks at Hypertiny, with whom we collaborated on Brio conference back in 2013. They’re currently in beta, but you can read more about Vito on their blog.