**Update: For the safety of our attendees and the members of our community in Washington, DC, we have changed the date of this event to Saturday the 11th in order to prevent any encounter with a hate-group affiliated march on Sunday. Thank you for understanding.**
August is hot out here, so to highlight The Renwick’s Burning Man exhibit, we’re hosting a photo-scavenger hunt, we’re calling Burning’Mon GO!
Meet in front of the Renwick to gather your teams and get your maps (or download them here https://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/burning-man/beyond ). Once you check in, you can start your adventure! Your mission is to use your AR Camera to capture Eevee at the 7 stops on the NO SPECTATORS: BEYOND THE RENWICK WALKING TOUR. You must capture a photo of Eevee next to each of the exhibit’s public artworks.
At 5, we reconvene at the meeting place to review photos and collect prizes (Who wants to win Flame Con tickets?).
Bring bottled water, sunscreen and parasols, and whatever else you need to enjoy Burning’Mon GO!
With Tom Lotito of Geeks OUT, author Robb Pearlman, Maria Aragon, founder of Reading Rainbow at University of Maryland, College Park, and Rob Gates of Lambda Sci-Fi. Our panel explores creating both content and fostering space for queer content. What does queer fandom look like, and how do we make it happen? Moderated by Benjamin Beaury.
You’re not going to want to miss The Cardboard Kingdom, the new anthology-style graphic novel by Chad Sell. The listed age recommendation for Middle Grade is 8–12, but I read the book with my six-year-old, and he was just as enthralled as I was—which is no easy feat! We talk about acceptance a lot in our household, enough that my son has already got the “Yes, mom. I know.”/ eye roll combo down pat, but the lighthearted way The Cardboard Kingdom covers some heavy topics never provoked that reaction. The colors are bright, the endings are happy, and while not every kid achieves #UltimateGlory in the story, it does offer lots of authentic insight. I felt comfortable reading it with my child, both of us eagerly turning each page, anticipating each new adventure.
The book itself is made up of several vignettes, each highlighting a new or returning character and their journey into the “kingdom” (literally fabricated with cardboard) of neighborhood friendships and play. The book is diverse without resorting to tokenism, and each of us found more than one character to see bits of ourselves in. My son found a kindred spirit instantly in Jack, a young boy who chooses to dress up as a sorceress during imaginative play, and I felt more than a few heartstrings get tugged while reading about Big Banshee and The Gargoyle.
While the tenderly crafted stories are what made this book memorable for me, the art is an absolute joy to behold, effortlessly blending the running theme with the tone of the book, without ever weighting the story down, or taking it out of acceptability for child readership. Each character is lovingly illustrated, and the comic switches from real life to fantasy are just fun. I giggled. Out loud.
So if you’re looking to bring a little sweetness into your reading diet, or if you have a child in your life who’s maybe been feeling a little too shy, a little too loud, a little too weird, or just a little too different from everybody else, this is a diverse though never heavy handed look into what childhood could be like if we all taught our kids acceptance and that differences are what make us special. I’d say it’s suitable for ages 6–60, and if you have an old bigoted 65 year old aunt? Buy her a copy!