Editor’s note: Given the rapid spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19, please heed local health authorities’ safety recommendations as they’re updated, and check your event’s website for COVID-19 requirements and the latest information.
What’s Happening Jan. 7-13
Pacific Northwest tabletop game lovers unite! The inclusive OrcaCon convention returns with role-playing games, card and board games and miniature war games for all to enjoy.
Heading into its sixth in-person show, OrcaCon’s 60,000-square-foot venue features games such as “Dungeons & Dragons,” “Magic: The Gathering,” “Catan,” “Wing Span,” “Warhammer” and more. The convention at the Hilton Bellevue also includes seminars, workshops, demonstrations of games and tournaments featuring artists, writers, retailers, game developers and designers.
OrcaCon provides an opportunity for participants to meet “some of the scrappy game developers that are up-and-coming who are testing their games right there at the convention, and it’s pretty fascinating,” said Steve Hobbs, OrcaCon co-founder in charge of public relations.
“You’re going to see artists and writers and game developers — it’s the synergy that happens at these conventions that is absolutely amazing,” Hobbs said.
In addition to bringing hundreds of people into the world of tabletop gaming, OrcaCon aims to focus on diversity, inclusion and accessibility, said Donna Prior, OrcaCon co-founder and executive director.
“We try to make sure that everything that we do, all of our partners and all of our vendors are all local, and we try to make sure that we are hiring and working with people of color,” Prior said, adding that OrcaCon 2022 is focused on highlighting Black creators of tabletop games.
“I want it to truly be a welcoming convention that is representative of all people who play games and make games who don’t get a voice,” Prior said.
Every year, OrcaCon focuses on a marginalized community, from Indigenous to LGBTQ+ creators. Participants can also find food trucks, event T-shirts and more that feature local people of color at OrcaCon.
OrcaCon also includes gender-neutral bathrooms featuring unscented soaps, quiet rooms with puzzles, pronoun ribbons and communication buttons that allow participants to share how comfortable they are with conversation using different colors (and shapes to accommodate color blindness).
“We always try to be conscious about how we’re supporting the local communities and the needs of the local communities,” Prior said, adding that OrcaCon one day hopes to bring tabletop games to more accessible locations such as public libraries.
“We are a convention that invites everyone to have fun, and we mean that, we mean everyone, regardless of who you are. We want you to come to OrcaCon … and we’re going to sit down together and we’re going to get to know each other and we’re going to have fun doing it,” Hobbs said.
OrcaCon will take place Jan. 7-9 at Hilton Bellevue (300 112th Ave. S.E., Bellevue). Participants must be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative coronavirus test. Find more information at: orcacon.org
What else is happening
Here are some other events happening Jan. 7-13 in the Puget Sound area. If you would like to submit an event for consideration, fill out the form at the bottom of the post. Please check event websites for more information, including COVID-19 requirements.
“Stone Images XI” — through Jan. 9
Enjoy the last few days of Pacific Bonsai Museum’s “Stone Images XI” exhibit. There are 30 stones on display collected from six states. Free. 2515 S. 336th St., Federal Way; 253-353-7345; pacificbonsaimuseum.org
David Sedaris Workshop Readings — through Jan. 11
David Sedaris returns to Seattle for a weeklong series of workshop readings for his upcoming new book of essays. In eight shows, Sedaris will engage Seattle audiences as he polishes the final manuscript for his soon-to-be-published book “Happy-Go-Lucky.” Audience members will participate in a question-and-answer session. Purchase tickets online; $52. 1625 Broadway, Seattle; nwassociatedarts.org
Skandia First Friday Dance — Jan. 7
Join Skandia Folkdance Society and celebrate the first Friday of each month through virtual dance and song at 7:45 p.m. In this edition, Tokyo Polka will be taught to participants. Skandia members should have received a Zoom link earlier in the week. Nonmembers may request the link by sending an email to email@example.com. (Dances are also held the third Friday of each month.) Free. skandia-folkdance.org
Visual Journaling Our New Year’s Resolutions — Jan. 8
King County Library System presents an interactive workshop that explores ways to record daily experiences, New Year’s resolutions and memories at 1:30 p.m. For ages 18 and older. Register online; free. kcls.org
Meditation Nature Walk — Jan. 9
Seward Park Audubon Center invites visitors to tune their awareness to the natural world of the park’s forest, sky and shore 9:30-11:15 a.m. Find peace and rejuvenation on a guided meditation walk with Kimberly Bowen, meditation and martial arts teacher and former staffer at the center. The walk is a modest pace, up to 2 miles including some stairs. Register online; free. 5902 Lake Washington Blvd. S., Seattle; 206-652-2444; sewardpark.audubon.org
Instant Pot 101 — Jan. 10
Join PCC and learn how to use an Instant Pot to make weeknight meals 5-6:15 p.m. In this virtual class, participants will learn basic functions and settings, the methods for cooking proteins and how to cook an adaptable side dish with pot roast and mushroom rice pilaf. Register online; $30. pccmarkets.com
An Evening with Chris Botti — Jan. 11-16
Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley welcomes Chris Botti, a trumpeter in everything from jazz to pop to rock. Band members include Botti, Leonardo Amuedo (guitar), Holger Marjamaa (piano), Chad LB (saxophone), Anastasiia Mazurok (violin), Sy Smith (vocals), Veronica Swift (vocals), Jonathan Johnson (vocals), Reggie Hamilton (bass) and Lee Pearson (drums). Purchase tickets online; $106.50. 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; 206-441-9729; jazzalley.com
Poetry Open Mic — Jan. 13
City of Lynnwood and Waste Management host a virtual community poetry open mic 6:30-8 p.m. Craft a poem about what recycling means to you and share it during the Zoom event (in any language). Prizes available for both audience members and poets. Register online; free. lynnwoodwa.gov