Now Seattle is planning something similar. Members of Seattle’s cultural community, along with the city’s Office of Arts & Culture, are encouraging residents to open windows or go to their balconies, yards or porches at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 26, to make joyful noise (clapping, singing, raising their voices, banging pots and pans, playing instruments, etc.) in appreciation of health care and other workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are doing this to celebrate the front lines, which include grocery store workers, supply chain specialists, janitors, Fire, Police, nurses and doctors and health care workers, sanitary workers, and so many more,” the Office of Arts & Culture says in a news release. “We’d also like to bring some cheer to these dreary days in Seattle.”
Seattleites are asked to take a picture or make a video and post it to social media with the hashtags #MakeAJoyfulNoise and #SeattleTogether.
“There’s not much we can do communally or as a city right now that isn’t dangerous,” said Mark Siano, a Seattle-based theater producer and publicist who’s one of the people pushing the idea.
Siano, who recently came back from Europe, was in Paris during the lockdown and, on one of his last nights there, heard residents make such joyful noise together. “I thought it was so beautiful and so moving,” he said. “When I came back here, I thought: Let’s see if we can get it going. I had heard some people talking about something like that here. And I just thought it needed a little push.”
He reached out to the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, which is helping spread the word.
“This is a great way to do something that is social and that is joyful, that’s completely safe,” Siano said. “And it gives a lot of deference and attention to our health care workers and front line workers who are really putting themselves at risk for us.”