Bright and Energetic.

As many of us wrap up week two of life under quarantine, I suspect that the novelty of navigating work from home policies, creating virtual Zoom backgrounds and finding the grocery store that does in fact have toilet paper, is starting to wear off. The challenge now is to make the most of our new routines. To use the hope of a brighter future to motivate us to get the most out of today. Because despite how it may feel, life doesn’t have a pause button.

My daughter will still turn six this weekend. And while her party will be different than her original vision (an enchanted forest sleepover with friends—don’t ask me how we were going to pull that one off), I hope that we can create a moment that can be just as special. Maybe even more so.

With that in mind, this week we have curated a compilation of content that has an eye toward a brighter future and a more energetic present.

We start by dusting off an article that, while a few years old, is packed with trends that feel particularly poignant as we look toward a post-pandemic future. Tori Ludwig reflects on the beneficial nature of a universally shared experience, especially as it relates to our national political discourse. We watch as Mo Willems’ daily doodles inspire the creative talent of millions of children. We celebrate that advocacy and political involvement are actually on the rise despite social distancing. Finally, We are transported somewhere over the rainbow by a high school a cappella group.

Until next week — enjoy the weekend.

-Pres Davenport

1 The Reinvention of America

After traveling the country, James Fallows found a sense of hope in communities. His guidance from two years ago to focus on improving connections, emphasizing engagement and correcting perceptions rings especially true today. Shared by Kellie Youngblood. Article by James Fallows.

2 America at Its Finest

Here’s a reminder that America comes back stronger when we see others as our neighbors. When we trust each other. It’s the hope we need. Written by Tori Ludwig.

3 A Much-Needed Lunch Break

Take a break and get in touch with your creative side (or inner child!). Mo Willems, Kennedy Center Education artist-in-residence, invites you to a daily lunch doodle. Shared by yours truly.

4 Speaking Out While Staying In

While the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted nearly every facet of Americans’ daily lives, it has not stopped them from speaking out for causes they believe in. In fact, according to Phone2Action, the pandemic has sparked a boom in grassroots advocacy. Shared by Kaitlyn Goforth. Article by Will Lopez.

5 Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Take a few minutes, listen and let your mind wander somewhere over the rainbow. High schoolers from southern California use the power of technology to take their a cappella performance online. Shared by Tori Ludwig.